RLPA Board

Deidre Anderson

Chair

In 2019, Deidre became the first female Chair in the history of the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) following the

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Deidre Anderson

Chair

In 2019, Deidre became the first female Chair in the history of the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) following the resignation of Russell Adams.

Dreidre first joined the RLPA Board of Directors in 2016.

The former Deputy Vice Chancellor at Macquarie University has a wealth of experience across a range of relevant areas including governance, sport, wellbeing and education..

Previously, Deidre has held senior roles within the private sector and Federal and Local government and has held Executive positions both at international and national level within elite sports. She has been acknowledged worldwide for her contribution to elite athletes, and has a lifelong commitment to supporting the development of young people.

She has been a recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow for her contribution to international relations, a recipient of the Princeton International Business Leaders award, recipient of the Eunice Gill Coach Education award, an honorary member of the Golden Keys International Honour Society and a Justice of the Peace. She is the co-author of a number of books and has published extensively in the areas of athlete transition. Deidre holds a Masters, Post Graduate Degrees and Bachelor of Arts and is currently completing her PhD at Macquarie University.

Ian Prendergast

CEO & Managing Director

Ian Prendergast joined the RLPA as Chief Executive Officer in December 2015 from the AFL Players Association, where he had

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Ian Prendergast

CEO & Managing Director

Ian Prendergast joined the RLPA as Chief Executive Officer in December 2015 from the AFL Players Association, where he had been the General Manager of Player Relations since 2009.

Ian completed his law degree at Monash University while playing 65 AFL games over eight years for the Carlton Football Club.

He is also a past General Secretary of the Australian Athletes Alliance, where he gained a broad understanding of the issues facing Rugby League Players.

Ian led the RLPA through the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with the NRL, which secured a significant number of improved benefits for Rugby League Players over the next five years.

As well as his role of CEO, Ian is also the Managing Director on the RLPA Board.

Wade Graham

Director

Wade was appointed to the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) Board of Directors in May 2019, emerging from the Player

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Wade Graham

Director

Wade was appointed to the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) Board of Directors in May 2019, emerging from the Player Advisory Group and Delegate pathways.

Currently the co-captain of the Cronulla Sharks, Wade has played over 220 NRL games since making his debut in 2008 and represented Australia, New South Wales, City Origin and the Indigenous All Stars.

Wade was a member of the premiership-winning Cronulla side in 2016 and was a member of the victorious World Cup winning Australian side in 2017.

Off the field, Wade has completed a Certificate IV in Fitness and a Certificate IV in Frontline Management.

At the time of his appointment to the RLPA Board of Directors, the former Penrith Panther said: “This is a great opportunity for me to be at the forefront of representing players, while also ensuring our partnership with the game continues to develop."

“Personally, I see this as a wonderful opportunity to take the next step in my development as a leader in the game and ensure that I continue to advance my skillset off the field.”

Jeremy Latimore

Director

Jeremy Latimore has played over 130 NRL games across five NRL Clubs, with the forward returning to the St George

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Jeremy Latimore

Director

Jeremy Latimore has played over 130 NRL games across five NRL Clubs, with the forward returning to the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2018.

Jeremy began his NRL career in 2009 with the Parramatta Eels, moving to the New Zealand Warriors, Dragons, Penrith Panthers and Cronulla Sharks in the time since.

The Port Macquarie Sharks junior made his representative debut in 2015 with the Prime Minister's XIII side.

In 2016, Jeremy completed his Bachelor of Business degree and is a strong advocate for player education and personal development.

Pippa Leary

Director

Following on from her appointment to the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) Advisory Board in 2016, Pippa was officially appointed

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Pippa Leary

Director

Following on from her appointment to the Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) Advisory Board in 2016, Pippa was officially appointed an RLPA Director in May 2019.

Pippa is the Commercial Director of Digital Sales for the Nine Network and has a wealth of experience in the digital media industry, including previous senior executive roles at Fairfax Media and as the CEO of Fairfax-Nine programmatic exchange APEX.

Pippa also has previous experience serving as a director with companies such as Solstice Media and Equip Super.

At the time of her appointment to the RLPA Board of Directors, Leary said: “Issues of player well-being, transition to retirement and cultural change have long been of interest to me during my time on the RLPA Advisory Board."

“I hope that during my tenure on the RLPA Board I will be able to contribute further value to these discussions.

“I am also looking forward to taking a more active role in helping the RLPA and NRL create their joint commercial strategy, especially as it navigates a digital future.

“Past experience on the boards of financial institutions and media companies will also allow me to bring knowledge and guidance regarding governance and strategy formulation, as well as commercial operations insight to the RLPA Board.”

James Maloney

Director

James Maloney joins the Penrith Panthers in 2018 after a successful stint with the Cronulla Sharks, where he helped guide

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James Maloney

Director

James Maloney joins the Penrith Panthers in 2018 after a successful stint with the Cronulla Sharks, where he helped guide the Club to their maiden premiership in 2016.

Prior to his time with the Sharks, James played for the Sydney Roosters, New Zealand Warriors and Melbourne Storm.

James was part of the premiership-winning Sydney Roosters side in 2013 and was runner-up with the New Zealand Warriors in 2011.

A sharp-shooting goal-kicker, James reached the significant milestone of 200 NRL games in 2017, whilst also being part of the World Cup winning Kangaroos squad.

The St Edwards junior has represented Australia, New South Wales, Country Origin and the Prime Minister’s XIII.

Nimesh Shah

Director

Nimesh is CFO and Company Secretary at Isentia and has more than 15 years experience as an executive in the

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Nimesh Shah

Director

Nimesh is CFO and Company Secretary at Isentia and has more than 15 years experience as an executive in the media and internet sectors across Australia, the UK and Asia.

Nimesh was global CFO for pioneering social networking site Friendster and Finance Director at Fairfax Digital for seven years playing an instrumental role in navigating the company into the world of online publishing and transaction business.

He was appointed an RLPA Director in March 2017 after spending time on the Advisory Board previously.

Joel Thompson

Director

Joel was officially elected as an RLPA Director at the 2018 AGM after spending a short time prior as a

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Joel Thompson

Director

Joel was officially elected as an RLPA Director at the 2018 AGM after spending a short time prior as a casual vacancy on the Board.

Closing in on 200 NRL appearances, Joel made his NRL debut for the Canberra Raiders in 2008, before joining St George Illawarra ahead of the 2014 season.

After three seasons with the Dragons, the Forbes Magpies junior made the off-season move to Manly-Warringah, signing a two-year deal starting in 2018.

An Indigenous All Stars Representative on six occasions, Joel does a tremendous amount of community work and was part of the NRL's State of Mind program in 2017.

Cameron Smith

General President

Cameron was appointed General President of the RLPA at the 2017 AGM, taking over from Clint Newton who moved into

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Cameron Smith

General President

Cameron was appointed General President of the RLPA at the 2017 AGM, taking over from Clint Newton who moved into the role of General Manager of Player Relations.

A recognised leader both on and off the field, Cameron is the captain of Australia, Queensland and the Melbourne Storm.

In 2017, Cameron broke a number of long-standing records in yet another stellar season, perhaps most notably surpassing Darren Lockyer of 355 games as the most-capped NRL player in history.

Cameron resigned from his role as an RLPA Director at the 2018 AGM, however will continue as General President of the Association and be involved at board level. He is passionate about the game and believes it will grow and prosper if the Playing Group is engaged in decisions that affect Rugby League at all levels.