Board of Directors

John Hollingsworth

John joined the Softball Australia Board in April 2011 and was appointed Chairman in October 2014. He has been involved in baseball and softball in a playing, coaching and administrative capacity for the last 30 years. John has been involved on various Board positions in both sports including as the inaugural President of the Eastern Raiders Softball Club and on the board of Melbourne Aces. His experience as both a player and administrator have influenced his view on the important role sport plays in building character and teaching valuable lessons that translate into all aspects of life. John brings a strong skill set to the Board of Softball Australia which includes leading large, complex organisations from start up through periods of significant growth and he also serves on several company boards. John has a high level of commercial acumen and corporate governance expertise. John is currently Chief Executive Officer of Hawkstone – an Australian based private equity firm and was previously CEO Stellar – a leading global customer care organisation employing 4,000+ people globally.

Dennis Cullen

Dennis was elected Chairman in May 2011 and served until October 2014. His journey in softball began as a club coach in 1975 and he went on to become one of softball’s earliest male players, representing Queensland in the first national championship for men in 1983. He represented NSW for seven consecutive years, retiring from the Nationals in 1991. Dennis’ coaching career spans 35 years, having coached the Queensland Patriots team in the John Reid Shield, the Redlands Softball Association teams in the National Fastpitch League and at association and club levels. Dennis was elected President of Softball Queensland in September 1997 and retired in July 2009 when he became a member of the Softball Australia Board. He was awarded Life Membership of Softball Queensland in July 2008. Dennis’ leadership skills extend from sport to business – he is currently Director of Operations for a large multi-national company.

Annette Fidge

Annette was appointed to the Softball Australia Board on 5 May 2011, elected to the Board in November 2012 and re-elected for a three-year term in November 2013. As a Director with Deloitte’s Strategy and Operations Consulting practice, Annette brings 20 years experience in finance, financial modelling and business case development, strategic cost management, program management, risk management and organisational, structural and process improvement reviews. She has an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Financial Services Institute of Australasia.  Annette’s involvement in softball spans 30 years, which includes 10 years’ experience at senior state level, as a selector for the Australian U19 women’s program, head coach for SA Starz Gilley’s Shield team  and various other high performance coaching roles.

Helen Langenberg

Helen, who was elected as a Softball Australia Director on 19 November 2011, comes to the Board with many years’ experience across most facets of the sport. She was the inaugural Vice-President of the Werribee Softball Association and, on moving to Tasmania, became an active player, coach, umpire and scorer. Off the diamond, Helen took on the roles of Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Tasmanian Softball Council (now Softball Tasmania), and President of the Burnie Softball Association.  In addition to her out-standing Softball credentials, Helen has an impressive track-record in sport management and policy. As Manager Sport and Recreation with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Helen provides leadership and advice on key sport and recreation issues within and across government, building on her skills and knowledge of governance and policy and the planning, development and management of sport and recreation programs and initiatives.

Christine Heron

Christine was elected as a Softball Australia Director on 25 November 2012. She has previously played key roles at state level as a key member of the Executive for Softball NT.  At state level, Christine has been involved in event management, in particular, coordinating and convening U23 National Championships as well as NT Championships for many years. In conjunction with the NT Government and Softball Australia, Christine oversaw the development of the Northern Territory Softball Indigenous Program. She is currently working as an Integration Project Manager in the Northern Territory and has expertise in administration and interpretation of legislation and policies, mediation and risk management.

Peter Jon Hartshorne

Peter (known as PJ) was elected to the Softball Australia Board in November 2013. He has worked largely in systems planning and commercialisation with corporations in Australia, Canada, UK and India. For the past 15 years, he has been a Managing Partner with Infinity, an Enterprise Customer Management and ICT Recruitment service offering consulting, recruitment, training, systems integration and support services. PJ is a Director of Kidney Health Australia Ltd, a non-profit charity organisation committed to substantially improving life for Australians suffering from kidney disease.

Ron Gauci

Ron was appointed to the Board in May 2015. Over the past few decades, he has developed a reputation as a dynamic and inspirational businessman taking on some of the most difficult commercial and brand reputational challenges. During a diverse executive career, Ron has helped organisations adapt to change and disruptive competition in multiple industries and sectors. A veteran of the global technology and innovation industry, he has held senior leadership roles in ASX & NYSE listed, global multinational, joint venture and government organisations, as well as directorships in a range of not-for-profit, medium to small business and startup ventures. He has also led enterprises in the technology, sport, entertainment and education industries. Ron’s ability to identify growth potential, re-energise culture and build profitable businesses led to several high-profile turnarounds that have cemented his reputation as an inspirational leader and transformation agent.Ron has held senior management and executive positions in some of the world’s largest multinational and domestic organisations including Federation Square, Melbourne Polytechnic, Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club, Microsoft, Telstra, IBM and Verizon Business. Ron is a Graduate of the AICD, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and an ambassador for SportsConnect and WeLoveNumbers. He is also a former Director on the Board and Victorian Chairman of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), a former member of the International CEO Forum and held a position on the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM). Gauci currently sits on a number of Boards including Softball Australia and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS) Foundation, as well as providing advisory services to a number of others. Ron also mentors a number of young entrepreneurs.

Fiona Crawford

Fiona took up a casual vacancy position on the board on 13 October 2015. She brings over 15 years’ experience in the Human Resources industry to the Board including operating her own agency, 4 Bases in Sydney, NSW while also being the General Manager Human Resources for InfoTrack.  Fiona has been an enthusiastic ambassador for her sport.  She has represented softball in the media, as commentator and guest speaker.  She has been a career mentor for NSW Institute of Sport athletes, and a Softball NSW Board member.  Fiona was inducted into the Softball Australia Hall of Fame in 2010 and the NSW Hall of Champions in 2015, being the first softball inductee.

Sandra De Witt

Sandra joined the board of Softball Australia in October 2017. She brings with her eight years of communications, marketing and advertising experience from both client and agency side. Over this time, Sandra has worked with clients in the areas of higher education, public utilities, policing, first aid, aged care, land development and local government. She co-founded not-for-profit organisation Street Smugglers in 2011, with the aim to raise awareness of homelessness issues in Western Australia.