The South West Academy of Sport is an incorporated body with an independent board of management.

The board is made up of a team of outstanding regional leaders committed to providing the best training and opportunities for our athletes.

Charles Jenkinson


Charles is the Executive Officer of Regional Development Australia – South West. He read for an honours degree in applied social science at Leicester University, and gained qualifications in regional development from UWA. He has worked in the field since 2006, taking a new direction after 21 years as a journalist, print editor and managing editor. A JP, Charles has completed a post graduate Masters degree in Planning and Environment through RMIT. He sits on the SW Aboriginal Workforce Development Centre Advisory Board, Chairs Manea Senior College Board and the South West Academy of Sport Board. He is an Associate Fellow in the Australian Institute of Management.

James Shepherd

Deputy Chair

James is primarily responsible for the strategic management of the City of Bunbury’s infrastructure assets. Prior to working at the City of Bunbury, James spent 20 years working in the leisure and fitness industry in the UK, operating and developing facilities and leisure services for many communities. His sporting background has seen him play representative cricket to under-19 level in the UK, swim the English Channel as part of a team of five and assist in the development of the Jersey Triathlon Club. Since arriving in Bunbury, he has developed his passion for cycling and is an active member of the SW Cycling Club.

Rolf Stene AM

Rolf has been extensively involved in the development and enhancement of business, employment, community and sport in the South West for the past 30 years. As initiator and past president of the South West Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Rolf initiated the idea of creating the South West Academy of Sport, working with the late Wally Foreman to conduct the first feasibility plan. Rolf’s strong connections with South West sport include the establishment of the West Coast Athletic League, support of the Australian Rowing Championships at Wellington Dam and leadership of the Bunbury Golden Classic Committee.

Troy Jones

Troy has a long and distinguished career in sport and recreation, having served 16 years in Local Government in the regional centres of Port Hedland, Katanning and Kalgoorlie-Boulder in roles that focused around sport, recreation and community development.  In 2004 he joined the Department of Sport and Recreation as the regional manager for the South West, which was extended in 2015 to also include the peel region where he is still today, enjoying the challenges of servicing the two largest regions in WA that both have huge demands resulting from the population growth being experienced.  Troy is a keen sportsperson himself, having played and coached a range of sports and continues to volunteer on a number of local club and association committees, including being an inaugural Board Member of SWAS.

Wayne Vitali

Wayne has worked in South West newspapers for 30 years. As Group Editor of West Australian Newspapers’ South West Regional Newspaper Group, he has responsibility for newspapers in Bunbury, Manjimup, Harvey, Rockingham, Busselton and Margaret River. Wayne has worked in Mandurah, Busselton and Manjimup, and is now based at the South Western Times in Bunbury.

Lyn Ventris

Lyn is a World Masters Champion, State Open champion race walker, and features in the Australian Masters Athletics Hall of Fame. Since contesting her first official race walking competition – the AMA national championships held in Perth in 1996 –Lyn has collected a long list of medals, titles and records at events around the world. Lyn is a two-time IAAF Female Masters Athlete of the Year and holds 11 World Masters Athletics race walking records.


David Kerr

David is past President of the Bunbury Chamber of Commerce & Industries and current manager of the Dolphin Discovery Centre as well as Managing Director of a management and training consultancy business. He is actively involved in the community through various board and committee roles and has previously been a member of the SWAS Marketing Committee. A key focus for David has been strategic planning and project management across a range of industry and community organisations