Stocktake of Australian sport Presidents/Chairs 2000-2021 – Updated 3 August 2022

By Greg Blood

National Sports Organisation (NSO) Presidents/Chairs these days frequently have to manage crises in their sport. Following on from my recent stocktake of NSO CEO’s, I have drawn up a list of NSO Presidents/Chairs since 2000 to recognise their service to the Australian sport system.

The complexity of the role of the modern day President/Chair has been hightighted to me this year through two avenues: firstly, each week during the AFL season I listened to Gerard Whately on his morning SEN program interview AFL club Presidents/Chairs ; and secondly, I have assisted Greg Hartung in preparing his papers that cover 40 years involvement in sport administration for the National Library. During this period, Hartung was President of Confederation of Australian Sport (1989-1995), Australian Paralympic Committee (1997-2013) and Chair of the Australian Sports Commission (2008-2010).

I was encouraged to prepare this list after my recent Stocktake of NSO CEO’s as it evoked some discussion particularly the lack of female CEO’s and their short tenure. I was also interested to see the number of Presidents/Chairs that did not have a strong connection to their sport and the number of former elite athletes that have taken on the role.  There has been some discussion since 2012 regarding the installation of Presidents/Chairs that had limited understanding of the sport but had a high business or community profile.

The list highlights NSO’s that have had stability and those with frequent changes. Personally I believe a reasonable level of stability is necessary to implement plans and gain acceptance within the sport’s community. Further research might look at this stability on the development of a sport in terms of planning, lobbying and managing frequent crises.

I now have a great deal of admiration for Presidents/Chairs as these positions are voluntary and often involve managing complex issues – COVID-19 is a current obvious example.

The information listed was obtained from annual reports, websites and LinkedIn profiles The Clearinghouse for Sport’s Australian Sport Publications Archive assisted in the data collection as it has digitally preserved many NSO annual reports since 2000. The listing is restricted to the period 2000-2021 due to access to annual reports/websites and this period has seen significant growth in many national sports organisations in terms of revenue, staffing and complex issues such commercialisation of sport, broadcasting, athlete welfare, governance etc.

Australian Government

Australian Sports Commission – Peter Bartels AO (1997-2008), Greg Hartung AO (2008-2010), Warwick Smith AO (2010-2012), John Wylie AM (2012-2020), Josephine Sukkar AM (2021- )

Peak Sports Organisations

Australian Olympic Committee – John Coates AC (1990- )

Paralympics Australia – Greg Hartung AO (1997-2013), Glenn Tasker (2013-2018), Jock O’Callaghan (2018-)

Commonwealth Games Australia – Sam Coffa AM (1998-2018), Ben Houston (2018-)

National Sports Organisations

Listed in alphabetical order by sport and the current name of the organisation.

Archery Australia – Greg Goebel (2001-2010), John Chaplin (2011-2012), Brian Hagaman (2012-2014), John Hyde (2014-2015), Tom Wild (2016-2018), Grant Cole (2019-2020 ), Sue Gliddon (2020- )

Artistic Swimming Australia – Diane Mead (2000-2004), Barbara Lynch (2004- 2010), Irena Olevsky (2010-2013), Kerrie Hammett (2013-2014), Brian Miller (2014-2016), Kim Davis ( ? )

Athletics Australia – Andrew Forrest AO (1999-2004), Ken Roche AO (2005-2006), Rob Fildes AM (2006-2013), David Grace (2013-2015), Mark Arbib (2015-2021 ), Jan Swinhoe (2021- )

Australian Football League – Ron Evans AM (1997-2007), Mike Fitzpatrick AO (2007-2017), Richard Goyder AO (2017- )

Badminton Australia – Robin Bryant  (1996-2008), Geraldine Brown OAM (2008-2019), Andrew Greenway (2019- )

Baseball Australia – Ron Finlay AM (2001-2005), Geoff Pearce (2006-2011), David Hynes (2012- )

Basketball Australia – John Maddock AM (1997-2008), David Thodey AO (2008-2010), Diane Smith-Gander (2010-2011), Kristina Keneally (2011-2012), Scott Derwin (2012-2015), Rob Marcolina (2015-2016), Ned Coten (2017-2021), John Carey (2021- )

Bowls Australia  (established 2001)–John McDougall (2002-2003), Beryl Brennan (2004-2005), Brian Marsland (2006-2010), Joe Aarons (2010-2012), Des Skinner (2012-2015) Nigel Smith (2015-2017), Darryl Clout (2017-2020), Bob Boorman (2020- )

