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New Active Australia Alliance looks to represent ‘community leisure industry’

New Active Australia Alliance looks to represent ‘community leisure industry’
November 25, 2021

A coming together of employers in the ‘community leisure industry’ will see the launch of the new Active Australia Alliance in December.

A statement released today introducing the group, advises “the Active Australia Alliance will bring together employers to collectively present to the Federal Government with an understanding of how the community leisure industry supports their preventative health plan.

“The Alliance will demonstrate how the industry can join the dots between physical activity, community sport participation, facility owners and the employers who provide the community services.”

With the significant impact of COVID having solidified collaboration across the industry, the founding members of the Alliance include the chief executives of Aligned Leisure, Belgravia Leisure, BlueFit and the Y (YMCA).

Commencing engagement with other community leisure employers, including local governments who self-manage facilities, to join the Alliance, the new body is aiming to work together to drive the Federal agenda for community aquatic, fitness, recreation and sport and find solutions to industry challenges that have emerged and intensified during the disruptive period of the pandemic

The Alliance has formed as a result of various online meetings along with consultation of various industry peak bodies to establish the group’s purpose, which is to represent the significant workforce, and national service to the community, to advocate Federally. In addition to the founding members, another layer of organisations have been invited into the Active Australia Alliance to work through a defined plan over the next nine months.

This group also includes local government authorities’ self-managing facilities, which also employs large groups of leisure workers.

BlueFit Chief Executive, Todd McHardy noted "various peak bodies cross through and partially represent the Australian community sport and leisure space, so it's been tough to collectively raise our voice to all levels of government. As employers, this group will both advocate and execute within our defined space, without creating another peak body"

Susannah Le Bron, Chief Executive of the Y NSW representing the Y in Australia, said the Alliance will attempt to overcome industry challenges through our network of national operations.

Le Bron noted “collectively, we can address the various challenges we all face as a result of COVID, including skilled worker shortages, the potential for increased drowning rates and the broader social and economic health impacts of physical inactivity. We must also outline the significant positive community impact we have - and the collective impact on the community that has emerged."

Belgravia Leisure Chief Executive, Nick Cox noted "COVID has had a profound effect on the health & wellbeing of our communities. For the Leisure industry to have any chance of rebuilding the lives of those affected, it will need to work closely with all levels of government. We need strong leadership with a common goal and consistent principles in dealing with the challenges and opportunities arising from COVID

Explaining the founding members have been clear from the outset that the Alliance is for all community leisure employers, Shane Dunne, Chief Executive of Aligned Leisure, went on to say "the passion for the industry within the initial group is clear, and we look forward to bringing more groups into the tent to form a plan to position Community Leisure as a solution to the national preventative health agenda."

Michelle Whitehurst, Sutherland Shire Director of Shire Services says Council sees collaborating with likeminded employers as invaluable in driving the industry forward, also advised “we all know the benefits aquatics, sport and recreation has for communities, so working together we can inform all levels of government of the significant contribution we make to health in Australia.”

The group hopes to tackle Australia's relatively poor spend on preventative health, while bringing together connections with various levels of government, peaks and sporting representatives. Targeted advocacy and community programming is possible through direct employment and facility operation.

The founding members are inviting interested employers across community recreation and sport as well as related sectors to join them in networking at the National Sports and Physical Activity Convention Oration at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 9th December from 4pm to 7pm.

Fitness Australia has today revealed that it is rebranding as AUSactive.

Further information will on the Alliance will soon be available at

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26th October 2020 - BlueFit announces appointment of Brett McEwin as General Manager of Leisure

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