Club GM lauded at inaugural awards

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Justin FrisSouth Western Times
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Julie Doble (centre, back row) is immensely proud of her committee and volunteers.Picture: Bunbury Trotting Club
Camera IconJulie Doble (centre, back row) is immensely proud of her committee and volunteers.Picture: Bunbury Trotting Club

Bunbury Trotting Club general manager Julie Doble has been recognised at the inaugural Ladies of Pacing ceremony in Perth, where she and Gloucester Park staffer Patricia Swallow received awards in the administration category.

Doble is adamant the recognition only came through the stability and close friendships with her staff and volunteers.

“The award is for all of us,” she said. “Because you are only as good as your weakest link and I think I have a pretty good team beside me.”

A fixture at Donaldson Park since late 2007, Doble applied her love of horses with skills in hospitality and administration, with former general manager Ray Kelly providing invaluable support during the embryonic stages of her tenure.

“I was 36 and the club had advertised for an assistant and general manager,” she said.

“I thought I would not get it (the general manager) but I decided to apply anyway because of my background.

“They then rang and told me I had got the general manager position which was amazing, because at time there were not many women doing my job — it was mainly all men in their fifties or sixties.”

If you attend Donaldson Park for a meeting, chances are you will see Doble and her trusted off-sider — long-time friend Kate Ryan-Tyler — helping trainers, spectators and volunteers have a positive experience.

And there’s not much she has not done, including cleaning the toilets, at the track.

“At one stage when we did not have much of a budget and not yet received help from the Work for the Dole participants, Kate and I were ripping up carpet, sanding floorboards and painting.”

“I have cleaned the on-course toilets plenty of times and also washed windows.”

Some race nights, such as New Year’s Eve, can also be arduous, with Doble clocking on at 11am and getting home at 2.30am.

But given her fond memories — including the Inter-dominions coming to Bunbury — it’s doubtful the Bunbury Trotting Club boss minds the odd late night.

“Seeing participants from the Work for the Dole program being proud of they have achieved here is also one of my favourite things,” Doble said.

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