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Kate Palmer to step down from Sport Australia Chief Executive role
Kate Palmer, Chief Executive of Sport Australia since 2017, is to step down from the role, not seeking to renew her contract when it expires on 31st January next year.
A joint statement from Palmer and the Sport Australia Board revealed the unexpected change this morning.
Having joined Sport Australia from Netball Australia, Palmer has led a successful program of reform within the Federal Government's sport agency.
However, downward pressure on budgets and a reaction to her championing wider recreation participation are believed to have influenced her decision.
However, acknowledging Palmer’s many significant milestones over the past three years, Sport Australia (Australian Sports Commission) Chair John Wylie stated on behalf of the Board “Kate has led a team which has supported the development of the National Sports Plan (Sport 2030), a National Physical Literacy Framework and the Find Your 30 Campaign which, among other initiatives, aim to get more Australians more physically active.
“Kate has led an ongoing process of building capability and of governance reform among national sports organisations and put in place important safeguards to protect children in sporting environments.
“She has also worked with the CEO of the Australian Institute of Sport, Peter Conde, to establish the AIS as a more focused organisation as it prepares Australian elite talent for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year.
“The ASC Board engaged Kate to deliver change and she has delivered on many fronts.
“The Board thanks her for all her work and wish her all the best for the next chapter of her career. We know she will continue to make her mark in Australian sport and as a role model for women in leadership.”
Palmer said her work at Sport Australia had been immensely rewarding and gave her the opportunity to champion inclusion, diversity and women’s empowerment, adding “the ASC Board gave me a gift when I was appointed to this very important role and have provided significant support and guidance over the years that has helped us make an impact and be successful.
“Sport Australia employs outstanding people and I have enjoyed every day working with them to lead and build capability in the sport industry.
“I believe in, and am pleased with, the progress we have made in helping Australians to become more active, in improving the physical literacy of children, and driving governance and management improvement across sport.
“Highlights have been initiating the AIS site project and leading it to a mature point and playing a role in setting the course for Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal. Both are critical to the future of Australia’s leading role in fair and clean sport. After two leadership roles in Australian sport that have focused on delivering significant change nationally I am now looking forward to the next challenge.”
Wylie said the Board and he were focused on a seamless transition for the organisation and minimal disruption of the exciting work underway in participation, physical activity and industry capability at Sport Australia, and preparation for Tokyo 2020.
Palmer was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her services to sport in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours,
Sport Australia will appoint n acting Chief Executive until the position is filled permanently.
15th October 2019 - Sport Australia releases Position Statement on Physical Literacy
27th May 2019 - Sport Australia and AIS welcome new Minister for Sport
26th September 2017 - Physical literacy moves towards a national standard
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