When Jodie Faralla was recently appointed manager of the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club she felt like she was “coming home.”
For Jodie (pictured above), the appointment in August this year, brought back a flood of childhood memories.
Some of her earliest childhood “fun times” were spent at the Ballarat track where her father, Ron Hood, was Secretary/Manager from 1978 to 1990.
However, since her early days at Ballarat her life has taken many twists and turns.
But she has fond memories of being around the club as a teenager then moving to roles in the office, which included “phoning race results to AAP” – the national news service provider.
She then had roles in administration and the on-course tote while all the time working as a penciller with some of Victoria’s “big name” bookmakers. Her work with the bookies took her across the state covering gallops, harness and greyhound events.
Jodie’s entire working life has revolved around racing. After leaving school and Ballarat she moved to Melbourne and took on a position at Tabcorp where she had numerous roles including race-day operations manager, a position which controls all betting.
Then for the past 15 years she has been at the coalface of the industry as a small business operator running a number of TAB betting outlets, most recently at Campbellfield and Belmont in Geelong.
“My vision for the club is ‘Ballarat greyhounds – where people love to work, race and participate’”
All of that experience holds her in good stead for her current position as one of only two women managing Victoria’s 13 greyhound racing clubs – the other being Healesville manager, Cynthia O’Brien, who this year won the GRV Board Leadership Award at the Victorian Greyhound Awards.
As Jodie faces the challenges of her new role, a club that has recently emerged from administration and facing on-going COVID constraints, her first objective is engagement and participation.
“My vision for the club is ‘Ballarat greyhounds – where people love to work, race and participate’,” Jodie said.
“There has been a level of disconnect between the club and some of the traditional supporters. One of the great things about greyhound racing is that people, including several members of my family, have dedicated their whole lives to it – they are invested in the place and now second and third generations of families are coming along.
“I see it as my role to bring my team of staff, the Committee and the club members closer together and for everyone to be working towards what is really important, the on-going success of the club.”
Jodie wants to invite the people of Ballarat to get involved, enjoy the racing and develop a whole new community of greyhound supporters
More importantly, Jodie’s most immediate objective is improvements to infrastructure. With the club’s “fantastic” facilities for patrons already in place, it’s time to upgrade the original kennelling facilities and carparking to 21st century industry standards.
NOTE: Jodie’s stepmother, Marg Long was inducted into GRV’s Hall of Fame for her outstanding contribution as a club administrator at Traralgon, Geelong, Olympic Park and The Meadows. Read more
Jodie Faralla in the office at the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club.
*This article was written by Tony Homfray
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