New directors appointed to Queensland Rugby Union Board

Sat, Mar 9, 2024, 2:38 AM
by Queensland Rugby Media Unit

Experienced corporate directors Joe Coote and Sarah Zeljko have been appointed to the Queensland Rugby Union Board following today’s annual general meeting.

Leading property executive and former president of the University of Queensland Rugby Club Michael Zaicek was also elected by the QRU Members as a Director, with Chair Brett Clark and Selwyn Button also re-elected by Members.

Ms Zeljko is the current chair of Energy Queensland, Australia’s largest, wholly government-owned electricity company, and is a director of Stockyard Beef, Unitywater and Intellidesign. She has a background as an in-house legal counsel in both the public and private sectors, including for major infrastructure projects.

Mr Coote is returning to Brisbane from his role as Chief Executive Officer of Darigold Co-Operative Group, one of the United States’ largest dairy companies with US$3bn in annual sales. A chartered accountant, he is the former President of Fonterra Americas and a former senior executive at Coles Myer.

Mr Zaicek is Commercial Director for Aria Property Group and has been instrumental in creating and curating Aria’s Fish Lane precinct in West End, and Edward St in the CBD. He has chaired the QRU’s Ballymore Committee for the past two years, helping to steer the redevelopment of the iconic ground.

QRU Chair Brett Clark said the new directors brought decades of commercial and business experience to Queensland Rugby as it moves into a new era with the Ballymore redevelopment and expanded opportunities for rugby content.

“There were more than 80 extremely qualified individuals apply for the two Board-appointed positions and the quality of applicants demonstrates the enthusiasm and confidence there is for the direction of Queensland Rugby,” he said.

“Sarah and Joe impressed not only with their extensive commercial and business experience, but also with their passion to help grow the game in Queensland.

“Michael has been instrumental in helping to turn around the Ballymore precinct, assisting in developing a leasing and commercial strategy which has seen Ballymore go from costing $1m a year to almost break-even – even before we begin to build our events strategy.”

Former Reds captain James Horwill, (QRU#1184, Wallaby #819), who was appointed as the Player Director last month, was re-confirmed as a Director at the meeting.

QRU President Roger Gould (QRU#913, Wallaby #617) was re-elected unopposed.

QRU Vice President Libby Nankivell was re-elected, with former Gold Coast District Rugby Union president Kim Bending also elected as Vice President.

Mr Clark thanked outgoing QRU Vice-President, Toutai Kefu (QRU#1062, Wallaby#741) for his tireless efforts in the role to promote rugby.

“Toutai has been a role model for our players as Vice President, and particularly in helping the QRU advance its Pasifika engagement, including increased cooperation with Tonga,” he said.