Swimming Australia Chasing Its Fifth President In Three Years After Michelle Gallen Resigns
Swimming Australia is about to elect its fifth president in three years following the resignation of latest chairperson Michelle Gallen.
Gallen had been in the role less than 12 months after succeeding Tracy Stockwell (Caulkins) who had followed Kieren Perkins and John Bertrand.
The governing body of Australia’s most successful Olympic sport is also yet to appoint its latest CEO after the resignation of Eugenie Buckley in April, who had followed Alex Baumann and Leigh Russell. Board member Steve Newman has been the acting CEO since April.
Gallen has been announced as the new CEO of the National Sports Tribunal, the body that hears and resolves national-level sporting disputes in Australia.
The appointment requires her to relinquish her position on the Board before she starts her new role on 18 September.
Today’s announcement comes just weeks after it was revealed that Swimming Australia was “in hot water” with the World Aquatics following advice that it needed to make constitutional changes to ensure more power to athletes and a stronger voice for athletes and coaches would be endorsed at a Special General Meeting of its voting members in October.
If the motion for the new constitution wasn’t passed, then World Aquatics reserved its rights to consider further action against Swimming Australia in line with its constitution – which includes expulsion from the global governing body.
Gallen had announced that a meeting to vote for the adoption of a new constitution aimed at delivering governance reforms essential to the future of the sport would be held on October 20.
Upon her departure, Gallen said it had been an honour to be President of the organization and to serve the broader swimming community, from the grassroots through to the elite level.
“Watching our swimmers dominate at the recent World Aquatics Championships and Para Swimming World Championships made Australia extremely proud and will help inspire the next generation of swimmers,” Gallen said.
“It was a difficult decision but I’m excited to be pursuing my other passion of sports law at the National Sports Tribunal.
“I will be watching with great investment and interest as our swimmers continue their preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics and Paralympics.”
Swimming Australia has commenced the process of finding Gallen’s successor and said today it will announce the new President of Swimming Australia in due course.
In July Australia’s National Team won a total of 25 medals at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka – 13 of them gold – the most dominant gold medal performance of any team and its best gold medal performance since 2001 – and the most medals ever won.