National Board

The Board of Directors

Christie Freeman - Chair

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

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. 

Stephanie Lyons

Qualifications & Experience

Stephanie is responsible for overseeing the investment risk processes at Rest Super. 

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Commerce (German), is a Chartered Accountant and a Graduate of Harvard Business School (General Management Program). For more information on Stephanie's experience visit her Linkedin profile HERE.

“I am passionate about equestrian sports, having competed very successfully in eventing both in Ireland and Europe until I was 18. Currently as a very active sailor, having completed two Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, I understand the planning, preparation, pressure, exhilaration and of course the importance of safety when organising or being a competitor in a high-risk sport. I firmly believe in the importance of a strong organisational culture which ultimately drives success. With a clear focus on values, being an experienced professional and a lover of sport, I can help Equestrian Australia with their transitional program to deliver excellent governance and a risk managed safe sport.” 


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
  • 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 

  • Will Flynn (Independent)
  • Ann Bonnor (Independent)
  • Emma Johnson (Independent)
  • Kaye Spence (Independent)
  • Lisa Baker (Sport Discipline Representative)

Board updates