Changing of the guard – a new Recfishwest Chairman takes the helm

Tuesday’s AGM was a great opportunity to celebrate Recfishwest’s achievements of the past 12 months.

And, it was also a perfect time to farewell Chairman, Tim Bray, who has chosen to step away from the Recfishwest Board after nearly a decade of service.

From everyone at Recfishwest – thank you, Tim! Your leadership has been second to none.

Recfishwest CEO Dr Andrew Rowland said working alongside Tim for so many years had been a terrific experience.

“I have learnt a lot about leadership and strategic thinking – his contribution to the organisation will be greatly missed,” he said.

“As is the mark of any great leader, Tim leaves our organisation in a stronger place than when he first took on the role of Chairman in 2014.”

After joining the Recfishwest Board in 2012 as a Director, Tim has served the past seven years as the Recfishwest Chair – drawing on his rich corporate experience.

Tim was critical in evolving Recfishwest’s strategic direction and setting our culture, while ensuring the organisation become a highly professional and highly regarded organisation at the top level.

This has seen Recfishwest’s influence shift from being a sidebar in the decision-making process to being right at its heart, driving the agenda for change to attain the best outcomes possible for our community.

Tim’s vast corporate experience has been invaluable during his time with Recfishwest.

Tim’s signing off

Speaking at the AGM and reflecting on his time as Chairman, Tim said he was “extremely privileged” to have been part of the Recfishwest Board.

“To everyone, thank you for your confidence, thank you for your support and most of all thank you for giving me the privilege to be a director and chairman of this wonderful organisation,” he said.

“I’m really looking forward to continuing to watch as Recfishwest goes from strength-to-strength.”

On behalf of the Recfishwest team and the State’s 750,000 recreational fishers, Dr Rowland thanked Tim for his terrific contribution.

“You deserve a well-earned break and I’m keen to join you somewhere on the water for a fish soon,” he said.

Welcome aboard, Liam

While it’s sad to see Tim step aside, his departure opens an opportunity for an exciting new chapter for Recfishwest.

Recfishwest would like to welcome Liam Surridge as the new Chairman of the Recfishwest Board.

Passionate fisher Liam Surridge brings a wealth of experience to the Chairman position.

Liam was elected to the position by the Board on Wednesday afternoon, with long-standing Director Geoff Ellis re-elected as Deputy Chair.

Liam, an avid fresh and saltwater fisher, was first elected to the Recfishwest Board in 2019.

He has since played active roles on a range a Recfishwest committees including our Governance Committee (Chair), Finance Audit and Risk Committee and the Freshwater Fisheries Reference Group.

Liam is a highly motivated and active contributor within our fishing community.

This includes his treasurer role at the WA State branch of the Australian Trout Foundation and involvement with the WA Trout and Freshwater Angling Association (WATFAA).

However, it’s not just freshwater fishing in which Liam has a mad-keen interest – he’s also an active member and treasurer of the Saltwater Flyrodders of Western Australia.

For Liam, not a lot beats enjoying the accessible wilderness fishing experience offered around WA, whether it’s salmon on the south coast, bream in our estuaries, trout in our southern forests or queenfish in the Exmouth Gulf.

Liam says fishing not only benefits WA’s economy, but also plays an incredibly important social role.

Professionally, Liam is a chartered accountant and boasts strong financial and management expertise and experience with incorporated associations.

Liam, who is also skilled at negotiating and reaching outcomes favourable to all stakeholders, said he was excited to take the Chairman reins.

“I’m really eager to represent the State’s 750,000 recreational fishers as the Chairman of Recfishwest to protect your rights and interests as well as the world-class fishing opportunities that WA provides,” Liam said.

“Recfishing injects $2.4 billion into the WA economy each year and in COVID times it is more important than ever, not just on an economic scale, but socially too.

“Our sector is in a very exciting position and I’m looking forward to working with my fellow directors in guiding Recfishwest on our mission to protect and create accessible and enjoyable fishing for all WA fishers.”

It’s great to have you as our Chair, Liam – Recfishwest looks forward to working with you to make fishing better than ever.

Fishing skinny streams in the South West for rainbow trout is one of Liam’s favourite forms of fishing.