Kieren Perkins named new Australian Sports Commission CEO

Kieren Perkins named new Australian Sports Commission CEO

Dual Olympic swimming gold medallist Kieren Perkins has been named the new CEO of the Australian Sports Commission — the country’s peak sporting body.

Key points:Kieren Perkins says he could not be more “thrilled and honoured” to be appointed the CEO of the Australian Sports CommissionThe now 48-year-old won gold medals in the 1,500 metres freestyle at the 1992 and 1996 OlympicsFederal Minister for Sport Senator Richard Colbeck says he was “delighted” to have Perkins lead the ASC at this “pivotal time”The role will see him take charge of Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport.

The decision to appoint a single CEO reporting directly to the Sports Commission’s board is a return to the old structure after the position was abolished for the past few years in place of separate CEO’s running each organisation.

Sport Australia helps develop codes through collaboration with their national bodies and allocates money to grassroots.

The Institute of Sport funds elite sport and works in conjunction with state-based institutes.

Under Perkins, the two roles will come under his stewardship.

Announcing the appointment, Federal Minister for Sport Senator Richard Colbeck said:

“Sport plays an incredibly important role in Australia, and we are delighted to have Mr Perkins lead the ASC at this pivotal time.

“As one of our greatest ever Olympians, Mr Perkins brings first-hand experience of high-performance sport, as well as an intrinsic understanding of the important role grassroots sport plays in the health and wellbeing of all Australians.”

Perkins won gold medals in the 1,500 metres freestyle at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics and a myriad of other World Championship and Commonwealth Games gold medals during the 1990’s when he was Australia’s most celebrated Olympian and swimmer.

Kieren Perkins with his Olympic gold medal from the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta, USA. (Getty: Al Bello)”I could not be more thrilled and honoured to be appointed to lead the ASC as Australian sport looks forward to the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Perkins said.

“It’s the most amazing opportunity to help shape participation and elite sport for Australia.

“The decade leading to 2032 is a generational opportunity to build a lasting legacy for all sport, in an environment that allows everyone involved to safely live all of the positive life experiences sport can bring.”

Most recently, Rob Dalton has been acting as the CEO of Sport Australia but will leave when Perkins takes over in the first quarter of next year.

The CEO of the Australian Institute of Sport, Peter Conde, will depart in January.

Perkins’s biggest challenge will be to unite the two disparate arms of Australian sport, the grassroots and elite, but he said he is up for the challenge.

“My corporate experience gives me the business and relationship skills required to bring together the important stakeholders pivotal in ensuring sport flourishes,” he said.

Perkins has been the President of Swimming Australia since last year and has been working as an executive in banking for the past 13 years at the National Australia Bank and most recently as CEO of the Australian Unity Bank.

The last permanent CEO of the Australian Sports Commission was Kate Palmer, who stepped down in January last year.

The position was split during her time in charge.

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