New Chair and Trustees named to minimise gambling harm across NSW

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New Chair and Trustees named to minimise gambling harm across NSW
20 December 2023

New Chair and Trustees named to minimise gambling harm across NSW

The NSW Government has appointed Mr Chris Bertinshaw as the new Chair of the Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF) along with two new Trustees, following a publicly advertised merit-based selection process.  

Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris said the appointments reflected the Government’s commitment to minimising harm from gambling across NSW.

The RGF Trust was established in 1995 through funds from a levy on casinos. The Trust plays a key role in advising the NSW Government on the allocation of funds for programs and initiatives to minimise gambling related harm. The RGF budget is used to fund programs consistent with the Office of Responsible Gambling’s vision to work towards zero gambling harm. 

RGF Trustees are appointed by the Minister to make recommendations on the use of the Responsible Gambling Fund for gambling harm minimisation initiatives for research, community education, support services and support for policy and regulation. They also provide expert advice to the Minister on gambling policy. 

The RGF Trust has a representative on the Government’s Independent Panel on Gaming Reform.

In 2023-24, the NSW Government committed an additional $10 million to the Responsible Gambling Fund to further support the work of the Office.

The new appointments are for three-year terms:

Chris Bertinshaw (Chair and Trustee) is an accomplished leader with more than 30 years’ experience in governance and public health. As Chair of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District Board and with CEO experience in five diverse organisations, he will bring valuable insights and strategic direction to the RGF. 

Anastasia Polites (Trustee) is an accomplished senior manager who has worked in employment and industrial relations law, with experience in supporting disadvantaged clients affected by gambling harm through previous roles in the community legal services sector. Her leadership skills and board experience will be valuable assets for the Trust.  

Steven Gal (Trustee) brings extensive expertise in health and community development. He has led funding reforms and program development in multiple portfolios and for diverse populations. He is currently a director on the boards of the Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service and the Accessible Diversity Services Initiative.  

The Government has also reappointed three existing Trustees: accomplished Board Director Anne Fitzgerald and experienced public health executive Robert Lagaida to December 2027, and former head of the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney Professor Joel Negin to December 2024. 

The RGF’s work is delivered by the Office of Responsible Gambling. More information about its work is available online at .  

Quotes attributable to Minister for Gaming and Racing David Harris:

“The Responsible Gambling Fund enables NSW to support world leading programs, services and campaigns to reduce gambling harm in our communities, including initiatives such as Reclaim the Game and free, confidential statewide GambleAware counselling services.

“The three new Trustees to the Responsible Gambling Fund reflect an impressive diversity of experience across health, governance, law, public policy, and serving underrepresented communities.

“Mr Bertinshaw’s unique blend of health, community and corporate governance expertise is an ideal foundation for him to take on the role of Chair of the RGF Trust.

“I thank the outgoing Chair John Dalzell for his outstanding leadership of the Trust since 2017, overseeing the redesign of the GambleAware service delivery model and a significant expansion in the education and awareness raising initiatives supported by the fund.”

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GambleAware acknowledges Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land and we pay respects to Elders past, present and emerging. GambleAware is an inclusive support service.
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