Victoria University business graduate Simon Garlick has been appointed chief executive of the Western Bulldogs AFL club.
Garlick completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at VU's Flinders City Campus in 2004 over five years while playing full-time for the Sydney Swans and the Bulldogs.
The 35-year-old played 181 games over an 11-year playing career that included membership on the AFL Player Association's executive and Western Bulldogs' Forever Foundation.
In one of his first activities as chief executive, Garlick "" along with VU Chancellor and Bulldogs' board member George Pappas "" flew to Queenstown, New Zealand to join the players in off-season training that will include white-water rafting, mountain-biking and bungy-jumping.
"I'm very optimistic about what we will achieve next season," he said. "We have some terrific young talent coming through and we're seeking to improve on our record of playing in the last three preliminary grand finals."
Garlick said the strong commercial focus of his MBA stood him in good stead after he retired from football in 2004 and took on various management roles. He joined the Western Bulldogs Board of Directors in 2007 as football director, and in 2009, became its chief commercial officer with responsibilities for membership, events, marketing, and fan development.
"My MBA at VU provided me with practical skills and knowledge to take into not only a commercial environment, but any situation. It gave me a grounding that allowed me to move with the confidence that thorough preparation provides."
Garlick said that the strong strategic partnerships forged between the Bulldogs and VU in recent years are set to expand, continuing legacies left by former Bulldogs' Chief Executive Campbell Rose, and outgoing VU Vice Chancellor Professor Elizabeth Harman.
"We're only beginning to scratch the surface of the cornerstone partnerships that we have with VU," he said.
In addition to programs that have developed for VU students to gain direct experience with the club in a range of subjects from osteopathy to event management, Garlick said he's looking forward to strong links forming between the Bulldogs' and VU's leading-edge sport science research facilities set to open early next year.