New Racing NSW Board Appointments Confirmed


Dr Saranne Cooke has been appointed as the new Chair of Racing NSW, the first woman to hold the position, following a public expression of interest process.

Dr Cooke has been on the board since 2015 and Deputy Chair since December 2021.

Dr Cooke has a deep understanding of board governance and extensive experience across the racing, education, sport, superannuation and not-for-profit sectors. Dr Cooke is currently the Chair of both the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern section) and the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians.

Hailing from Bathurst, Dr Cooke is well placed to support provincial racing, and understands its importance to the communities and economies of regional NSW.

Former Minister for Gaming and Racing and Sport and Recreation, the Hon Kevin Greene AM has been appointed as an ordinary member of the board. This will be the second time he has been on the board, having served between 2011 and 2018.

Mr Greene has extensive sporting board experience including as the current director on the NSW Rugby League Board, as deputy chair of Cricket NSW and the current Chair of the NSW Rugby League Referees Association.

A selection panel was appointed by the Minister for Gaming and Racing to make independent recommendations regarding applicants who met the criteria to be the Chair or an ordinary member of the Racing NSW Board.

The appointment of Dr Cooke as Chair creates a vacancy in the role of Deputy Chair. Consistent with the requirements of the Thoroughbred Racing Act 1996, the Minister has reconvened the selection panel to consider expressions of interest from the remaining Racing NSW Board members and prepare a list of recommended members for the Deputy Chair role.

Racing NSW, under this new leadership, has important work to do, including working with all stakeholders to ensure the success of racing in NSW continues.

With support of the NSW Government, Racing NSW will also continue its campaign to build on the success of the Spring Carnival in NSW and ensure The Everest is given Group 1 status.

Racing is a $3.3 billion industry in the state, with more than 90,000 people involved as employees, participants or volunteers and the flow on effects sustain more than 50,000 local jobs, either directly or indirectly.

Racing NSW is constituted by section 4 of the Thoroughbred Racing Act 1996, with its functions including the control, supervision and regulation of thoroughbred racing in the State.

The Thoroughbred Racing Act 1996 (the Act) provides for seven members of Racing NSW to be appointed by the Minister, with two of the members to be appointed as Chair and Deputy Chair.

For a list of current Board Members go to

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Gaming and Racing NSW:

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring NSW remains the leading state for thoroughbred racing and a successful Board is essential to that goal.

“I would like to thank those involved in the selection process and those who put their names forward for the roles.

“I am pleased to announce Dr Cooke as the new Chair of Racing NSW. Dr Cooke brings a wealth of experience to the Chair role, having served on the Board since 2015, including as the Deputy Chair.

“Dr Cooke is the perfect choice for the role, with the leadership skills needed to navigate the challenging economic headwinds facing the racing industry.

“Mr Greene has extensive experience in racing policy and governance at the highest level. He will make a valuable contribution to the Board.

“I look forward to the Board working together to protect and enhance this important industry that delivers jobs and opportunities for communities right across NSW.”

/Public Release. View in full here.