In recognising the importance of sport and the significant emerging challenges to Australia’s sustained success in elite sport, the Australian Government released the directions paper Australian Sport: Emerging Challenges, New Directions, on 6 May 2008. The paper outlined the need for widespread and continuing reform of Australia’s sporting system.
On 28 August 2008, the Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, announced the appointment of an independent expert panel that investigated ways of ensuring that Australia’s sporting system remains prepared for the challenges of the future.
The expert panel looked at sport at both the elite level and at the grassroots community level, as part of a top-to-bottom examination of Australian sport and for better ways to run, promote and manage sport in Australia.
The panel was chaired by highly-regarded businessman David Crawford, who had previously modernised and driven change at the Australian Football League and Football Federation Australia. His credentials also included time as chairman of Foster’s Group Ltd and Lend Lease Corporation and director of BHP Billiton Ltd, as well as holding other senior corporate positions.
Mr Crawford headed a team that included:
- Mark Bouris – leading businessmen and creator of Wizard home loans and Sydney Rooster Rugby League Club board member
- Sam Mostyn – extensive background in law and corporate affairs, and AFL commissioner
- Pam Tye – Hockey Australia President and former Australian Sports Commission board member
- Colin Carter – a senior adviser to the Boston Consulting Group and a director of a number of companies including Wesfarmers and World Vision
The panel consulted widely with key stakeholders, in particular those playing a key role in the development, delivery and use of various aspects of the Australian sporting system, and reported to the Australian Government in 2009.
The panel called for written submissions from interested individuals and sporting organisations from 3 October to 7 November 2008.
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