Gloria Parker with a photo of Katie, who has been appointed the first female director of the Brisbane Broncos.
Gloria Parker with a photo of Katie, who has been appointed the first female director of the Brisbane Broncos. Emma Channon

Katie bucks sports trend

FORMER Warwickite Katie Bickford (nee Parker) has achieved things that would take most people lifetimes to fulfill.

In her 48 years, she has represented Australia in polo, forged a successful career in both print and television journalism (including a stint at the Daily News), taught equestrian and speech, helped restore an old homestead, held senior advisory roles with government, married a successful barrister and is currently leading a $3 billion re-development of the RNA Showgrounds.

Her latest feat though – and one of the most remarkable – is her appointment as the first female director to the Brisbane Broncos.

Mother and Freestone resident Gloria Parker has watched Katie's achievements with increasing pride since her graduation from Scots PGC College.

“I have encouraged (my children Katie and Brinsley) to always better themselves and to apply themselves in everything,” she said.

“They've just been wonderful children.”

Mrs Parker taught Katie and Brinsley when the family lived out at Tallwood near Goondiwindi, before her and her husband bought Braeside Homestead and moved to Warwick.

During their 14 years at Braeside, the family was responsible for returning the home to it's original grandeur.

Katie boarded at Scots PGC from year four and after graduating, returned to the school to teach equestrian and speech.

“She is a qualified coach with the Equestrian Federation of Australia and used to ride at home like a maniac!” Mrs Parker laughed.

“She and Brinsley would go out in the paddocks and chase kangaroos and wild pigs (on horse-back).”

Her early experience in the saddle paid off and for more than 16 years Katie was an accredited equestrian coach, judge and competitor at national and international level.

Her appointment as director to the Brisbane Bronco's was announced this week.

This wasn't the first of its kind for the former Warwickite, who recently left the Australian Baseball Federation (ABF) Board after seven years.

Mrs Parker said the Bronco's appointment well suited her daughter, who had grown up watching rugby league games.

“She would lie in bed with me and watch the games at night,” Mrs Parker said.

“She mightn't have stayed awake through it all but she was a big fan.”

Katie currently lives in Brisbane and works for property group Lend Lease.



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