By Jordan Gerrans
After being in the harness racing industry for much of his life, it only took just one year for Brad Steele to make the jump from committee member to chairman of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club.
Steele was elected by the committee as Albion Park’s new chairman last Sunday following David Fowler’s recent decision to stand down from the role.
While he has held several different roles in the harness and thoroughbred racing industry over the years, Steele had only been on the committee at the club for around 12 months before he was elevated to the top job.
“If you think you can make a difference and contribute, you should do that instead of sitting on the sidelines and telling other people what they should,” he said.
Steele was a part of the Redcliffe Harness Racing Club committee as treasurer or president for around 15 years and is excited to take on a larger role with Queensland’s premier metropolitan trotting track.
“It is a good opportunity to get into a principal club and continue to elevate and provide leadership,” Steele said.
“I would not say becoming the chairman was something I always aspired to do, but if you have got something to contribute, you should step up and step into it.
“I felt there was opportunities there to reinstate the club as a true principle club and hopefully provide the industry more advocacy.”
He has been in the financial services industry for over 30 years and feels those experiences and skills can only help Albion Park into the future.
Looking into 2021 and beyond, Steele says he has several goals as the new chairman, including providing clarity to the club’s members and industry regarding the future of Albion Park, developing a better patron experience at the track on race days and increasing the audience numbers for the code.
Bringing the Inter Dominion Championship back to Brisbane, in conjunction with Racing Queensland is an aspirational goal, Steele says.
It was already a family affair at Albion Park Harness Racing Club over the last year, but it will even be more so now, with Steele’s brother, Scott, the Executive Manager of the club.
Scott has been in the role since the middle of last year and while the brothers are harness lovers, they often have healthy debate about the future of the club and industry.
“It is a good connection to have, but Scott and I disagree 50 percent of the time,” Brad said.
“We do not always agree on things and that provides a good and healthy discussion.
“I do not like to operate in an environment when everyone agrees, it is good to challenge the status quo.
“It is a healthy and professional relationship, just because we are brothers it does not mean we use it as a facility for what we should.”
Scott says their family has a love for harness racing and are die-hard Queenslanders.
“Brad is an administrator, and a GM, who also has big support in his heart,” Scott said last year.
“Brad has also owned horses over the years.
“Harness racing has played a big part in our family’s life for a long time.”
Brad Steele was also on the board of Racing Queensland for a period of two years.
He also lived and worked in Townsville for nine years but has been back in Brisbane now for four years.