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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

 Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has today joined Newcastle Knights Chief Executive Officer Philip Gardner to unveil plans for the long anticipated Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence.

 “This state-of-the-art facility will foster rugby league at all levels – from juniors to professionals – with three new training fields and multi-purpose facilities,” Mr Ayres said.

 “The new Centre of Excellence will be the first high-performance rugby league training facility between Sydney and the Gold Coast and for the first time ever  players will have a pre-game warm up area.”


The NSW Government is contributing $10 million towards the Knights Centre of Excellence, matched by $10 million from the Newcastle Knights owners The Wests Group.

 Minister Ayres today also confirmed the location for the facility as adjacent to McDonald Jones Stadium’s Southern Grandstand inside the Hunter Sports and Entertainment Precinct at Broadmeadow.

 Newcastle Knights Chief Executive Officer Philip Gardner said the centre will be a massive boost for the Knights which are the number one supported professional team in regional NSW.

 “With playing fields proposed for nearby District Park land -  this will enable the Knights to bring their entire operations into one facility, reducing costs, improving integration outcomes and providing an additional venue for local and regional community needs,” Mr Gardner said.

 The NRL Centre of Excellence fund was created after the NSW Government redirected funds previously allocated as cash payments for NRL Grand Finals towards community based Centres of Excellence. Funding has been approved for five NSW NRL Clubs - the Bulldogs, the Knights, the Rabbitohs, the Roosters and the Sharks, in a dollar for dollar match of each club’s contribution.

 MEDIA: Amanda Choularton | Minister Ayres | 0428 754 324

Amy Ziniak | Newcastle Knights | 0400 761 741

Jack Ashman retires from Wests Group board

LIFE MEMBER - Western Suburbs Rugby League Football Club Ltd

LIFE MEMBER - Western Suburbs (Ncle) Leagues Club Ltd

The Wests Group would like to place on record its appreciation of the work of Jack Ashman, who stepped down from the Wests Group board earlier this year after 16 years. 

Mr Ashman, a licensed bookmaker and retired university lecturer, has been an instrumental part of the Wests Group’s development.

“I would like to thank Jack for his significant contribution to the Wests Group over the past 16 years,” says Owen Kilpatrick, chairman of the Wests Group.

“Jack’s knowledge and prompt decision making was a huge benefit to me as chairman.”

Philip Gardner, CEO of The Wests Group, says, “Jack’s contribution to the continual development of the Wests Group cannot be understated, and I thank him for the part he has played.”

Over his time on the board the club’s assets have grown from $74m to over $300m.

Sound governance is the hallmark of all successful organisations. Jack’s input as part of the board has allowed the club, over the last 16 years, to expand by merging with Nelson Bay RSL, Cardiff Panthers, City Panthers, as well as recently acquiring the Newcastle Knights.

Jack’s advice and good humour will be missed around the board table.

The Wests Group appoints Katie Brassil to board

22 February 2018


The Wests Group Australia has appointed Katie Brassil to its board of directors.

Katie Brassil has been formally appointed as a director of the board, effective from 22 February 2018 with an honorarium of $25,000 per annum. 

Katie's appointment to the board will complement the board's skills and experience and assist them with their duties. 

Katie is also Executive General Manager External Affairs for Centennial Coal, is a director of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and the Hunter Tafe Foundation, and has over 30 years' experience in the private sector and all three tiers of government. She is an expert in stakeholder engagement and consultation, economic development and public and government relations.

From 2014 to 2017 she also served on the board of the Newcastle Knights, which The Wests Group purchased late last year.

"I am delighted to be joining such an extremely successful and highly regarded organisation," says Brassil. "As well as the obvious gender diversity my appointment brings a diversity of career experiences and personal skills."

Philip Gardner, CEO of The Wests Group, says, "Katie's appointment is a significant moment in the history of The Wests Group. She brings great expertise in business and government.

"Having a diverse board is essential to the continued growth and development of the business, and we look forward to Katie extending her influence across The Wests Group."

Katie has been appointed for a period of three years, to fill the casual vacancy created by the retirement of Jack Ashman. 

Early renewal $20,000 winner

1 December 2017 Members who renewed their membership for 2018 on or before 30 November were given an entry into a draw to win $20,000 of Charlestown Square EFTPOS cards. 

Congratulations to Elaine Randall, who was the lucky member drawn at random from our barrel of entries.