Message from NRA Chairman, Tim Schaafsma

This Friday, our long-serving CEO Dominique Lamb will finish her tenure at the NRA.  As I mentioned in my communication to members last week, Dominique has been the CEO of the organisation for seven years, and was the Director of NRA Legal for two years before that. Her service to the NRA and to the retail sector has been remarkable, and we wish her well as she tackles a new career challenge.

You may have seen some media coverage relating to Dom’s departure, and criticism that we chose to reveal this information first to our members rather than to the media. That doesn’t bother me – frankly, the members of the NRA had the right to know this information first. What does bother me is that some in the sector have taken the opportunity to spread misinformation about the recent changes in the Association’s leadership.

For the record, we are disappointed to see Dominique move on, but we understand and strongly support her desire to explore new horizons. After Dominique advised the Board of her intention to move on, our former Chair, Mark Brodie, also decided – after 22 years in the job – that it was time for him to make way for generational change.  I was honoured to be elected as Chair by the NRA Board and look forward to bringing a new CEO onboard.  In the meantime, I am pleased to confirm that Lindsay Carroll, the NRA Deputy CEO, will step in to the Interim CEO position pending the appointment of the new CEO.  Lindsay has prior experience as the NRA’s Interim CEO and is a passionate and skilled leader within the organisation.

So that’s the back story to the change in leadership. While it suits the agenda of some to portray this as “turmoil” or “controversy”, it’s nothing that hasn’t occurred in every other Boardroom across the country at some point.

However, I’m most disappointed that the media coverage has failed to give Dominique due credit for her remarkable work as a visionary female leader in the retail advocacy space. Under her guidance, the NRA has been at the leading edge of advocacy for initiatives such as reducing single-use plastic, rent relief for businesses during COVID, development of skills and training programs, domestic violence leave and many more.

On Dom’s watch the NRA has achieved significant influence with all levels of government, and that has made our industry policy division the “go-to” choice for governments seeking to connect with retailers. The NRA’s personnel have conducted tens of thousands of face-to-face meetings with retailers across Australia to help them understand the impact of changing regulations such as drink container deposits or reuseable shopping bags, or to help keep their staff and customers safe from violence.

Dominique leaves the NRA with an extremely healthy balance sheet, and with a strong, diverse and growing membership base. Her efforts have helped the NRA become the voice of modern Australian retail. Good luck Dom, and on behalf of all members of the National Retail Association, we say thank-you.