Chief Executive Officer's report

Kate Palmer

Kate Palmer


It is such an honour and privilege to have the opportunity to lead the ASC. As CEO, I am driven by the breadth of work, the complexity, the quality of the people, the massive opportunity for change and an overwhelming sense that what I am doing is meaningful and will make a difference.

As the former CEO of an NSO I was a beneficiary of the work of the ASC. I knew that I was joining a well-governed and managed organisation. I had watched my predecessor Simon Hollingsworth and his leadership team develop strong and successful partnerships with sport; deliver on a corporate plan that has improved the governance of sport, increased the capability of sport in the digital, financial and commercial areas; and focus on improving high performance and participation outcomes. On behalf of sport I offer my congratulations on these results and wish Simon the best of luck for the next stage of his career.

The past six months has been an exciting time as I met with most NSO CEOs and representatives from all key agencies including our close colleagues at the SIS/SAS, APC,  CGA and AOC. The consultations with stakeholders about the future of sport as part of our strategy development and more recently around the Government’s NSP has given us a clear picture of what the ASC must focus on to move Australian sport forward. The annual sector survey strengthened our views on the purpose and role of the ASC. The sector wants the ASC to strengthen our leadership, focus on high performance and participation outcomes and importantly play a major role in promoting the value of sport and its role in building a healthier Australia.

Minister Hunt and our colleagues in the Department of Health have been welcoming and   very supportive of our desire to transform the way we do business. There is a real sense of shared purpose and commitment to improving the system, to set clear long term targets and to deliver better results. The Government, through the ASC, has made significant levels of investment into sport to increase their capability to deliver the Australian sport system.

During the past six months the ASC has focused on a newly drafted strategy and organisation design, NSP consultation, a strategic asset management review, the reform of the National Institute Network (NIN), investigation of a national sports lottery, launch of the next stages of the physical literacy standard and an important piece of work around child protection.

Our Stepping In program, which provides intensive targeted leadership development opportunities for future women leaders, has been a fantastic success, with places oversubscribed  and  positive feedback.  Similarly,  the AIS  Centre  for Performance  Coaching and Leadership continues to deliver world-best approaches to learning and development for coaches and performance leaders.  We  also welcomed  the  National Basketball  Association (NBA) Global Academy on site, an elite training centre for Australian and international male  and female basketball prospects.

The sector has a collective challenge and opportunity and we will be measured on the quality   of execution and our ability to remain focused on ‘game changers’. Some of the key initiatives are review of the investment model, freeing up resources to increase investment in sport outcomes, evolution of the highly valued Sporting Schools program and promoting the critical role sport and physical activity plays in the development of children. We will work on building capability of NSOs through their workforce and digital transformation and maximise the use  and utility of the AIS site to deliver the AIS high performance strategy. We will seek greater clarity and real purpose around our leadership role and how we work in partnership, and across the sector, to strengthen sport.

Thank you to Chair John Wylie am and all Commissioners for their support and clear direction. We are fortunate to have a Board with strong expertise and skills to lead the organisation. Thank you also to the ASC staff members, who looked at me, smiled and rolled up their sleeves when I said that we are going to set our sights on transforming the organisation. Thank you to my fellow CEOs who work so hard to grow their sport and for your contribution to the system and to my colleagues in each of the State and Territory Departments and SIS/SAS who I look forward to working closely with on our shared outcomes across the system.

Kate Palmer
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Sports Commission