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Newcastle Jockey Club CEO Takes Wrongful Dismissal Claim To The Federal Court

Newcastle Jockey Club CEO takes wrongful dismissal claim to the Federal Court

The former CEO of the Newcastle Jockey Club is taking his wrongful dismissal claim to the Federal Court.

Because Cameron Williams earns $135,000 he is ineligible to make an unfair dismissal claim in the Fair Work Commission.

Newcastle Jockey Club CEO claims wrongful dismissal

Williams alleges the Newcastle Jockey Club unlawfully sacked him in September.

At the time it issued a two sentence statement:

“Newcastle Jockey Club chief executive officer Cameron Williams will exit the club on December 7, 2015. Cameron commenced his employment with the NJC in May 2011.”

As a result of the dismissal, Williams applied to the Commission seeking reinstatement.

He claimed he had no idea of the club’s plan to terminate his employment, claiming the NJC’s decision left him shocked.

“We all invest a lot of hours into the club but I can say, at my level, you invest day and night into that place,” he said.

“To get to the point that I got to is incredibly disappointing.”

The matter failed to settle at conciliation, so it will now head to the Federal Court for determination.

What is an unfair dismissal?

An unfair dismissal happens when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.

Harsh means the dismissal was disproportionate to the offence that you committed.

Unjust means your employer did not have a valid reason to sack you.

Unreasonable is when your employer acted unreasonably during the dismissal, or did not give you procedural fairness.

An unfair dismissal also happens when it does not happen in accordance with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code, or if the dismissal is not a genuine redundancy.

The Fair Work Commission sets a strict 21-day deadline for workers to file unfair dismissal claims.


In October 2016, the NJC confirmed in a statement that it had settled the dispute with Williams following a confidential meeting in July.

“The Parties agree that during Cameron Williams’ tenure as CEO, the Club experienced a turnaround of its financial fortunes.

“The club was very happy with his project management with the rebuilding of the new racetracks at Broadmeadow which were jointly funded by RNSW and the NJC. 

“Cameron Williams restructured both the asset management of the Broadmeadow Racecourse surrounds and the organisational structure of the business team to improve the financial returns for the NJC.” 

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Fair Work Claims is a private consultancy and advocacy firm with no affiliation to any government agency, commission or tribunal.

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