National Board

The Board of Directors

Christie Freeman - Chair

Christie Freeman - EA Director

Qualifications & Experience

Christie has a corporate background that includes experience in change management, Six Sigma process improvement, marketing and general management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as Graduate Diplomas in Management and Psychology.  She understands our sport from participating as a volunteer, administrator, breeder and competitor and has also recently been the chair of Equestrian Victoria.  Currently, she is a show-jumping competitor with her homebred mare Quevida, though she started out in eventing. 


Zac Miles

Zac Miles - Equestrian Director Qualifications & Experience

Zac has had extensive experience in governance roles, particularly in membership- based organisations and elected bodies. Zac has been around horses since he was young, having been a competitive showjumper until an accident at the EKKA cut his career short. He continues to be involved in horse care and training, as well as helping to manage equestrian facilities and apparel company EMCEE.

Zac is currently serving as Mayor of Hunters Hill and as the Senior Investment Manager of an Australian Financial Services Licence holding property debt fund (WholeCap). He brings a deep understanding of Equestrian Sports and a focus on good governance- improving both the administration and the growth of Equestrian Sports in Australia.

Lucy Galovicova

Qualifications & Experience

Lucy is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over 10 years of experience in public practice, litigation and forensic accounting. 

With extensive experience in the sport of equestrian Lucy is well positioned to leverage her unique skillset to lead EA through the next stage of reform. 

Jane Ballantyne

  Qualifications & Experience

Jane is a Business Executive and Sports Administrator with over 20 years of leadership, management and private consulting experience with leading brands and organisations, specialising in customer led growth.

Jane has held senior marketing, communications and commercial positions with Racing Victoria, Australian Grand Prix Corporation, the Australian Football League, Nike and News Corporation.

Jane grew up in South-West Victoria, attended Portland Pony Club and competed extensively across show riding and eventing. 

Tim Palmer

Qualifications & Experience

Tim has had over 25 years in the corporate world with NAB, Macquarie, & Westpac leading technology, regulatory, and risk management operations with extensive experience delivering finance and technology programs, and regulatory interaction with APRA.  He also has a 40+ year history in livestock management, horse welfare, sports participation & administration across rugby, baseball, and eventing.

Tim has a Bachelor of IT, MBA (Finance), and a post graduate in Applied Finance (Statistics).  Tim spent two years working on scoring and logistics in preparation for the Sydney Olympics, and has written the software and administered the scoring for the NSW Equestrian Championships in the 1990s.

Tim has a strong connection to the equine industry coming from a family farming background which had over 6,000 sheep and 1,400 breeding cows where all stockwork was done on horseback.  Tim’s wife has competed in state and national championships in eventing and dressage, and continues to participate in the industry.


Chris Bennecke

  Qualifications & Experience

Chris has a corporate background in interim management, governance, risk management, internal audit, and corporate finance. His qualifications include Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) and Certification in Risk Management Assurance.

He currently holds directorships in a manufacturing and retailing company and a not-for-profit organisation.

Chris’ main focus is on organisational strategy, assessment of risks and opportunities, robustness of policies, and financial management.

His passion for the equestrian world is based on a 20 year competitive and successful career in Germany, where he grew up (including 5 years in Lower Saxony's squad for show jumping).

Chris is a strong advocate of 'clean and fair sports', promoting the health and safety of every creature in any sport.


Rhett Oliver

  Qualifications & Experience

Rhett brings to the Board a wealth of experience in equestrian sports through 30 years as a showjumping competitor and breeder.  Rhett lives in Victoria and continues to compete in showjumping.   Rhett's wife is a competitive dressage rider and coach, and his three young boys are also beginning to show interest in the horses.

Outside of the sport Rhett is the National Head of Property and Development at law firm Colin, Biggers & Paisley.  With over 20 years' experience advising some of Australia's largest private and corporate property developers on all aspects of their operations, Rhett brings to the Board a sharp commercial lens and business perspective combined with a deep understanding of risk. 

Board Sub-Committees

High Performance Committee (HPC)

  • Stephen Porter  - Independent Chair
  • Will Enzinger - HP Director
  • Nigel Nichols  - Independent Member
  • Hamish Cargill - Independent Member
  • Darren Gocher - EA CEO

Finance, Risk and Audit Committee (FRAC)

  • Stephanie Lyons – EA Board Director Chair
  • Zac Miles – EA Board Director
  • Elizabeth Owens - EA Board Director
  • Rachael Phelan  - Independent Member
  • Marc Lopez  - Independent Member
  • David Mandel - Independent Member
  • Darren Gocher - EA CEO

Fees and Levies Committee (F&LC)

  • David Mandel - Independent Chair
  • Zac Miles – EA Board Director
  • Stephanie Lyons – EA Board Director
  • Geoff Edwards - State Representative
  • Veronica Steward - State Representative
  • Mark Lopez - Independent Member
  • Darren Gocher  - EA CEO

Health, Safety and Welfare Committee (HSWC)

  • George Proimos – Chair
  • Christie Freeman - EA Board Chair
  • Lucy Galovicova – EA Board Director
  • Stephanie Lyons – EA Board Director
  • Belinda Bailey – Member
  • Roger Kane – Member
  • Linda Lewis – Member
  • Dr Kirsten Neil – Member (EA Head Veterinarian)
  • Dr Tess Goodwin – Chief Medical Officer (CMO)

Integrity Committee 

  • Tim Palmer (Chair and Board Representative)
  • Will Flynn (Independent)
  • Ann Bonnor (Independent)
  • Emma Johnson (Independent)
  • Kaye Spence (Independent)
  • Lisa Baker (Sport Discipline Representative)

Board updates