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Response to Independent Report into Swimming Australia

21 January 2022

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) acknowledges the importance of the Independent Report into Swimming Australia, which provides a plan to benefit participants at all levels. The statement below is from ASC Chair Josephine Sukkar AM:

“Swimming is a flagship Australian sport and it is a fundamental life skill for all Australians. It must always be a safe, positive and inclusive sport for all - from those learning to swim and participating in community clubs, through to Olympians and Paralympians representing our country.

“The ASC thanks Chris Ronalds AO SC and the independent panel who conducted this Report. We acknowledge Swimming Australia’s openness and leadership in commissioning and undertaking the review process as part of their ongoing commitment to positive cultural change.

“The ASC is especially grateful to more than 150 members of the swimming community who contributed personal accounts to this Report, many of whom have shown great courage by sharing their experiences.

“The ASC will play an active role in supporting Swimming Australia to implement the recommendations within the Report. We need to ensure this leads to positive outcomes for Australian swimming and sport more broadly.

“Australian Institute of Sport Acting CEO Matti Clements, who has led the AIS’s national approach to enhancing athlete wellbeing and high performance sport leadership since 2018, is part of the Implementation Steering Group.

“There are a number of initiatives in place across the ASC that address the challenges being faced by swimming including athlete wellbeing, coaching and governance programs. We will continue to work closely with swimming, and all sports, to ensure sport provides inclusive and positive environments and remains central to the lives of all Australians.”

To support participants in the review, the AIS Be Heard support service is extended to the broader swimming community. This is a free, independent and confidential support service with a specialised integrity provider that can assist, whether that is mental health support or to seek advice on a complaints process.

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