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QRL announces new independent director

The Queensland Rugby League has today confirmed the appointment of Naomi McCarthy OAM as an independent director.

A former Australian water polo representative, McCarthy scaled the heights of her sport for more than a decade, winning a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She has remained heavily involved in sport since her retirement, serving as a board member for the Queensland Academy of Sport and as a director of Womensport Queensland.

In her current role at Griffith University, McCarthy is the manager of the Griffith Sports College, where she works closely with many professional and Olympic sports.

McCarthy said she was committed to making a valuable contribution in her new role with the QRL. 

“I believe I have a strong understanding of elite sport and the pathways involved in sport, from grassroots through to high performance,” McCarthy said.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved with the game in Queensland, particularly with the ongoing investment into community rugby league and statewide pathway competitions and programs.”

QRL Chairman Bruce Hatcher formally welcomed McCarthy to the role at today’s Annual General Meeting.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have a person of Naomi’s calibre join our board,” Hatcher said.

“Through her many and varied professional experiences, Naomi has been able to develop leadership, communication, organisation and program management skills, all of which will be an asset to the QRL moving forward.”

McCarthy joins the Board following the retirement of Bruce Prescott, whose contribution was acknowledged today.

“Bruce’s impeccable values, legal guidance and general wisdom has made an indelible mark on the constitutions and rules in place across the game,” Hatcher said.

“We wish Bruce and his wife Karen a happy and peaceful life in retirement and look forward to seeing them at rugby league games in the future.”

McCarthy is one of three independent directors on the QRL Board; and the second female following the appointment of Renita Garard OAM in 2017.

The QRL also confirmed the re-appointment of Mr Hatcher as Chairman of the Board for a further three years.

Naomi McCarthy – Personal Achievements

  • Elite sporting career spanning 10 years, including winning an Olympic gold medal.
  • Two Olympic Games (Sydney 2000) and Athens (2004).
  • Four World Championships and four World Cups.
  • Vice-captain of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Water Polo team.
  • Captain of the 2004 Olympic Water Polo team.
  • AIS scholarship holder 1993 to 2004
  • QAS scholarship holder 1999 to 2004
  • OAM
  • Named as top 10 athletes of the decade for QAS from 1994 - 2004
  • Qsport Hall of Fame member
  • Water Polo Australian Hall of Fame member

Other experience

  • Board Member Queensland Academy of Sport 2010 to present
  • Member of Athlete Alumni for AIS program Gold Medal Ready, supporting future Olympic athletes 2018 present
  • Director of Womensport Queensland 2006 – 2010