The ARL Commission today announced the appointment of two new Commissioners to fill the current vacancies.

Professor Megan Davis and the Honourable Peter Beattie AC will join the Commission immediately.

Chairman John Grant said the appointments would significantly strengthen the Commission.

He said Professor Davis is one of the nation’s leading constitutional lawyers who has had a long and distinguished international diplomatic career as well as being a champion of Indigenous and women’s rights.

She is also a passionate rugby league fan who grew up in country Queensland, where rugby league was at the centre of her community.

“It is a privilege and honour to be invited to become an ARL Commissioner,” Professor Davis said.

Mr Beattie was Premier of Queensland from 1998 until 2007, making him one of the state’s most successful political leaders.

During this period, he was a strong advocate for rugby league and was responsible for the construction of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium and the Gold Coast’s Cbus Stadium.

“I have a great love of rugby league and I am excited about the prospect of working with the Commission to make the game even greater,” Mr Beattie said.

Mr Grant said that with the Collective Bargaining Agreement, finalisation of the club funding and licence agreement, constitutional reform, and the NRL’s digital presence likely to all be completed by year end, the pair were joining the Commission for the next exciting stage of the game’s development.

“I have no doubt these appointments will give the Commission additional expertise and insight as it looks to capitalise on the foundations that have been put in place over the last six years,” he said.
 
Biographies of the two new Commissioners are below.  Images of both new Commissioners can be found here.

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PROFESSOR MEGAN DAVIS
 
Professor Davis is currently Pro Vice Chancellor UNSW and Acting Commissioner of the NSW Land and Environment Court and a member of the NSW Sentencing Council. 

An admitted solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, Professor Davis is a constitutional lawyer specialising in constitutional design and constitution-building and one of the nation’s leading public constitutional lawyers. 

Professor Davis was a member of the Prime Minister’s Expert Panel on constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples in 2011 and a member of the Prime Minister’s Referendum Council (2015-2017).

Professor Davis has served a lengthy diplomatic career in the United Nations over the past 18 years as a Fellow of the UNHCHR in Geneva, an expert member and chair of the UNPFII in New York (2011-2016), an expert in peacemaking and preventive diplomacy for UNITAR and an expert member of the UN Human Rights Council's EMRIP in Geneva.  In New York, she was actively involved in the work of UN Women.

Professor Davis’s outstanding career has been recognised in 2016 through the United Nations Association Queensland Community award for dedication and contribution to the Queensland community reflecting the United Nations principles; as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and one of NITV’s 20 inspiring black women who changed Australia. 

Prior to this, Professor Davis received the University of Queensland, ES Meyers Medal (2015); the United Nations Certificate of Recognition for Service to the United Nations (2014 and 2017); the University of Queensland Alumni award Indigenous Community Impact Award (2014); the National Australia Bank/Women’s Agenda Inspirational Ambassador Award (2013); and one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac (2013).

Professor Davis is a Cobble Cobble woman of the Barrungam nation in south west Queensland and of South Sea Islander descent (Vanuatu). She grew up in country Queensland in the North Burnett region, including Mulgildie, Monto, Hervey Bay and then, in Eagleby, Logan City where rugby league has played an important and critical element of the community and has been her sport of choice.
 
THE HONOURABLE PETER BEATTIE AC
 
Mr Beattie served as the 36th Premier of Queensland and Minister for Trade from 1998 to 2007 and Leader of the Australian Labor Party in that state from 1996 to 2007. His sweeping victories in the 2001, 2004 and 2006 state elections confirmed him as one of the most electorally successful politicians in Australia.

Of particular significance for the rugby league community during his time as Premier was the leadership he provided for the construction of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium and the Gold Coast’s CBus Stadium.  Before retiring in 2007, he mentored and was then succeeded by his Deputy Anna Bligh, who became the first female Premier of Queensland.

From February 2008 until 2015, Mr Beattie and his wife Heather lived in the US during his tenure as Queensland's Trade and Investment Commissioner to the Americas based in Los Angeles 2008-10. In 2010 he accepted a position as advisor and guest lecturer on global economic development strategies at Clemson University, South Carolina (ranked 25th US public university by US News & World Report). In 2011, the Gillard Government appointed Mr Beattie as Australia's first Resources Sector Supplier Envoy charged with promoting a Buy Australian at Home and Abroad program for supplying products to the Australian resources industry.

Returning to Australia in 2015, he was appointed Chairman of GOLDOC, the Organising Committee for the Commonwealth Games in May 2016, a role he will hold until after the Games in April 2018.  He is also a Director of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund; Ambassador for Life Sciences Queensland; joint adjunct professor at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering & Nanotechnology & Institute for Molecular Bioscience; a former member of the University of Queensland's Industry Engagement Council; and national commentator on Sky News and joint host of Beattie and Reith on Sky News.  Mr Beattie has authored four books, the latest being "Where to from here, Australia?” published in 2016.

In 2001, Mr Beattie was awarded the Centenary Medal for his contribution to Queensland. In 2008 he won the Biotechnology Industry Organisation’s inaugural “International Award for Leadership Excellence” and in 2012, he was named a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for "eminent service to the Parliament and community of Queensland, through initiatives in the area of education and training, economic development, particularly in biotechnology, information technology and aviation industries, and to the promotion of international trade”.