Our Team

Our Board Members

Heather Disher

Heather has many years experience as a Vice President, Business Leader, Director, Consultant and Advisory for start-ups, SME’s and Corporates by creating sustainable operations, superior customer communication and high growth.  With previous experience as a Director/Board and Committee Member Heather brings global expertise within the areas of Governance, Operational Development, Communication, Digital Transformation, Strategic Development and Growth. 

Growing up Heather and her sisters where members of the Beveridge Pony Club, she remembers the joy of riding to events, the bond of horse and rider and being a part of a community that encourages education and teamwork.  Heather looks forward to  continuing a focus of participation, education and awareness along with increasing the profile of PCA and equestrian sports. 

Mark Trayling

Mark has been involved in business development, marketing and finance over many years in India, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. He's passionate about education and animals, and joins Pony Club Australia with the aim to encourage more people to form connections with animals through pony riding. He has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Economics from University College London (UCL), a Master of Business Law and an MBA from the Ivy League institute Columbia University, and is a Chartered Marketer (Chartered Institute of Marketing) and Senior Associate of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. Mark is also a member of the Royal Western India Turf Club and first connected with horses at the stud farm of a dear family friend .

 

Sonia Murphy

Sonia has been involved with Pony Club for the last 37 years and was a riding member at Hastings Pony Club from 9 - 21yrs, representing Hastings Pony Club and Southern Metro Zone at Zone and State level. Sonia is a long term Pony Club coach and active member of the DCI/ZA panel. Sonia is now Zone Examining secretary for Southern Metro Zone. Outside of Pony Club Sonia manages a logistics business. Sonia was elected to the board in 2017 and is currently Secretary of Pony Club Australia.

Michelle Harper, Chair

Michelle has been involved in Pony Club as a rider, instructor, parent, grandparent and committee member since the 1970s.  Michelle held various committee roles and was the host family for the Japanese team in the 2003 Inter-Pacifics.  Michelle became the President at Yarra Glen Pony Club in Victoria and the grounds burnt down 3 days later in the Black Saturday bushfire with 75% of its membership directly affected by that disaster.  She spent a very rewarding 3 years making grant applications and, along with the committee, rebuilding the club.     Michelle believes that Pony Club cultivates such positive attributes, including determination and resilience, in young people.  Michelle brings a professional background in law to development of good governance as a key factor in enabling Pony Club to secure a bright future. Michelle was re-elected to the board in 2018 and is currently Chair of Pony Club Australia.

Mark Bradley

Mark has many years’ experience at CEO and senior Executive/General Manager level within the corporate world including with Allianz Australia Limited and Wesfarmers Limited and their respective subsidiaries. Mark has tertiary qualifications in Law, Financial Services (General Insurance),  Workplace Training and Assessment, and Strategic Management.

Mark has held a variety of Non-Executive and Executive Director and other advisory Board and Committee positions; together with carrying out ASIC and APRA Responsible Manager roles, bringing highly relevant experience in contemporary legal, regulatory and corporate governance issues to PCA.

Mark is a member of Tall Timbers Pony Club in NSW and an active Pony Club parent. He was elected to the board in May 2018.

Juliet Skinner

Juliet has been actively involved in Pony Club in Australia since 2009, when she and her daughter joined Mareeba Pony Club, in Far North Queensland. However, her experience with Pony Club started as a child in the UK, where she competed in various disciplines and taught at her family’s riding school.   She has attended 5 Queensland State championships with her daughter and the 2017 National Championships in Toowoomba. Juliet has a particular interest in promoting the less well-known disciplines and advocating for smaller clubs and their members in rural areas. Juliet trained as a doctor at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and has practiced as a rural and remote GP in Queensland for over 20 years. Her experience includes working as an outreach women’s health GP with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Indigenous health and family medicine as well as numerous voluntary duties at equestrian and other events.  Juliet joined the board in 2017.

Andrew McLean

Dr Andrew McLean is recognised across the world for his work on equine behaviour. Andrew holds a PhD in equine cognition and learning, has been an accredited horse riding coach for over 30 years and has written 5 books (including an International Best Seller) and authored 35 peer-reviewed journal articles. Andrew is a past winner of the Eureka Prize, which is the highest science award in Australia. As a rider Andrew is a past winner of the Gawler 3-day event, has competed nationally in showjumping and held a racehorse owner-trainer’s license.  He established and is currently the director of the Australian Equine Behaviour Centre. He is in great demand and delivers lectures and workshops across the world on the optimal use of learning theory for improved performance and improved welfare of the trained horse.  Andrew was appointed to the board in 2016 and re-appointed in 2018.

 

 

Marylou Hodges

Marylou has been involved in Pony Club since 1967 and is a member of the Holbrook Pony Club in NSW. Marylou has held Secretarial and Presidential roles at both club and zone levels, as well as two terms as the Zone Chief Instructor. She has level one NCAS coach accreditation and mentors and assesses coaches in southern NSW. 

Marylou has extensive experience in the agricultural field, having worked for many years for the International Agricultural Exchange Association. Marylou has a degree in Social Welfare, diplomas in Community Services and Case Management and Cert IV in Business and Administration. She currently works as an Equine Specialist with Equine Assisted Psychotherapy at Willow Creek, EAP using the power of the horse to assist young people with lifestyle issues, mental health, anger management, addiction and bullying. Marylou was elected to the board in May 2018.

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