“I attended my first RBN this week and will definitely be back again. The Royal Automobile Club of Australia is a great venue; the staff were friendly and the food was enjoyable. The range of speakers and the topic of High Performance was very interesting and the entire room was engaged in what they had to say. The chance to network over a drink before and after the presentation gives attendees the opportunity to meet people that not only have an interest in rugby, but are also looking to network and build new connections.”
“Really good service and classy venue. Always good to meet people outside your own sphere of influence. The catering was excellent and tasty, with good variety.”
“Nick Farr-Jones was and is a legend and it was just great to see him and hear his viewpoint. In terms of networking, it was great to see more ladies at the RBN.”
“The event is about value and I saw great value in listening to and learning from the speakers. Not only did they inspire new ideas, they also both justified my own thinking on many topics. I also see the Rugby Business Network as an “easy” way to bond with people. When you have played or have a passion for sport, not only is it a good conversation starter, it engenders trust which inevitably is a key ingredient when doing any form of business.”
“Entertaining, open and humorous speakers with a crowd that was there open to networking and opportunities.”
“Bill Pulver was an impressive speaker and instilled some confidence that things will be looking better at all levels in Australian rugby in the relatively near future; how near is yet to be seen.”
As an ex-provincial rugby player with New South Wales, Queensland and Natal, and a brief stint with the Wallabies and some international coaching experience, Adrian has exceptional relationship-building and networking skills, with the ability to relate to people on all levels and maintain worldwide contacts. This is evident in his ability to identify new opportunities and capitalise on them.
In recent years, Adrian has capitalised on his network with roles in travel, branding, sponsorship management and sales, and is currently the Business Development Director for Thomas International Australia.
Rob hails from Cape Town and he has worked as a Project and Business Analyst for some of the world’s leading financial, retail and e-commerce institutions, both here and in London.
Rob’s passion is sports media and he was a contributor and sports editor for The South African, appeared on radio, and penned his own column, Mind The Ruck. He was also Communications Officer for the Springbok Supporters’ Club UK. He is now the Communications and IT Consultant for The Final Whistle, a new enterprise that assists athletes with their transitions at all stages of their sporting careers.
Rob is also an avid traveller, having been to 42 countries. Rob and his wife currently reside in Melbourne.
Susan is a passionate, analytical and strategic professional who possesses a unique combination of theoretical and practical knowledge of the communications arena which has been acquired over more than three decades working in diverse international and domestic markets.
Her particular expertise lies in developing and articulating the master narrative and consumer-centric strategies, reputation and issues analysis and management, stakeholder evaluation, strategy and engagement (internal or external), marketing communications strategy and execution, and market access strategies.
Rob and his daughter, Claudia, founded an initiative called Wakeup, a foundation that teaches young people how to stay safe on a night out, focusing on violence, drugs and alcohol. Wakeup was founded after a violent assault on his son.
Rob represented the NSW Waratahs as a flanker, and following his retirement from rugby, founded McEwen Investment Services, who provide Financial Planning advisory services on the North Shore. Rob is a Certified Financial Planner and holds a Bachelor of Economics and Master of Business (Applied Finance).
Samantha is a business owner, business transition coach, mentor, trainer, author and speaker. Samantha spent 20 years working for some of the world’s biggest brands including PricewaterhouseCoopers and Qantas.
Samantha holds a Commerce degree, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and is Lean Six Sigma Black Belt accredited. Samantha is also an accredited master coach and is a member of the National Coaching Institute in Australia.
Samantha recently released her first book, Ditch The Ladder: Escape The Corporate Trap to help those transitioning from a corporate career to business ownership. Samantha has had articles published in the Business Chicks Latte magazine, Women’s Network Australia magazine and on the Australian Businesswomen’s Network website.
In her spare time, Samantha has trekked 27km for cancer research, cooked with top Sydney chefs and CEOs for the homeless, and currently mentors young entrepreneurs and chartered accounting graduates. She has also completed a marathon and jumped out of a plane!
Wayne is a leading expert in lazer-focused business strategies. He is currently a Corporate Advisor to Axstra Capital in Sydney.
A qualified journalist, he has interviewed world champion athletes, politicians, pop music legends and highly regarded international celebrities and from listening to them, he knows what it takes to achieve ultimate business success. A well-published writer (and former editor/editorial director of numerous well-respected Australian Magazines and websites), Inspirational Corporate Speaker and lover of all things business, Wayne is a business consultant with a difference.
Combine all of this with a decade of small business ownership, over two decades of business education, a sound tool box full of well-proven processes and keen relationships with a myriad of business investors and you have the complete recipe for unfathomable results.
