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Meet the RAST Board

Driving the future direction of RAST..

The RAST Board is made up of mix of people who bring a diverse range of skills and experience to the table. It is a blend of show related and skills-based appointments that the Board have determined are necessary to the future of the Society. At each AGM, three of the longest serving Directors will retire as per the constitution but are free to re-nominate if they choose to do so. The Board elects a President and Chair, Vice President, Company Secretary and Treasurer at its first meeting after every AGM. Custom dictates that the President will be the Chair of the Board and the RAST Council.

The RAST Board operates as you would expect a normal Board to. It oversees the operations of the Society and appoints the CEO. The Board meets monthly and comprises several sub-committees such as audit, finance and risk, the redevelopment project control group and a few others.

The RAST Council is responsible for delivering the major events and reports to the Board. 

The President would normally serve between one and three terms.

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Peter Spotswood -
RAST President

Peter Spotswood is a Tasmanian businessman. He owns and operates a building company, and has had a long association with RAST.

Peter was elected an RAST Councillor in 2011, a Board director in 2016, and Vice President in 2016. He has served as President since 2017, during a period of historic transition as the 200 year old Society embarks on a carefully planned strategy to grow sustainably into the generations ahead.

During the period of Peter’s presidency, RAST has evolved into a business model which now sees it a multi-million dollar business. It has transformed into an entity operating several profitable divisions – from Hobart’s biggest motorhome park to Australian leading excellence awards in food and wine; and is now undertaking the biggest redevelopment of its site in its 200 year history.

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Helen Geard AM –
Vice President

Helen Geard is a well-known Tasmanian farming identity, who is extensively involved within the Tasmanian community.

She grew up on a sheep property near Oatlands and has dedicated her professional life to land care and better environmental outcomes for farmers.

Helen is a former Chair of Agfest and board member of Greening Australia (Tasmania). She works with landholders and the wider community through Southern Midlands council to achieve positive environmental outcomes, and is on the Board of Volunteering Tasmania.

Helen was elected a Councillor of RAST in 2003, became a Board member in 2016, and was elected Vice President of RAST in 2017.

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Russell Cripps –
Company Secretary

Russell has been a property professional for over 40 years.

His expertise lies in commercial and rural properties, with extensive involvement in all facets of property/valuations including industrial and residential subdivisions, large scale residential and commercial developments, all types of rural holdings, and hotels and motels.

Russell has provided expert evidence on numerous occasions in both the Supreme Court and the Family Law Court.

He is Director of Valuations with property valuers Acumentis and has held the position of President of the Australian Property Institute (Tasmanian Division). Russell chairs RAST’s Redevelopment Committee and is the Company Secretary.  

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Ben Geard

Ben is a third-generation farmer, overseeing a mixed enterprise family farming business in Broadmarsh, southern Tasmania. Ben joined the RAST Board in 2022 and has been a member of the Show Council for several years prior to this.

Ben has served on the Australian Dairy Conference Board since 2014 including time on the Executive and leading the organisation as President.

Ben’s family have been involved with the RAST and the Royal Hobart Show since his father Paul began showing Tamworth Pigs and Jersey cows in 1954. Paul Geard held the position of President of the RAST for six years and Ben continues this long-standing family tradition.

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Tim Lucas

Tim is the Principal of his own property consulting advisory business. For 15 years before that he managed the property development arm for leading businessman and developer, Ali Sultan (dec).

Tim project managed new developments from inception through to completion across all sectors of property, including new hotels, office buildings, medical facilities, carparks, student housing, retail complexes, subdivisions, and median density housing developments.

Tim has also spent 10 years working with the Tasmanian Government in various property related roles, including managing and facilitating new construction investment in Tasmania.

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Tim Munro

Tim Munro is an experienced board director and manager. He spent 17 years as CEO of Hobart’s historic and famous Theatre Royal.

Other board appointments include President of the Australian Performing Arts Centres ‘Association; Executive Councillor of Live Performance Australia, and chairing the Board of the Festival of Voices.

Tim has worked on theatre productions around Australia and internationally, including the UK and Canada. He has a family background in agriculture and was a member of RAST’s beef cattle committee for many years.

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Damon Wise

Damon's career in media spans across 35 years, having worked in a variety of roles within the State of Tasmania in Production, Sales and Marketing.

He is the former GM of Southern Cross Austereo in Hobart where he spent over 30 years with the business.

Damon is a director of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce a Board member of Variety, and the Chairman of the Festival of Voices. Damon joined the RAST Board in 2022.

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Greg Melick, AO SC

Greg is a highly accomplished and well known Australian legal professional. His areas of practice include Royal Commissions and Inquiries, Corporate Law, Administrative Law, IP and IT and criminal law, amongst others.

He chairs the Board of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission and holds several concurrent positions including National President of the RSL and part-time Deputy President of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

He is a former Principal Crown Counsel, former statutory member of the National Crime Authority, and the NSW Casino Control Authority. Greg is a Major General in the ADF, and owns a 7ha vineyard in Tasmania, Pressing Matters, which has been producing premium Tasmanian wine since 2006.

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