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The Canberra Raiders have announced today, women’s rugby league pioneer Katrina Fanning has been appointed to the Canberra Raiders Board of Directors.

A proud Wiradjuri woman, Ms Fanning paved the way for all women wanting to play rugby league, playing in the inaugural Jillaroos test in 1995 and making a total 24 appearances for Australia.

Ms Fanning has extensive board experience and is the current Chairperson for the Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council. Her professional experience also includes working in senior management roles, specialising in Indigenous affairs and Government relations.

Ms Fanning said she is excited about the prospect of joining the Raiders board to firstly learn the direction of the club and then assist in achieving the goals they have set.

“The Raiders have had a very stable and very well-run Board for a long period of time, so I need to come on board and understand the direction that has already been set and try and compliment that,” Ms Fanning said. “I think having a look at those growth areas such as women’s rugby league and Indigenous rugby league and the networks I have in those areas can help us grow the game in the region.”

Ms Fanning joins existing board members Yvonne Gillett and Bronwyn Fagan as the third female board member of the club but says it’s not just about having a set number of women on the board, its about ensuring the board is skilled in helping to achieve club outcomes.

“I think having diversity on the board means we leave no stone unturned, but one of the attractions of the Raiders board is that diversity is also about having skills and talent at the table,” Ms Fanning said. “It’s not about achieving a number its about having the faces around the table that can help us achieve our goals.”

New Canberra Raiders Director Katrina Fanning with current Chairman Dr Allan Hawke and former Chairman and Club Patron John McIntyre
New Canberra Raiders Director Katrina Fanning with current Chairman Dr Allan Hawke and former Chairman and Club Patron John McIntyre

“I can complement that, but I know there’s plenty of existing talent on the board I can learn from as well.”

Raiders Chairman, Dr Allan Hawke, said the appointment of Ms Fanning to the Canberra Raiders Board was a huge coup for the club, with experience in both her professional and rugby league careers a valuable addition to the club board.

“The Board’s Review of the 2018 season in November last year included a discussion about Board renewal which led to long-serving Board Member John Mackay’s gracious offer to step down as he announced recently,” Dr Hawke said. “The CEO and I have been considering this matter for some time, leading to Katrina Fanning’s attendance and presentation to the Board last Friday.

“I and the Board are very pleased that Katrina is joining us and look forward to her further contribution to rugby league - where she already has a distinguished record of delivery in our region and nationally.”

Katrina Fanning


· ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body (Chairperson)

· Australian Rugby League Indigenous Council (Chairperson)

· Australia and New Zealand Indigenous Women in Business Leadership Network (Board Member)

· Director Coolamon Advisors

· Canberra Raiders (Board Director)


· General Manager – Strategy, Innovation and people, Aboriginal Hostels Ltd

· General Manager Operations – Aboriginal Hostels Ltd

· Project Manager – Indigenous Programs and relationships, Community services directorate, ACT Government


· 2017 ACT Finalist – Australian of the Year

· 2015 Public Service Medal for outstanding contribution in Indigenous Affairs

· 2014 Canberra Woman of the Year

· 2014 ACT NAIDOC Person of the Year

· Founder of the Indigenous Showcase at the National Multicultural Festival

· 26 test matches for Australia in Women’s Rugby League – Jillaroo number 6

· Captain of ACT, Country NSW and NSW women’s rugby League teams

· Former President of Canberra and Australian Women’s Rugby League Associations

· Manager of Indigenous Women’s All Stars NRL team

Acknowledgement of Country

Canberra Raiders respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.