Andrew is an Investment Adviser & Partner with Wilson HTM, a privately-owned boutique Investment Advisory firm. His role is to manage investment assets on behalf of Private Clients, and he works with a Certified Financial Planner who provides strategic and holistic financial advice to our clients.
Andrew is the President of the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove, which is the only Rotary Club in the world that regularly meets on a boat; on Sydney Harbour. The Club has 90 members. He also sits on the St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill Old Boys’ Committee.
Alison has worked internationally across the marketing and digital communications sector for more than 20 years, predominantly in the Agency arena. This has developed from the operational management of events through to the commercial strategy and communication and media engagement of marketing driven campaigns and experiences.
Working at Director level in the UK, Singapore and Australia over the past 10 years, Alison has managed a number of Agencies in the B2B space.
Gavin is a former Super Rugby player, having represented 3 South African franchises (Sharks, Lions, Bulls) between 1996 to 1999. He also represented South African Barbarians in 1993 and South Africa A in 1996.
In 1991 at the age of 21, he spent a season with the then French Rugby Champions, Begles Bordeaux, but returned to South Africa in 1992 and quickly rose up the ranks to make the Western Province Currie Cup team that year. When rugby turned professional in 1996, Gavin was offered a contract to play for the Lions, and was the team’s leading points-scorer in both the Super 12 and Currie Cup that year. Gavin was lured away in 1997 to join the Sharks and he scored an incredible 50 points (including 4 tries) on debut against the Otago Highlanders, which is still the world record for points scored by an individual in a first-class rugby match.
Gavin migrated to Australia in 2000 and since he never played full-time professional rugby, he has spent the last 23 years in Sales, Marketing and General Management roles. Gavin was the Australian VP and GM of Avnet Technology Solutions for 6 years, and he subsequently bought into an energy Management consulting firm in 2012.
Gareth currently works for the WA Public Transport Authority as a Project Manager on several IT-related projects. Before he and his family emigrated to Perth in 2014, he spent a number of years in the UK, working for both Transport for London and Crossrail on major IT transformation projects.
His rugby background began on the school playing fields of Zimbabwe as a 12-year old. Following high school, he made the transition to club rugby with Kadoma and Old Hararians. Upon arriving in the UK, it did not take him long to find kindred spirits, namely London Scottish “B” social team, based at Richmond RFC. He was elevated to captain of the team for a few seasons, but after 6 years at the club and too many aching bones, he stepped back and focused his attention on his career and family. Gareth is married with three kids, and resides in Ocean Reef in the Northern Suburbs of Perth.
‘Todd is the Head of Sales – Commercial for the ARU. He is responsible for driving revenue for rugby and investment into the game through developing new brand partners across the Qantas Wallabies, the Super Rugby Competition, Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams and events, Buildcorp NRC, ARU Pathways & Participation.
Prior to the ARU, Todd has a background in sales and marketing as the National Sport Sales Manager at Network Ten, Sales Manager at Nine Live and Client Manager at subnine & International Quarterback.
Matthew is a Partner at TressCox Lawyers.
Matthew has practised in Corporate and Commercial Law for over 10 years and has worked on a diverse range of matters in his fields of expertise. Matthew’s primary areas of focus are his outsourced legal counsel practice and private client practice. In his outsourced legal counsel practice, Matthew acts as in-house counsel for SMEs that have a small internal legal team or no internal legal team. In his private client practice, Matthew provides a range of services to individuals and families, including estate, wealth and business succession planning; trusts; superannuation; conveyancing; employment law and general legal advice. Matthew’s clients include a range of small- and medium-sized companies, high net wealth individuals and families, businesses, directors and officers, trusts, professional associations and medical colleges.
Matthew is a Director of Disability Services Australia Limited, a Director of the Rotary Club of Sydney Cove, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), a director and company secretary of a number of private companies and a member of the Appeals Panel of the New South Wales Suburban Rugby Union Judiciary.
Fran is the Head of Sales and Marketing in Australasia and the Middle East for Paramount 21 Ltd, an independent company trading since 1988 that manufactures premium frozen seafood and vegetarian products.
Fran is also the President of the Seniors and Juniors at the Power House Rugby Union.
Having emigrated from the UK in 2007, Tom works in digital marketing and has done so for the last 10 years. He is also the co-founder of group betting company PuntClub.com based in Adelaide. Before moving to Australia, he worked in the UK for 365Digital Media and Sky Sports, running online marketing sponsorships and campaigns for the likes of Rolex, Nike and Budweiser.
He is in early rugby retirement after playing rugby for South Australia, Old Collegians, London Cornish and Northern RFC back in the UK. Recently, he has even taken up underwater rugby to try to keep playing some form of the sport. When he can, he also moonlights between coaching and refereeing at his local rugby club.