GA appoints new Greyhound Welfare Working Party Chair
Thursday 17 July 2014
Greyhounds Australasia (GA) is pleased to announce the appointment of prominent greyhound administrator, owner and breeder Mr Steve Hawkins as Chair of GA's Greyhound Welfare Working Party following the retirement of Dr. Geoff Baxter.
GA's Welfare Working Party's priority task is overseeing the effective implementation of the industry's national greyhound welfare strategy, approved by the GA Board in May this year. The Welfare Working Party is made up of leading industry administrators and participants.
GA CEO Scott Parker said he was delighted with Mr Hawkins' appointment.
"Steve is extremely passionate about greyhound welfare. He's got some terrific ideas about how we can help owners, trainers and breeders improve greyhound welfare outcomes and I'm very confident that our industry will be well served by the unique perspective Steve will bring to one of the most important roles in Australian and New Zealand greyhound racing," Mr Parker said.
Mr Hawkins said he was privileged to accept this important responsibility.
"I'm quite humbled to be taking on this very important role. The welfare of our greyhounds is our industry's number one priority and while our industry has improved greyhound welfare outcomes significantly over the past twenty years, we're nowhere near perfect and there's a lot more we can, and have to, do to meet our own standards and the expectations of the community.
"Each state and territory controlling body has responsibility for implementing the national welfare strategy and I'll be doing my absolute best to ensure the GA Welfare Working Party is there to support them.
"I'm determined that we collect better data on the status of our greyhounds both before and after their racing careers. Under the national approach, we will be moving towards all greyhounds being under the care of a single registered participant at all times of their lifecycle unless retired as a pet. We will introduce a national approach to breeding to ensure breeding decisions are well considered ones. We will maximise opportunities for all greyhounds to reach their full potential. We will improve end of career alternatives and kennel inspection rates and compliance.
"I'm also a great supporter of the national strategy's focus on better participant education, including formalising trainer, handler and breeder training and ensuring that we all understand the benefits and consequences of poor record keeping and poor communication between participants and controlling bodies.
"This is a great industry, full of fabulous people. But good enough isn't actually good enough because we can be the best in the world at this. With the support of participants and all controlling bodies, I look forward to playing a lead role in making that happen, " Mr Hawkins said.
Backgrounder - Steve Hawkins
Steve's vision for Australasian greyhound racing welfare
Over the next three years, the industry has a unique opportunity to drive long term improvements to greyhound welfare outcomes. With the national greyhound welfare strategy as our guide, I want to see improved information collection, reporting and sharing; more transparency about our challenges and successes; and a more professional approach to welfare outcomes including all participants acknowledging that optimising the welfare of the greyhound is a core input into industry success.
Self Employed - Hawkins Media Solutions, specialising in radio advertising and marketing.
Radio TAB Brisbane – Race broadcaster Greyhounds, Gallops and Harness since 1998.
Boards and Committees
Currently Director, Racing Queensland Board and Deputy Chair of Greyhounds
Former Deputy Chair Gold Coast Turf Club Board
Former Director, Taree Race Club Board
Chair, Greyhounds Australasia Welfare Working Party
- Function and Sports Show Host - including the 2012 QR awards and was key note speaker at the 2011 Australian Greyhound Conference and specialising in "Parkinson style" interviews with sports identities including Steve Waugh, Max Walker, Ben Ikin, Peter Senior, Michael Voss, Jason Akermanis, Bart Cummings, Jim Cassidy and many more.
- Sports Commentator specialising in racing.
- Commercial voice-overs
- Radio News and Sports Presenting for 2MO Gunnedah, 2TM Tamworth, 2RE Taree and 2GF Grafton
- Television Sports Presenting for Prime TV Taree and Tamworth
Winner of 4 Radio awards for news, racing and rugby league commentary.
Twice winner of best country sports broadcaster.
Owner and Breeder
Owned and bred over 100 greyhounds and over 30 gallopers since 1994.
Raced Queen Lauryn, won over $300,000 in prize money and multiple group races and track records.