In Welfare Services

Victoria Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien

Responsible Gambling Foundation Taking Shape With Two New Board Members Appointed

Victor P Taffa

The establishment of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) is a step closer today with two new board appointments announced by Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien.

Ms. Natalie Franks and Mr. Peter Jackson have been appointed to the Foundation’s board for four-year terms commencing on 1 July 2012.

“Natalie Franks and Peter Jackson bring a great deal of knowledge and experience to the Foundation and I know they will work tirelessly in promoting the message of responsible gambling through the varied work the Foundation will undertake.” Mr. O’Brien said.

Natalie Franks, currently a Director of Health Legal, has more than 17 years’ experience providing legal services to the public and private health sectors and has also served as a member of the National HealthConnect Taskforce.

Ms. Franks welcomed the opportunity to serve on the board and said she looked forward to contributing to efforts to combat this issue of community concern.

“Problem gambling is a matter that demands serious consideration and through this Foundation I look forward to working on reducing the severity of problem gambling and encouraging responsible gambling habits.” Ms. Franks said.

Peter Jackson has a wealth of experience in senior management, board and chairman positions and has worked extensively for both sporting and non-sporting bodies. Mr. Jackson spent 13 years as Chief Executive Officer of the Essendon Football Club and currently serves as Chairman of AFL Victoria.

Mr. Jackson said he was looking forward to working with the Foundation and the community in tackling the challenges of problem gambling.

“The establishment of the Foundation is a milestone and I’m very pleased to have a role in the important work of educating, researching and assisting problem gamblers as well as fostering an environment of responsible gambling.” Mr. Jackson said.

Mr. O’Brien said the new members would join the inaugural Chair, Professor Bruce Singh AM, and Deputy Chair Michael Ball AM, in leading the Foundation in its work to reduce the prevalence of problem gambling and the severity of gambling-related harm, and to foster responsible gambling.

The board will also greatly benefit from its bipartisan parliamentary representatives, Liberal Member for Caulfield David Southwick MP, Nationals Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy MP and Labor Member for Geelong Ian Trezise MP.

“The Foundation will commission problem gambling research and develop and implement innovative communication activities in response to what is a matter of major community concern.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Importantly, it is being strongly backed with a record $150 Million of funding over four years, a 41 % increase over the former Government’s program.”

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