Mr Hulls said the scholarship would honour the legacy of former Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) chairwoman Jan Wilson, who died in March this year, and her lifelong partnership with her husband, Eric Wilson.
Launching the scholarship at the Jan Wilson Community Centre in Noble Park, Mr Hulls said the scholarship would provide $20,000 a year for 10 years to help young people who have aspirations for a career in the Victorian greyhound industry.
“Following Jan’s passing, her son Craig Wilson has donated $10,000 a year for the next 10 years from his parents’ estate to go toward the Eric and Jan Wilson Scholarship,” Mr Hulls said. “This figure has been matched by GRV, meaning scholarships of up to $20,000 a year.
“This scholarship is a once in a lifetime chance for young people within the greyhound industry to achieve their goals through opportunities for training, education, mentoring or remuneration.”
Mr Hulls said the scholarship was designed to capture Jan Wilson’s character traits of integrity, honesty and a fair go for all, and would ensure she was remembered as a true legend of greyhound racing.
“Since Jan first became a board member in 1999 and chairwoman in 2000, she met challenges head-on and proactively sought significant change in areas such as integrity and animal welfare,” he said.
“She forged links with local community organisations, particularly disability support groups through the Great Chase Series, which helped raise money for community groups by partnering them with racing greyhounds and earning a percentage of their winnings.
“She embraced innovation, with initiatives such as the recent Go The Pink Dog series, the expansion of the Greyhound Adoption Program for retired racing greyhounds, and the establishment of the Prison Pet Partnership, where prisoners retrained retired racing dogs to become pets.
“Under her stewardship, the greyhound code significantly strengthened its commercial position and also established itself as a sport with a strong commitment to the greyhound industry participants and the broader community.”
Mr Hulls said Eric Wilson, who passed away in 2004, was also a racing enthusiast and community advocate, helping community groups such as Wallara and VicRelief Foodbank and serving as Mayor of the City of Dandenong.
“With the launch of this scholarship, Eric and Jan Wilson’s legacy lives on – helping the community and securing the future of greyhound racing in Victoria for years to come,” Mr Hulls said.