CEO - Tom Burbidge
Tom Burbidge has been the Manager of the VAL since June 2013. Tom has qualifications in event management and his previous experience includes a diverse collection of work in events ranging from international concerts (Def Leopard, Matchbox20), charity events (Relay 4 Life), award galas, conferences and multiple sporting events. His event management history has had a large focus on operational imperatives, increasing attendance & participation and consumer satisfaction.
Tom re-established the Albury-Wodonga Gift in 2012 after its 60 year absence and the Geelong Gift in 2014 after many years in recess. Both Gifts won Meeting of the Year in their first year on the VAL fixture and have provided over $185,000 in prize money since 2012.
His extensive background in athletics includes competition at club, state and national level as well as several years competing on the professional circuit. He won 2 Open State Titles (ACT) over 200m (2009 & 2010) and won the Stawell Gift in 2010. Tom has numerous other wins including the Temora Gift (2009), Sydney Track Classic 300m (2009) and the Burramine Backmarkers (2009).
President - Matt McDonough
Matthew has over 20 years’ experience in athletics as a runner, trainer and administrator. A two time VRTA Athlete of the year, amongst his wins are the Stawell Herb Hedeman 1600m and Stawell 3200m. Matthew is also a former elite triathlete having won the Australia Duathlon Championship in 2005 and 2008.
Matthew is a Certified Practising Accountant and Fellow of the Association for Tertiary Education Management. He is currently Faculty General Manager at Deakin University having previously held senior financial roles in the public and private sector. Matthew brings a strong background in corporate governance, accounting and more recently education leadership.
Vice President - Andrew McManus
Andrew McManus’ competitive running career spanned 17 years with his first run at Maryborough in 1989 and last at Stawell in 2005. He won the Stawell Gift in 1992 (finalist in 1994 & 1999), Bay Sheffield Gift in 1999 (finalist in 2003) and Botany Bay Gift in 2000 and was a member of the Australian Olympic Team in Athens in 2004 for the 4x100m Relay.
Throughout his running career he has always been interested and involved in sports administration and took an active role in the clubs he competed for. From 2005 to 2009 he was a member of the Victorian Runners & Trainers Association (VRTA) and was President from 2007 to 2009. He joined the VAL Board in 2007 and was President from 2009 to 2011. Andrew’s vision for the sport is to see its future secured through continued growth, development and organisational improvements that deliver greater benefits for athletes, trainers, clubs and local communities.
Andrew is the General Manager Managed Services for the Fred IT Group. His previous business experience includes time as GM Operations at Fred, as a HR Consultant, covering Performance Management, Organisational Development and Strategic Advice, along with other Sales and Management roles. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology. Andrew and his wife Suzie have three children, Milla, Addison and Finn.
Director - Mathew Boyes
Mathew Boyes is a chartered accountant. He is a director of his own chartered accountancy and financial planning firm in Frankston. He currently holds membership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants and SPAA. He has over 15 years’ experience in working with SME and assisting them with their business, taxation and superannuation issues. He has been involved in athletics at various levels since age of 7 and has been involved in VAL competition for over the last 20 years. He has made many finals over various distances and has won a few races over the years. His most recent win was the 2011 Maribyrnong Gift.
Director - Simon Jackson
Simon is a marketing and sales professional in the consumer goods industry. He joined the VAL board in 2019 with the goal of building awareness, trial, and participation in the sport, so professional running can flourish in the future.
Simon's running career started at age 7, and continues today into his Masters years as a self-trained athlete. Simon has won races in every distance from 70m to 300m. Major wins include the Northcote Gift (2012), Sandringham Gift (2014), Maryborough Gift (2017), and Meadowglen Gift (2018).
When away from the track, you may find Simon running after his two children or dog.
Director - Keely Henderson
Born into the world of athletics, Keely Henderson has been involved with athletics since she was 5 years old. In 2014, she competed in her first VAL competition at St Albans.
Prior to joining the VAL circuit, Keely competed in the Australian Youth Championships and has been a Victorian champion and finalist in a range of track and field events.
As a previous winner of the Ballarat Women’s Gift (2017), the Stonnington Gift (2016), and a finalist in the Women’s Stawell Gift in 2015, Keely is very familiar with the VAL circuit. She has also won Open 70m races at Wangaratta and Maryborough.
Currently, Keely is completing a double degree of Bachelor of Health Science/Applied Science (Osteopathy) at RMIT and is an advocate for Women in sport and supporting up and coming junior athletes.
Director - Tim Mason
Tim has a Masters in Risk Management and over 15 years’ experience in Risk Management and Business Continuity Management. Tim has over a decade of experience with Local and State government and sporting Association (Little Aths) on National and Major events. Tim has a thorough understanding of how Councils and Governments work in terms of processes and event management having previously worked at the City of Melbourne and Premiers Department on major events. He has organised the Parkdale Gift fsince 2018 and has bought differing aspects to normal and traditional pro
meetings which included featured Australia’s richest 800m event for women.
In addition, Tim is the founder of the ‘Spirit of Sprinting’ program that is targeted towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. He has developed key Victorian Athletic League (VAL) governance and operational documents including the VAL Risk Management Policy & Framework, event management templates and the recent
VAL CovidSafe Plan for season 2020/21.
Tim has extensive pro running involvement as an athlete and has been on the VAL board since 2018.
Director - Dominic Condello
With over 30 years experience in the building industry, I have been the Director of Moonee Ponds Plumbing and Bathrooms for the past 20 years. I am a licensed Plumber and Builder and have also completed The Diploma of Building from RMIT.
I have also been a technical regulator at the Victorian Building Authority, Taught English in Japan, and have two Children Valentino and Lucia. I have previously been a senior coach at Aberfeldie FC.
I came into the sport of athletics as a masters athlete and I am trained by Max Warlow at the Essendon Athletics Club. I hold a few state relay records and have competed for Australia at Masters level. I have previously won the Geelong Gift 100 Masters 2019, Maribrynong 300 Masters 2020, and the Castlemaine Gift 120 Masters 2020.
I hold positions on the Essendon Athletics Club and the Beachside Gift committees.
I love the sport of pro running and am a big advocate for community involvement through sport.
I am also a big advocate for men's and women's health and well being.
VRTA Representative - Kirrily Burnett
Kirrily began pro running at 18 following in her Dad’s footsteps, who ran in the 1980’s. When Kirrily is not running and crafting she is busy working in the early childhood sector as an educator in a community centre.
Kirrily values the importance of early-learning and is equally as passionate for the creative arts, literacy, language linguistics, special needs and STEM.
As well as working on the reconciliation action plan at her centre Kirrily has a strong sense of community and governance, equity and equality, and a voice for the wider community at the VAL
Stewards: Rob Lehmann (Chief Steward), Wally Meechan, Sue Anderson, Kim McDonough, Angela Phillips
Handicappers: Graeme Goldsworthy (70m-120m Open), Sean Quilty (800m+), Colin Lane (Women's 70m-120m), Darryl Nettleton (Masters), John Jones (300m-400m Open), Jonathon Rogers (300-400m Women's), Andrew McDowell (Junior & Restricted)
Photo Finish: Graeme Walker, Leah Macdonald, Andre Pereira, Perry Cohen, Rob Jones
Results: Nila Blennerhassett, Kate Blennerhassett
Starters: Ian Sibson, Rob McIntosh, Graeme Humphrey, Brendan Ferrari, Matthew Webster
Race Caller: Ollie Wurm