Jump by WRC Judge Kate McLaren-Ryan
Kate Ryan

Kate has been a proud member of the Warrnambool Racing Club (WRC) Committee since 2018 and in 2021 was elected as the Deputy Chairperson. During these years the Committee has developed and executed a sales and marketing plan to compliment the overarching WRC Strategic Plan.

Kate has over 20 years’ experience in sales and marketing and is passionate about representing the Warrnambool Racing Club’s member base and fostering community engagement. We have a unique offering in Warrnambool with a strong racing industry located on the beautiful coastline of Victoria; with the rich tradition of the May Race Carnival and jumps affiliation.

The Warrnambool Racing Club has been a part of the South West community since 1848, providing a place to gather and enjoy racing and entertainment. Recent developments; including the Matilda Room upgrade and the Jericho Cup has open our doors to new members and visitors to our region.

The Charity Partner Initiative is a wonderful way for the Warrnambool Racing Club, its members and participants to give back to the community that we operate within. The program has provided an amazing opportunity to partner with a range of organisations which are having a strong impact in supporting our community.

Seeing the tangible impact of financial grants which charity partners have received, and the opportunity to support community group messages and networking during race club events has been a highlight of the Charity Partner Initiative.

Jump by WRC Judge Laurisa Walther
Laurisa Walther

Laurisa has been a committee member of the Warrnambool Racing Club since 2019. Having graduated from Deakin University, Laurisa has worked as an Accountant at Sinclair Wilson for the past 22 years and was recently name a partner in the firm. Together with husband Brandt, Laurisa has three children who are all keenly involved in Netball, Football and Pony Club.

The WRC is committed to engaging with its community and in 2020 launched the Charity Partner Initiative to provide cash financial grants to local organisations in need of support. As a member of the Warrnambool Racing Club, Laurisa was involved with the Charity Partner initiative in 2020 and 2021 and has seen funds donated to over 30 various organisations in our local community.

This initiative was not only a great means of giving back to the community financially but was also a great platform to be able to bring together various groups within the community who could then support each other. With restrictions enforced on our everyday lives over the past two years, many of these organisations have not been able to run events to fundraise as they normally would have, so the Charity Partner initiative is a great way to supplement the lost income for these organisations to continue to offer the fantastic services they provide.

Laurisa is again looking forward to being involved in the WRC Charity Partner initiative again this year and encourages all local organisations to consider applying.

Jump by WRC Judge Damien Ryan
Damian Ryan

Damian is a recent addition to the Warrnambool Racing Club committee, joining late in 2021. Having graduated from Deakin University Damian has been working in the racing and wagering industry for the past twenty years, currently managing the industry partnerships and commercial arrangements for Australia’s biggest bookmaker Sportsbet.

Damian, his wife Bree and three children escaped Melbourne through lockdown and are now settled in the Port Fairy community. Damian is actively involved in the local community with coaching roles at the Port Fairy Football and Cricket Club and a committee role at the Port Fairy Soccer Club and Port Fairy Marathon.

Damian was blown away by the Jump initiative in 2022 and is thrilled to have the opportunity to play a role in 2023. WRC plays a significant role in the community and is the key racing destination for South-West Victoria, as such he would love to see a wide range of applications all charity groups will benefit from the support and knowledge sharing found through this fantastic initiative.

Sophie Bullivant

Sophie has been at the Warrnambool Racing Club for one year in her role of Communications & Administration Officer. Sophie knows the area well, having been born and raised in Warrnambool and now having returned here following 10 years in Melbourne.

Sophie has a keen interest in playing tennis and enjoys getting involved with the local tennis community. Sophie will soon become a mum with her first baby due in early January next year. Not taking away from the fact that she already has a fur baby, Rama.

Sophie is excited to join the judging panel for this year’s JUMP Charity Partner Initiative after witnessing the positive impact this project has had on local charities and organisations. Sophie is looking forward to contributing to the growth of the initiative and encourages all local charities and organisations to apply.