Boxing Australia – Sol Spitalnic OAM  (2000-2004), Ted Tanner (2005- )

Paddle Australia – Greg Kaeding (1999-2006), Peter Heeley (2006-2007), Ian Muir (2007-2008), Danielle Woodward OAM (2008-2016). Andrea McQuitty (2016-)

Cricket Australia – Denis Rogers AO (1995-2001), Robert Merriman AM (2001-2005), Creagh O’Connor AM (2005-2008), Jack Clarke (2008-2011), Wally Edwards (2012-2015), David Peevers (2015-2018), Earl Eddings (2018-2021), Richard Freudenstein (2021-2022 ), Lachlan Henderson (2022- )

Croquet Australia – Peter Tavender OAM (2000-2002), Creina Dawson (2003-2006), Gary Fox (2007), Max Murray (2008-2010), Robyn Wallace (2011-2013), Neil White (2014), Robyn Wallace (2015-2016), Megan Fardon (2017-2021 ), Jim Nicholls (2021- )

AusCycling (formerly Cycling Australia) – Mike Victor OAM (2000-2010), Klaus Mueller (2010-2013),  Gerry Ryan OAM (2013-2014), Malcolm Speed AO (2014-2017), Steve Bracks AC (2017-2018), Duncan Murray (2018-2022 ), Craig Bingham (2022- )

Diving Australia – Phillip Pullar OAM (1996- 2008), Ashley Wilson (2009-2014), Michael Murphy (2014- )

Equestrian Federation of Australia –  Russell Withers (2001- 2006), Geoff Sinclair (2006-2008), Mary Seefried (2008-2009), Paul Cargill (2009-2012), Paul Biancardi (2012-2013), Dr Warwick Vale (2013-2015), Judy Fasher (2015—2019), Ricky MacMillan (2020), Mark Bradley (2020- )

Football Federation of Australia – Basil Scarsella AM (1998-2001), Remo Nogarotto (2002-2003),  Frank Lowy AC (2003-2015), Steven Lowy AM (2015-2018), Chris Nikou (2018- )

Golf Australia (formed 2006) – Jerry Ellis (2006-2008), Anne Lenagan (2008-2011), John Hopkins OAM (2011-2019), Andrew Newbold (2019- )

Gymnastics Australia – Murray Chessell (2000-2003), Ken Williamson OAM (2003-2012), Grant Harrison (2012-2014), Jacqui Briggs-Weatherill (2014-2016), Sam McKay (2017-2020), Ben Heap (2020-2022), Carol Mills (2022- )

Hockey Australia (established 2000) – Pam Tye AM (2000-2008), Stuart Grimshaw (2008-2014), David Hatt AM (2014-2017), Melanie Woosnam (2017-2021), Ross Sudano (2021- )

Judo Australia – Arthur Moorshead OAM 1999-2007, Peter Alway (2007-2010), Colin Hill (2010-2012), Dr Michael Briers OAM (2012-2014), Michael Picken (2014), Neville Sharpe (2014-2017), Kate Corkery (2017-2021), Simon Read (2021-)

Modern Pentathlon Australia – Jason Pennell (2002-2009), Kitty Chiller (2009-2022), Maki Takken (2022- )

Mountain Bike Australia – Russell Barker (2010-2016), Tom Hancock (2017-2018), Lee Brentzell (2018- )

Netball Australia – Sue Taylor AM (1995-2005), Marrilyn Melhuish OAM (2005-2006), Noelene Dix AM (2006-2016), Anne-Marie Corboy (2016-2017), Paolina Hunt (2017-2021 ), Marina Go (2021- )

Pony Clubs Australia – Carol Paterson (2015 – 2018), Michelle Harper (2018 – 2020), Heather Disher (2020 – )

Rowing Australia – Dr Stephen Hinchy OAM (1996-2000), Patrick McNamara (2001-2009), Colin Smith (2009-2015), Rob Scott (2015- )

Australian Rugby League Commission – Colin Love AM (1999-2010),  John Grant (2011-2018), Peter Beattie AC 2018-2019), Peter V’landys (2019-)

Australian Rugby Union – David Clarke (1998-2001), Bob Tuckey AM (2001-2005), Dilip Kumar (2005), Ron Graham (2005-2007), Michael Hawker (2012-2015), Cameron Clyne (2015-2020), Paul McLean MBE (2020), Hamish McLennan (2020- )

