Australia’s Para-athletes have received a further boost to preparations for the 2016 Rio Games, the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) providing financial assistance of up to $3.5 million to the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC).
The ASC also welcomed the appointment of four new Directors to the APC Board: former News Limited CEO, John Hartigan; General Manager, People and Culture at Geelong AFL club, Rosie King; Partner at PwC, Jock O’Callaghan and; National Manager of New Markets at Insurance Australia Group, Dr Helen Nott.
The Board announcements come a week after the APC appointed new CEO, Lynne Anderson, former Managing Director of Repucom International, Australia and New Zealand.
The APC experienced financial challenges after the 2012 London Paralympics and has been working closely with the ASC on governance reform. The ASC’s additional investment is a one-off, comprising a loan of up to $2.5 million and a $1 million grant that will go directly towards the Australian Paralympic Team’s Rio 2016 campaign.
APC President Glenn Tasker thanked the ASC for its support and said he was pleased by the diverse range of skills and expertise added to the APC’s leadership structure.
“The APC has undergone significant operational change in recent months and I am confident that the appointment of our new Board Directors will further aid us in our push towards advancing Australia’s Paralympic team,” Mr Tasker said.
“Our new Directors and our new CEO bring with them skills and views which will only strengthen the organisation. Together with our existing Directors and their wealth of experience, I believe we have the ingredients to drive our movement forward.
“I would like to take the opportunity to express our thanks to the Australian Sports Commission for the financial assistance and organisational support they have provided. This gives us the ability to continue to fully focus on our preparations for Rio and raise the remaining funds to deliver a successful Australian team.”
The APC announced this month a four-year $2.2 million partnership with WorkCover NSW, a $1 million increase on their existing partnership.
ASC Chair John Wylie AM said the ASC’s additional investment provides financial stability for the APC, business growth opportunities and ensures Australia’s Para-athletes can focus on preparation for Rio.
“This financial investment, combined with these new leadership appointments, means the APC is better positioned to explore marketing and commercial opportunities before and after the Rio Paralympic Games,” Mr Wylie said.
“The ASC has faith in the APC’s commitment to building strong governance and we are equally committed to supporting that process.
“Importantly, this financial investment also gives our Paralympic aspirants the confidence and assurance to continue their preparations for Rio with relentless dedication. Australia’s Paralympic athletes have consistently proven themselves to be among the best in the world and their sustained success has seen our nation finish top-five in the Paralympic Games medal-tally since 1996. These athletes deserve our support.”
In addition to the $3.5 million investment in the APC, the ASC will provide almost $12 million in grants to National Sporting Organisations for high-performance Para-sport in 2015-16.
APC’s NEW BOARD DIRECTORS
John Hartigan: Mr Hartigan was appointed Chairman of Destination NSW in March 2014. He is also Chairman of the Prime Media Group. With more than four decades in the media industry, Mr Hartigan previously headed the Australian operations of News Corporation as Chairman and CEO of News Limited. He is a former Director of Foxtel. Mr Hartigan is a Trustee of the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.
Rosie King: Ms King has been General Manager of People and Culture at the Geelong Cats AFL club since September 2010. She has previously been Acting CEO of Geelong on a number of occasions, the first female CEO of an AFL club. She won the Graeme Samuel Scholarship in 2015, enabling her to undertake study at Harvard University. Ms King was General Manager, Organisational Development for Sport New Zealand.
Dr Helen Nott: Dr Nott is National Manager New Markets for IAG Commercial Insurance. For the past decade, Dr Nott has held various strategy and risk management senior roles in the insurance industry. Dr Nott holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research, a Bachelor of Science (Honours I) in Mathematics and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jock O’Callaghan: Mr O’Callaghan has been a partner at PwC since 2001, and is the firm’s Global Mining Leader. He is a chartered accountant with more than 25 years’ experience. Mr O’Callaghan has been a member of the firm’s Commercial Risk Panel and chair of the firm’s Australia Public Panel. He was a member of the Australian Professional & Ethical Standards Board taskforce that developed a standard for Due Diligence Committee work in Australia.
APC Board: Glenn Tasker (President), John Croll (Vice President), Joyce Parszos (Vice President), David Baker, Nick Dean, John Hartigan, Rosie King, Steve Loader, Jock, O’Callaghan, Dr Helen Nott
By ASC and APC Media