The Advisory Group, formed in August 2023, assists in guiding the True Sport initiative through its evolution and development to provide contemporary support and resources to the sector.
The individuals selected represent a range of capabilities, experience, and knowledge to ensure the initiative is created for the industry, by the industry.
Aalia Merchant is the Team Leader - Sport and Recreation at the City of Joondalup. Aalia oversees management of the City’s sporting venues and provides club development support and programming for the 110 sporting clubs based within the City, that reflect the needs of the local community.
Abid has been immersed in the West Australian sports industry for over 15 years in roles with Little Athletics WA, Gymnastics WA and Football West. His experience spans club development, community participation and inclusion. Most recently, he has been the Volunteer & Workforce Manager – Perth/Boorloo for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Beth Harvey is currently Netball WA’s General Manager Community with a netball history across playing, coaching and administration. She is an elite level coach continuing her involvement across all levels. Beth brings a strong background in governance, strategy and risk from her 16 years working in the community services sector.
Currently serving as Executive Officer at Football Futures Foundation, Brent leverages football (soccer) to strengthen priority WA communities. He holds expertise and postgraduate qualifications in program and service design, delivery, and evaluation relevant to the fields of education, health and social impact. Brent is also the former Head of Mental Health & Wellbeing at the AFL Players Association
Grace Schmidt has over 10 years’ experience working within the sport and recreation sector across several state sporting associations. Grace has a passion for the promotion of grass-roots sport participation and the related holistic benefits to both the participants and the community and is an avid supporter of women in sport
Jo Davies has over 30 years experience working and volunteering in the sport and recreation industry at local, state, national and international levels in both Government and the not-for profit sector. Jo is currently General Manager, Community Cricket at the WA Cricket Association and in her voluntary capacity a Director at the East Perth Football Club and Perth Racing.
Michael has over five years of experience working with multi-national corporation in account management. With a passion for sport, Michael decided to take and adapt his corporate experience to the world of community sport. Michael is currently employed at Rugby WA as the Senior Competitions and Logistics Coordinator.
Rachel is executive leader with over 15 years of experience in the Olympic Sporting sector, previously in the UK and now as the CEO of Diving Western Australia. With a proven track record in governance, operations, and leadership, Rachel utilises her passion for sport development, to ensure a positive and safe environment for all participants of sport.
Renay is the General Manager People & Culture at Perth Racing and has over 20 years’ experience leading organisational transformation and optimising culture. Renay has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Western Australia and a Diploma of Business Governance from the Institute of Community Directors Australia.
Rob Kennedy – 20+ years’ experience in the sporting industry across three major sports (Tennis, Cricket, AFL). Currently as the Head of Tennis Development & Participation at Tennis West, Rob is leading a team that works across all facets of Tennis; Clubs, Coaches, Schools, Government, Inclusion & Diversity for WA.
Currently CEO of Volleyball WA, I have volunteered and professionally worked (also Hockey & Gymnastics) in the sporting industry since I was very young. Sport and Recreation are fundamental to our daily lives, providing safe environments to not only keep us physically healthy, but just as importantly supporting our wellbeing personally and collectively, socially, mentally and indeed spiritually too.
Shayley McGurk Davy
Shayley began her career in 2001 at the Australian Institute of Sport, Hockey Program, administering two high performance programs, and two successful Olympic cycles. After nine years of high-performance administration and athlete support, Shayley shifted her focus to community sport, and commenced her role at Hockey WA. Having learnt the rudiments of sports administration, she moved into leading the Game, Community Development, Pathways and Performance program for HWA. Shayley is passionate about balancing the exciting challenges and opportunities of sport participation and athlete development.
Tom has held Executive leadership roles with Lion Beverages, Foxtel and Bunzl, combined with a lifetime involvement in WA football which led to 8 years as a CEO in the WAFL, before commencing as an Executive Manager at the West Australian Football Commission; managing Country Football, Affiliated Leagues and the WAFC’s Facilities Strategy. Tom was the inaugural Stephen Michael Foundation CEO, before stepping into the role of Board member in 2021 and taking on the role of Chairman in November 2022.
An experienced sports administrator, Troy Kirkham has a passion for community sport, and the wider societal benefits that it can provide. Troy has worked through the education sector as a Deputy Principal, often dealing with at risk youth, before making the shift into the sports industry over 18 years ago. Currently as the Executive Manager Game Development & Community with the West Australian Football Commission, Troy oversees the development and growth of game development programs, schools & community football across Western Australia. In 2016, Troy had the opportunity to travel internationally for 3 months after being awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship, to research innovative and inclusive retention strategies for youth participants in community sport.