The Western Australian Turf Club is delighted to announce the appointment of leading racing and breeding industry identity Professor John Yovich as Managing Director.

Yovich joins the WATC from Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA), where he has been General Manager Racing for the past 12 months and an independent director since 2013.

His role as head of RWWA’s Racing Division saw him responsible for all racing operations and strategic direction for the industry in WA.

A specialist veterinarian, he served as Vice Chancellor and President of Murdoch University for 10 years before joining RWWA.

Perth Racing Chairman Neil Pinner said the club was delighted to have secured a candidate of the calibre and experience of Professor Yovich to take on such a crucial leadership role at such an important time.

“As a lifelong member of the racing and breeding industry, with a genuine passion for the sport, the combination of skills, experience and industry knowledge that John brings to the club is truly unique,” said Mr Pinner.

“Our vision is to be the leading racing club and premier events host in WA, and we have been working hard to develop a strong strategic plan to ensure we continue to move along that path in the coming years.

“John is the right person to continue to build on the strong platform we have developed as a result of the transformation driven by our interim Chief Executive Officer Julian Sullivan.”

Yovich will work alongside Mr Sullivan, who has agreed to extend his contract through to March 2017 to progress the strategic vision and oversee the launch of the reinvigorated Ascot Racing Carnival, and to facilitate a smooth transition.

Mr Pinner said that Mr Sullivan, who joined Perth Racing as interim CEO in November 2015, had made a remarkable contribution to WA racing in a short time.

Key achievements included initiating and producing the 2020 WATC Vision and Strategic plan – which included organisational reform – and undertaking a multi-million dollar media rights negotiation, in addition to increasing membership and attendance.

“We are incredibly grateful to Julian for his leadership, guidance and drive over the past months – it’s our loss that his family commitments meant that his role with Perth Racing was only ever going to be an interim one,” said Mr Pinner.

“We’re very appreciative that he agreed to extend his support, and we will be sorry to see him return home to Victoria.”

Mr Sullivan said he hoped to continue a relationship with Perth Racing on returning to the eastern States.

“It has been a pleasure and privilege to serve in the interim CEO role, and I have very much enjoyed working with the board and team here – and living in Perth – which made it easy to agree to extend until after the Summer Carnival,” he said.

“Perth Racing has a very exciting future. I’m proud to have played a part in that, and I’ll look forward to maintaining links to the club and watching its progress over the coming years.”

Perth Racing