The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today confirmed its major financial and operational achievements for 2022 at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at St Joseph’s College, Gregory Terrace in Brisbane.
Following the first uninterrupted season in more than two years, the company posted a strong financial result achieving both operating and statutory surpluses which is documented in the QRU’s 2022 Annual Report released today.
The QRU saw ongoing growth across all areas of the business and celebrated many highlights and successes both on-and-off the field during the past year, including:
- $722,459 operating profit in 2022 (excluding Government funding relating to redevelopment of Ballymore)
- Fourth straight annual operating profit
- Cleared $9 million of legacy debt from its peak in early 2016
- $2.5 million raised in philanthropic pledges by QRU Foundation
- 8.6% growth of Total Rugby participation
- 24.6% growth of Schools participation
- 19% growth of Women’s participation
- Commenced construction of $30 million National Rugby Training Centre as part of Ballymore redevelopment
- Queensland Reds secured third-straight Super Rugby finals appearance
- Secured Westpac as principal partner
QRU CEO David Hanham said: “Queensland Rugby has had another strong financial performance this year. These results showcase the commercial strength of the club as well as the unwavering support of our loyal members, commercial partners and community stakeholders across the state.
“Our committed membership base is integral to the Queensland Red’s Men and Women’s success, and we want to thank every single one of our loyal members.
“The QRU is also extremely appreciative of all our commercial partners for their continued support. Being able to both retain existing and generate new commercial partnerships is a direct reflection of the club’s strength as an organisation.
“I would also like to thank the QRU’s Board, staff, community volunteers and our Reds players and coaches for their ongoing efforts to ensure this organisation continues to thrive in the ruthless environment of elite sport.
“As we celebrate the 140-year anniversary of the QRU this year, the new National Rugby Training Centre will see Queensland Rugby embark upon on one of its most significant chapters in our proud history, and to have the continued support of our members, community clubs and sub-unions, philanthropic donors and corporate partners is incredibly important,” said Hanham.
Today’s meeting of members also saw current Paralympics CEO Catherine Clark appointed as a Board Director and former Reds Number 8 Toutai Kefu (Queensland Representative #1062) elected to the position of Vice-President.
Currently the head coach of Tonga, the Kefu family have an unbreakable and historic connection with both Australian and Queensland Rugby.
His father Fatai played for his homeland in Tonga’s 1973 Tour of Australia with two of his sons, Toutai (Wallabies Representative #741) and Steve (Wallabies Representative #772) playing for Australia.
Toutai made his Queensland debut in 1995 against Natal scoring a try with his first touch of the ball as the Reds won the Super 10 title that year. He would go on to represent his state in 103 matches as a proud Queensland centurion.
In 1997, Kefu was selected in the Wallabies squad for the Tri Nations and made his Australian debut against South Africa in Pretoria.
He starred for the Wallabies at the 1999 Rugby World Cup and in 2001 scored the match-winning try that delivered captain John Eales a win in his final Test.
In total, Kefu played 60 Tests for Australia during his seven-year international career, finishing as the most capped Wallabies Number 8 of all time.
Clark joins the QRU Board having led a distinguished sports administrative career.
She has held several CEO positions with state and national sporting organisations including Netball Queensland where during her tenure the Queensland Firebirds won two ANZ Championships and the $46 million Queensland State Netball Centre now known as Nissan Arena was built.
Clark is an accredited Australian Institute of Company Director and has served on the Boards of Hockey Queensland, Australian University Sport, Australia Commonwealth Games Association (Queensland Division) and Shooting Australia.
Today’s AGM also saw Damien Barker elected as an Honorary Life Member.
As the current convenor at Norths Rugby Club, Damien is still involved in the game after 53 years of continuous service as a player, coach and administrator as well as being instrumental in the formation of Regional Rugby pathways in Queensland.
His list of great achievements during his rich time in Rugby is as follows:
- St Joseph's College Nudgee 1st XV (1965-1966) – 1966 GPS Premiers
- Teachers-Norths Premier Grade (1968-1979) – 1976 A Grade Premiers
- 200+ Premier Grade Games
- Queensland Reds – 12 games (1972-74)
- Brisbane – 5 games (1972-74)
- Teachers-Norths Premier Grade (1976-1978) – 1976 Premiers, 1977 & 1978 Finalists
- Teachers-Norths Premier Colts (1981)
- Sunnybank Juniors (1993-2000)
- Australian Schoolboys A (1997-1998)
- St Francis College 1st XV (1998-2001)
- St Joseph's College Gregory Terrace 12Bs (2017-2019)
- Southside Schools Rugby Competition (1974-1986)
- Co-founder Queensland Secondary Schools Rugby (1987)
- Australian Schoolboy selector (1997-2000)
- Chair of Queensland Schools Rugby (1995-2018)
- Formed the Ballymore Cup competition
- Involved in the formation of SECA Sports Competition (1996-2010)
- Senior Vice-President of Australian Schools Rugby (1995-present)
- Member of the Queensland Reds Academy Planning Group
- Member of Rugby Australia's National School Strategy Committee (2016-present)
- Member of the Queensland School Sport Council/Board (2010-2018)
- Norths Rugby Foundation Committee (2016-present)
- Life Member of North Brisbane Rugby Union Club
- Life Member of Queensland Schools Rugby
- Life Member of Queensland School Sport
- Queensland Reds Volunteer of the Year Award (2012)
Barker Family Medal - annual Norths Rugby Club "best and fairest" award named in recognition of combined family service
Damien’s nomination to the QRU for consideration for Honorary Life Membership was received from Norths Rugby Union Club President Kieran Prideaux and seconded by Brothers Rugby Club President David Hine, as well as Sunnybank Rugby Union Club Senior President Andrew Staff.
Meanwhile, Roger Gould was re-elected as QRU President, with Libby Nankivell re-elected as one-of-two Vice-Presidents alongside Kefu and Boyd Curran re-elected as a Director.