Board of Directors
Ricky Stuart is the current Coach of the Canberra Raiders and a former international rugby league star who played 200 matches for the Raiders during a distinguished NRL career.
During an illustrious NRL career between 1988-2000, Stuart won three premierships with the Raiders in 1989, 1990 and 1994, represented his state NSW 14 times and Australia in nine Test matches.
Stuart began his sporting career playing rugby union at St Edmunds College in Canberra and the Queanbeyan Whites, when he was selected for a Wallabies tour of Argentina in 1987.
In 1988 Stuart switched codes to rugby league, where he soon developed into one of the game's best halfbacks, achieving immediate success with the Raiders and helping them towards their first premiership in 1989, where they won in extra time over the Balmain Tigers in what has been dubbed one of the greatest grand finals of all time.
In 1990 Stuart once again helped the Raiders as they secured back to back premierships, with Stuart awarded the prestigious Clive Churchill Medal for a man of the match performance in the grand final win over the Panthers.
In 1990 he also made his debut for NSW at State of Origin level, where he was awarded man of the match in the second game of the series. He then went on to make his debut for the Kangaroos, when he toured England and France as part of the 1990 Kangaroo tour. He made his second Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France in 1994..
Stuart was awarded the Rothmans Medal in 1993 for the best player in the competition and also picked up the award for Raiders player of the year in 1992 and 1993.
His career in Canberra finished at the end of the 1998 season, where he reached his 200th match for the club. He went on to play two seasons at Canterbury in 1999-2000 before retiring from the game.
Stuart began his Coaching career in 2001 with immediate success, taking the Bulldogs Jersey Flegg team to a premiership in his debut season as a Coach.
He then transferred this form into NRL success, winning a premiership in his maiden season with the Sydney Roosters in his debut season as an NRL Coach.
Stuart coached the Roosters from 2002-2006 before moving to Cronulla where he coached the Sharks from 2007-2010. In 2013 Stuart took up a position with the Parramatta Eels for one season, before joining the Raiders at the start of 2014 where he is currently the Coach of the club.
Stuart has also coached at representative level during his coaching career, coaching the NSW Blues in three series, including a series win in 2005. He also coached the Kangaroos between 2006-2008 and was at the helm during the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
Away from Rugby League Stuart has been a very active member of the community through the Ricky Stuart Foundation, which was established in 2011 to raise money and awareness for families dealing with autism.
John Fordham is Founder and Executive Chairman of The Fordham Company, one of Australia's most progressive and successful media, sport and entertainment management agencies.
A former newspaper journalist, he established the company following a career in the aviation and tourism industries. He spent a decade with Qantas as a senior corporate communications executive based in London, San Francisco and Sydney. After leaving Qantas, he occupied senior executive posts with international airlines, hotels, resorts and cruise lines.
The Sydney-based management business was launched in the early 1990s by John and his wife Veronica. Son Nick, who joined the company soon after leaving school, is now CEO and owner of the business.
The Fordham Company represents a host of prominent and successful clients with high-profile media, sport and entertainment backgrounds.
John Fordham also has a passionate interest in wine. He has written on wine for Australia's biggest-selling newspaper The Sunday Telegraph for too long to remember.
In 2010, he was awarded the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services to media, sport and entertainment management and to wine journalism.
John is one of Canberra's most prominent citizens. He is Chancellor of the University of Canberra; former CEO and current Chair of the companies providing all of Canberra's utilities (water, gas and electricity); Director on the Boards of two national companies (property development and hospitals); Long time Director of the Canberra Raiders, Chair of the National Arboretum and the Salvation Army Advisory Boards.
Awarded: "Canberra Citizen of the Year" in 2008; Order of Australia in 2004; Hon, Doctorate in 2009; and ACT Walk of Honour in 2010.
Denis Handlin AM, is the Chairman & CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Australia & New Zealand and President, Asia. He commenced his career with the company in 1970 and has been leading it since 1984. Denis is also Chairman of the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and the Chairman of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Asia Board. In 1996, he became the first Sony Music Entertainment executive to be honoured with the CEO Special Recognition Award. Denis was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005 in recognition of his services to charitable causes, artist development and the music industry. Further prestigious awards recognising his contributions have included - 2009 the Ted Albert Award from the Australian Performing Rights Association for Outstanding Services to the Music Industry, in 2012 the “Label Executive of the Year – Major” award from the Worldwide Radio Summit Industry Awards Los Angeles and in 2014 the ARIA Industry Icon Award.
