The composition of the Collingwood board for 2022 was confirmed tonight at the club’s 2021 Annual General Meeting.

The outcome of a recent contested board election was declared, with Christine Holgate returned and three new directors – Jeff Browne, Barry Carp and Renee Roberts – elected.

The four join existing directors Jodie Sizer, Paul Licuria and Mark Korda on the Collingwood board for 2022.

The board of seven plans to meet tomorrow to elect Collingwood’s 14th president and vice-presidents.

Korda, the out-going president, advised the board several months ago that with his term expiring at the end of 2022 he will not be a candidate.

“I thank all of the candidates who contested the election hoping to make a contribution to Collingwood at board level. It is heartening to be reminded of that deep passion for our club,” Korda said.

“I congratulate the successful candidates and, on behalf of the returning directors and our members, look forward to working with them in 2022.

“I also want to pay tribute to retiring directors Peter Murphy and Neil Wilson.

“Peter was an agent of change, someone who helped to modernise Collingwood be it through the Collingwood Foundation, as interim chief executive or as a director. Few achieved as much in their time as Peter did.

“Neil was unfortunately with us for only a short time but the expertise for which he was identified served the board well during this year.

“On behalf of our athletes, members and staff I thank and wish them all well.”

The meeting also saw life membership bestowed upon two outstanding and long serving members of staff, Tracey O’Connor and Rohan Bownds.

O’Connor has worked for Collingwood for 23 years, firstly as executive assistant to chief executives John May, Greg Swan and Eugene Arocca and, since 2007, as the executive assistant to the GM of Football.

‘Trace’ has been the matriarch of the AFL football department, support to GM’s Neil Balme, Geoff Walsh, Rodney Eade and Graham Wright and one of the most knowledgeable and capable women in football.

Sadly, O’Connor is leaving Collingwood to take up a new position in another field.

Bownds served Collingwood for 34 years until his recent retirement. He may be the only person directly connected as an employee to the two premierships Collingwood has won in the last 31 years.

He started as a volunteer, part-time trainer in 1987 and became head trainer in 2000 with the arrival of Michael Malthouse as coach. He succeeded John Wassell, who had held the head trainer position for 31 years, meaning Collingwood has had only two head trainers in the last 53 seasons.

Apart from his responsibility for the day-to-day oversight of the changeroom and training staff, ‘Ro’ was a mentor to generations of players who sought out his counsel and personal support. It was common for players to dine at the Bownds family home.

His connection to Collingwood is also blood thick. He met his wife Adriana through the club – her sister was working at Collingwood at the time – and their daughter Tahlia now works at the club.

“Life membership is Collingwood’s highest honour and Tracey and Rohan are undoubtedly worthy recipients,” Korda said.

“Collingwood has been made by many, by people who have helped in so many different ways to build our club. With 57 years of service to Collingwood between them, it is wonderful to be acknowledging their contributions.

“All of Collingwood thanks Tracey and Rohan tonight.”

Special services awards were also presented to Perry Fletcher and Joey Borensztajn.

Fletcher has been an honorary Woodsman for his long service as a fundraiser to Collingwood through his engraving and creation of awards and collectibles.

Borensztajn, a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, has been a significant contributor to Collingwood’s philanthropic mission.

Borensztajn helped establish the CFC Foundation in 2010 and has been member of the foundation board since, with his expertise critical to the creation of the Collingwood Community Centre at Victoria Park, the Magpie Nest homelessness project and many other significant community initiatives.

Life Membership

Rohan Bownds
Tracey O’Connor

Special Services Award

Perry Fletcher
Joey Borensztajn