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AIS amplifies the voice of athletes

19 November 2019

Australian elite athletes will have increased influence on the direction of high-performance sport with the announcement today of the inaugural Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Athlete Advisory Committee (AAC)

Ten current Australian athletes, including world champion surfer Sally Fitzgibbons, Paralympians Danni Di Toro and Mitchell Gourley and national Water Polo captain Rowie Webster, will form the inaugural AAC and have the opportunity to consider and make recommendations to the Australian Sports Commission Board on athlete matters within the high performance sporting system.

Chaired by Olympian, Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist and Australian Sports Commission Board Member Steve Moneghetti, the AAC aims to ensure that athletes have a voice in shaping the future of high-performance sport in Australia.

“I feel extremely fortunate to be taking on the role of the chair of the AIS Athlete Advisory Committee and working with who I am sure will be the future leaders of sport in this country,” said Moneghetti.

“We have been able to assemble a very diverse group of athlete leaders who will all bring different skills, ideas and perspectives which is exactly what we set out to achieve.”

AIS CEO Peter Conde believes it is critical for athletes to be involved across all stages on matters that directly relate to them.

“We identified that while most individual sports have athlete committee chairs, there was not a dedicated representation of athlete leaders that we could turn to for advice and recommendations on matters concerning the entire Australian high-performance sports system,” said Conde.

“The AIS is committed to leading and enabling high performance sport in a collaborative way, and this means ensuring that athletes have a voice at the table.

“Members of the Committee will be able to use their own experience and insights as high-performance athletes and provide direct recommendations to the AIS for both current, ongoing and future strategies.”

The role of the AAC will be to consider and make recommendations to the AIS and ultimately to the Australian Sports Commission Board either on direct request or at their own volition.

Current issues the group could be called on to provide input include identifying and developing solutions relating to pathways, review of athlete-related policies including athlete categorisation and direct support and education material and working with other athlete committees to ensure a collaborative and consistent approach to athlete wellbeing.

The development of the committee is part of the strong commitment the AIS has made to athlete wellbeing and engagement helping to create an environment where Australian athletes can learn, thrive and contribute back to sport and the broader community.

Athlete Advisory Committee members:

  • Steve Moneghetti – Committee Chair – Moneghetti has appeared at four Olympic Games as a long-distance runner between 1988 and 2000 and won gold at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada. In 2006, Moneghetti was named Mayor of the Commonwealth Games village in Melbourne and was Australian Chef de Mission at three Commonwealth Games, 2010, 2014 and 2018.
  • Sally Fitzgibbons (Surfing) – Fitzgibbons has built a formidable competitive career with 11 World Surf League World Tour Championship wins and three runner-up finishes to the World Title. With surfing announced as an Olympic sport for Tokyo 2020, Fitzgibbons is on track for her Olympic debut next year.
  • Josh Booth (Rowing) – Booth made his first Olympic appearance for Australia at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Men's Coxed Eight, finishing in eight position. In 2016, he was named in the Men's Four and went on to win an Olympic silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games.
  • Matt Levy (Para-swimming) – Levy first represented Australia at the Athens 2004 Paralympics. He won his first gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and again in London. He appeared at his fourth Paralympics in Rio.
  • Jane-Anne Claxton (Hockey) – Claxton made her debut for the Hockeyroos in 2013 and representedAustralia at both the Glasgow and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, earning gold and silver respectively.
  • Danni Di Toro (Para-table tennis) – Six-time Paralympian Danni Di Toro is a seasoned veteran. Di Toro has a silver and bronze medal in wheelchair tennis before making the switch to Para-table tennis before the 2016 Paralympic Games. Di Toro was named as the co-captain of the Australian Paralympic Team.
  • Rowie Webster (Water polo) - Captain of the Australian Stingers, Webster is on track to make an appearance in her third Olympic Games next year in Tokyo. Webster was part of the bronze medal winning team at the London Games and is one of only three players in the history of Australian water polo to reach 300 international caps.
  • Alyce Burnett (Sprint kayak) - Burnett made her Olympic debut in 2016 with her K2 partner Alyssa Bull, making the final and placing in 8th position. Since then, Burnett became the K1 1000m World Champion in 2017 and claimed the silver medal at the 2018 World Cup in the K4 500m, resulting in a quota spot for the K4 event in Tokyo.
  • Angus Armstrong (Athletics) – Armstrong made the decision in 2011 to specialise in pole vault and hasn’t looked back since. He holds the record for the youngest male to win the pole vault title at the Australian athletics championships and earned a place at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
  • Mitchell Gourley (Para-alpine skiing) - Mitch Gourley is a veteran of three Paralympic Winter Games and six World Championship teams over his 14 years on the Australian Para Alpine Ski Team.
  • Anabelle Smith (Diving) – By the age of 23, Smithhad represented Australia at two Olympics – winning a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics with her synchronised diving partner Maddison Keeney.
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