Denis is strongly committed to community work and is a founding member of the Sony Foundation of Australia which has raised close to $27 million since 1998 for youth based charitable causes. Denis was appointed as a Patron of the Youth Off The Streets scholarship program in its inaugural year in 2004 and is an inaugural Board Member of the Ricky Stuart Foundation.
Senior Partner in the Consulting Financial Services division of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
He is a Chartered Accountant who has specialised in providing financial and property advice to a wide range of corporations both public and private as well as Federal Government Departments.
As part of his role in PwC he heads up the Federal Government Practice for PwC and has close contacts with the various Government Departments and the business community. He is a proud Canberran and has been involved in the community serving on Boards such as CAPO, Bernardos, Australia21 and the Brumbies.
Leila McKinnon is a one of Australia's most experienced television journalists. It was her interview with Ricky and Kaylie on the Nine Network's A Current Affair that helped spark the idea for what would become the Ricky Stuart Foundation. Their eloquence and emotion in telling Australia about their experience as parents of a child with autism was incredibly moving, and Leila was thrilled to be invited to become part of the Foundation. Leila is also a writer, a podcaster, and a book reviewer. She's married to a media executive turned publican, and has two young children, Ted and Gwen.
James Service AM
James joined the JGS Property Group in 1985 and was appointed Managing Director of the group in 1990. Since that time, James has played a leading role in the day-to-day activities of a national and now international company that has continued to grow and diversify strongly on the basis of long-standing relationships with large institutional, corporate and government clients.
He has extensive experience in all sectors of the property including investment, development, construction and management. He also Chairman Googong Township, Chairman Eyre Kingston Pty Ltd Chairman of the ACT Building and Construction Industry Training Fund Authority, Chairman of Peet Flagstone City in Queensland.
James is also an active participant in community activities; he is Chairman of Koomarri, Chairman of the Canberra International Riesling Challenge, past Chairman of Cancerians Canberra, raising funds for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation and a founding Director of the Australian Mental Health Research Foundation.
Colin Love AM LLB
Colin Love AM graduated in law at Sydney University in 1970 and has practised as a lawyer in Macquarie Street, Sydney since 1974 under the firm name Colin W Love & Co. The practice is predominantly a commercial practice but also has a large sports/law practice.
Colin is the former editor of the Sport section of Butterworths Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents and has delivered papers at sports law conferences in Australia and around the world including the United States, Switzerland and New Zealand.
In 1997 he was retained as the legal counsel to the NSW Institute of Sport, a position which he still retains. From 1997 to 2001 he was appointed by the NSW Government to be Deputy Chairman of the NSW Major Events Board. He also served as a Trustee of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust from 1997 to 2007.
He served as non-executive chairman of NSW Rugby League, Australian Rugby League, National Rugby League Partnership Executive Committee (alternate years) and Rugby League International Federation for a period in excess of ten years. He is a life member of the Australian Rugby League and the Rugby League International Federation.
He has been the honorary solicitor to the Ricky Stuart Foundation since 2016
In 2000 he was awarded the Australian Sports Medal and in 2007 was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in the Australian Government Honours system.
He has been a director of Jardine Lloyd Thompson (Australia) Pty Limited since 2011.
With a little help of a chance encounter between her taxi-driving father and former NRL player Wendell Sailor, Sampson began her career as a cadet reporter at the Seven Network's regional news service, Seven Local News on the Sunshine Coast working one day a week, while juggling her studies at the Queensland University of Technology and
employment with the Eagle Farm Equine Hospital.
Upon completion of her studies, Sampson joined the network permanently as a sports reporter, working throughout the state in cities such as Maryborough, Mackay and Townsville before returning to the Sunshine Coast to also becoming a studio presenter.
In 2012, Sampson returned to Queensland, joining the Nine Network in Brisbane. In January 2014, Sampson was offered the opportunity to return to Sydney to be more extensively involved with Nine's Wide World of Sports coverage including presenting the sport on Nine News Sydney.
While Sampson was at Nine she hosted Nine's Friday Night Rugby League coverage and was also a sideline commentator for Thursday Night Football and Sunday Football. In September 2015, she hosted Nine's new NRL talk show Footy Classified NRL Finals.
In 2016, she became the host of the Sunday Footy Show, replacing long time host Peter Sterling. The same year, Sampson also became the first woman to anchor the network's State of Origin coverage. In December 2016, she signed a multi year deal with Fox Sports.
It was announced that she would host the network's Thursday and Saturday night rugby league coverage and also host a new weekly show called League Life.