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VRC board member resigns

Less than two months after being re-elected as a director, Elisa Robinson has announced her resignation from the board of the Victoria Racing Club.

Robinson, who was returned to the board in December along with retiring chairman Amanda Elliott and Katherine Bourke, did not go into reasons for her departure, although in her resignation letter on Monday, she wrote: "Although many of you are aware of my reasons, it is still disappointing to feel this action is necessary at this time…."

The VRC released the following statement on Monday evening: "The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) can confirm Elisa Robinson resigned as a director of the VRC on Tuesday, 10 February 2020.

"The VRC Board of Directors thank Ms Robinson for her contribution to the Club over almost nine years.

"As is normal procedure with a board vacancy, it is a matter for the VRC Directors going forward."

Robinson was backed in the December election by two board members — John O’Rourke and Peter Fekete — who clashed over governance issues with Elliott, who remains as a director.

Robinson’s resignation could pave the way for club chief executive Neil Wilson to nominate for the board position.

The current board can appoint a new director but that person must then submit themselves for election at the next VRC annual general board meeting. The next board meeting is scheduled for February 28.

Robinson's resignation letter, posted to social media on Monday afternoon, is republished in full below:

"I wish to inform you all of my decision to resign from the Board of the Victoria Racing Club Limited effective today, 10 February 2020.

Although many of you are aware of my reasons, it is still disappointing to feel this action is necessary at this time, particularly in having wanted to respect the highest vote of confidence of the Members in being re-elected for a fourth time.

Thank you to my incredible husband Scott Robinson, children Charlie, Thomas and Georgia, family, friends, work colleagues, and long standing supporters in the VRC Membership, former and current VRC Board Members and staff, stakeholders and the wider Racing Industry over the past nine years.

I am proud of my voluntary contribution on the Board and Masterplan and Club Stand Sub Committees and I continue to feel humbles and privileged to be:

a true and passionate representative and champion of all Members and the Club, both publicly and privately;
a temporary custodian of the legacy and history of the Melbourne Cup and Victoria Racing Club;
a part of the VRC and racing community and the Flemington Family of old including having worked over this time with outstanding Board colleagues, management, raceday staff, sponsors, suppliers, stakeholders and the list very much goes on;
a witness to our hard working VRC staff deliver thrilling racing year round, whether over the Melbourne Cup carnival, Autumn Festival of Racing, Summer or Winter;
the youngest ever Board Director in the VRC's 156-year history;
the fourth ever female Board Director and first of Asian descent; and
the first ever pregnant Board Director having had three children since 2011, in addition to pursuing my Non-Executive Director career with the Royal Woman's Hospital Foundation and my Senior Executive Legal and Commercial career.

From here, I look forward to continuing my involvement with the Club and in the Racing Industry as a champion of women in racing with the Victorian Wakeful Club and supporter of trainers, breeders, stable staff, equine welfare and jockeys as a racehorse owner.

I am very much looking forward to seeing you all out at Flemington again soon.

Yours sincerely

Elisa Robinson
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