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Canberra Raiders re-invigorate Leadership and Culture

The Canberra Raiders have embarked on a new Leadership and culture approach for season 2024 and beyond. The time is right for a change of approach to our Leadership structure/processes, the Club is losing a significant number of experienced players over the next 12 months, and the Club has deemed this as a good opportunity to reinvigorate our Leadership approach as we transition to a new era.

The Club would like to acknowledge the work of Chris Horsley who previously managed our Leadership and Culture, Chris was instrumental in establishing our current Leadership structure and although he faced some challenges over the last 6 years he certainly left us with a strong framework to take our Leadership and Culture to the next level.

The Club has extensively reviewed how we have managed our Leadership and Culture in the past and embarked on an extensive consultation process to implement a new structure and new resources to manage this important aspect of our Club moving forward. The consultation process involved meeting with many other Elite sporting codes, including Cricket Australia, AFL Clubs & Rugby Union, as well as several Leadership Consultants.

There were three stages to the implementation: an environmental scan of our current arrangements, intensive leadership workshops and identification of our operating rhythm.

The new structure will involve more intensive support to be placed around our Leadership and culture, including the appointment of Leadership Manager and Facilitator. The Leadership Manager and Facilitator will oversee with direction from the Head Coach. They will be empowered to identify/develop/maintain our Leadership Group. The Leadership Group will be responsible for these main areas:

  • Creating a high-performance Leadership approach/strategy.
  • Identification and development of Emerging Leaders;
  • Club Values and Standards
  • Football Operations and Community Engagement

As a result of the process the Club has now appointed Raider #211, Alan Tongue as Leadership Manager. Alan played 220 games, relocated to the Club from Tamworth, was Club Captain for 96 games and won a Meninga Medal in 2006. He was an inspirational Leader and is a well-respected past player.

“It is an honour to be given the opportunity to help the next generation of Canberra Raiders players to create the best environment on the field and off the field to succeed and importantly give back to our community. First step for me is to get back into the club and get to know the playing group and coaching staff on a deeper level and help build on the great work that has been done in the past and look at ways we can improve”.

As Leadership Facilitator the Club has appointed Louise Dobson OAM OLY, Louise is a Dual Hockey Olympian: in 1996 and 2004, Olympic Gold Medalist 1996 and played 230 International Caps for Australian Women's National Team.

Louise made the following comments: "The big driver for me in this role is the passion I have for supporting the athletes in their development as a key member to the Raiders around leadership and embedding the culture and standards we want to live by/be known for. Every one of these athletes is unique and has their own story, now it is about this group collectively writing their own chapter in the history of this incredible club the Canberra Raiders."

Alan also said, “I am excited to work alongside Lou and draw from the experiences in professional sport she has had to help inspire the next crop of leaders at the club”.

Head Coach Ricky Stuart commented: "Alan and Louise have an enormous amount of experience in this area given their own sporting achievements. My priority is assisting in challenging our players to go to another level of our Values and Standards as a Raider. We have a young squad who are in the early stages of their NRL careers. We need to bring forward/fastrack their potential. We have an enormous opportunity and a heap of hard work ahead of us, a challenge we are looking forward to."

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.