Australian Sailing – Bruce Dickson (2001), Don Nickels (2001-2002), Graeme Ainley (2002-2004), Andrew Plympton AM (2004-2010), David Gotze (2010-2013), Matt Allen AM (2013-2019), Daniel Belcher (2019-)

Shooting Australia (established 2006) – Cheryl Arnol (2005-2012), Catherine Fettell (2012- )

Snow Australia – Hugh Whan  (1999-2004), Dean Gosper (2004- )

Softball Australia – Rosemary Adey OAM (1983-2000), Darryl Clout (2000-2004),  Harvey Milson (2004-2008), Phil Matthewson (2007-2009), Jenny Holliday AM (2009-2011), Dennis Cullen (2011-2014), John Hollingsworth (2014-2020), Peter Hartshorne (2020-2021), Richard Lindell (2021- )

Squash Australia – Steven McLean (2002),   John Holland (2002-2010), John Lee (2010-2014), Stephen Bowen (2014-2015), David Mandel (2015-2019) , Joanne Brodie (2019- )

Surf Life Saving Australia – Ron Rankin AM (2001-2010),  Graham Ford (2010-2021 ), John Baker (2021-)

Surfing Australia – Robert Mitchell (2004-2008), Norm Innis (2008-2015), Layne Beachley AO (2015- )

Swimming Australia – Terry Gathercole AM (1997-2000), John Devitt AM (2000-2004), Neil Martin (2005-2008), Dave Urquhart (2008-2012), John Bertrand AO (2013-2020), Kieren Perkins OAM (2020-2022), Tracy Stockwell (2022- )

Table Tennis Australia – Brian Lauri (2003), Will Goodier (2004-2017), Philip Males (2017-2018), Brett Sonnet (2018-2019),  Graham Symons (2019-)

Tennis Australia – Geoff Pollard AM (1989-2010),  Stephen Healy (2010-2017), Jayne Hrdlicka (2017-)

Triathlon Australia – David Burt (2001-2002 ), Malcolm Wells (2003), Chris Hewitt (2003-2004), Ken Bonham (2005-2009), Peter Hedge (2009-2012 ), David Ferrier (2012-2015 ), Ben Houston (2015-2018), Michelle Cooper (2018-)

Volleyball Australia – Chris Schacht (1997-2013), Craig Carracher (2013-)

Water Polo Australia – Peter Kerr AM (1996-2014), Phil Garling (2014-2017), Thomas Whalan (2017-2019), Trent Birkett (2019-)

Weightlifting Australia – Sam Coffa AM (1983-2007) Robert Kabbas (2008-2011), Robert Mitchell (2011-2014),  Danielle Waller (2014-2018 ), Craig Wegert (2018-2019), Sam Coffa (2019-)

Some brief observations from my viewpoint:

  • several sports appointed high profile people with limited administrative involvement in their sport – Andrew Forrest and Mark Arbib (athletics), John Bertrand (swimming), David Thodey and Kristina Keneally (basketball), Steve Bracks (cycling), Cameron Clyne (rugby union) and Peter Beattie (rugby league)
  • several Olympians have been appointed – Ken Roche (athletics), Danielle Woodward (canoeing), Michael Murphy (diving), Stuart Grimshaw (hockey NZ), Rob Scott (rowing), Jenny Holliday (softball), Terry Gathercole, John Devitt, Neil Martin, John Bertrand, Kieren Perkins (swimming), Thomas Whalan (water polo), Sam Coffa and Robert Kabbas (weightlifting)
  • past AIS scholarship athletes appointed – Ned Coten (basketball), Melanie Woosnam (hockey), Paolina Hunt (netball), Jenny Holliday (softball), Thomas Whalan and Trent Birkett (water polo)
  • in sports high profile athletes – Mike Fitzpatrick (AFL), Michael Hawker (rugby union) and Layne Beechley (surfing)

For comments or alterations to the list contact Greg Blood.

See also Stocktake of Australian sport CEO’s 2000-2021

Updated – 9 September 2021

2 responses to “Stocktake of Australian sport Presidents/Chairs 2000-2021 – Updated 3 August 2022”

  1. I like your lists Greg, including the acknowledgment of coaches and officials at Olympic Games. Always good to see people recognised.

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