It is with great sadness that we farewell Alliance Founding Executive Director Tony Mohr this week. After six years Tony has decided to move on, handing the baton to the next CEO to take the Alliance on the next leg of its journey.
It seems fitting that Tony leaves us on the cusp of momentous reform opportunities in NSW and the announcement of a Royal Commission in Victoria. Tony has led the Alliance through inception to oversee some incredible wins in the movement for gambling reform.
It has been a real honour to work with so many generous, passionate, and talented people and organisations. I’m grateful to the Councillors fighting to stop more machines coming into their community, volunteers signing up footy fans to pressure their club to get out of gambling, community leaders in Western Sydney coming together to speak out for reform, thousands of letters to pollies, and of course those who’ve shared their experience of gambling harm -- we’re building a powerful movement to tackle a toxic industry.
We are deeply appreciative of the vision, leadership and heart Tony brought to the role, and eternally grateful for his passion, mentorship and generosity of spirit. His impact on gambling reform in Australia will be remembered for years to come - and from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you Tony.
As one chapter ends, another begins and we also welcome two new staff to the Alliance. Rose O’Leary joins us from the Victorian Local Governance Association, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to lead our Victorian poker machine reform campaign.
I’ve worked in the gambling harm prevention space for a little over three years and I’m super excited to begin campaigning on an issue I am incredibly passionate about. It is the hundreds of stories of gambling harm I’ve heard that will drive the work I do in this role. I can’t wait to work with the Victorian community to reduce shame and stigma, see critical policy changes and continue the good fight!
We're also delighted to welcome Taya Stocks to lead our sports gambling reform work. Taya also brings an abundance of enthusiasm and campaigning expertise from her previous role with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
I deeply believe in the ability of communities to take on big campaigns and win, whether that’s to protect natural habitats, or to fight against harmful corporations like tobacco. I’ve always been passionate about putting community voices front and centre in campaigns, and I’m really motivated to work hard to provide the resources, strategy and support our communities need to end gambling ads.
We look forward to writing these next chapters together with you in 2021, and making even more progress toward the collective effort to prevent and reduce harm from gambling in Australia.