The Men of League Foundation has announced the appointment of a new CEO as it celebrates the distribution of more than $100,000 in funding to members of the rugby league community this year.
Stephen Lowndes, chief executive of Royal Rehab for the past 10 years, begins his new role with Men of League Foundation on June 25 and will take over an organisation providing an increasing level of financial and emotional support to past players and their families.
Men of League grants amounting to $100,000 this year have helped cover costs associated with medical expenses, modified equipment, car conversions and utility bills.
Former players Warren Thompson, Mario Fenech and Dene Halatau helped celebrate the milestone with newly appointed National Wellbeing Manager Jessica Macartney, who said the grants provided significant relief to families involved at all levels of rugby league.
Macartney said recipients face a range of tough circumstances, including those living in hardship, often with disabilities or suffering from illness or injury.
She also paid tribute to the 300 Men of League volunteers across Australia and acknowledged the tireless work of the volunteer committees, in particular the well-being officers who visit recipients and their families in homes, aged care facilities and hospitals.
''The contribution of our volunteers to the Men of League Foundation is unbelievable,'' Macartney said.
''Each volunteer has a desire to give back to their community and today we say thank you to each and every one of them for helping us to achieve this important milestone.''
Men of League Foundation chairman Stephen Martin said the appointment of a CEO with Lowndes' reputation, energy and capabilities was an exciting stage in the evolution of the organisation.
''The men, women and children we assist every day deserve the highest level of professionalism we can bring to the operation and strategic direction of this wonderful charitable foundation," Martin said.
''With our highly qualified and deeply engaged national board providing direction and oversight, Stephen leading our staff, committees and volunteers to ever greater outcomes and the staunch support of our members, I am confident we are extremely well placed for the next stage of our growth."