Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia is the peak governing body for competitive swimming in Australia. The body has approximately 100,000 registered members nationally in 1100 clubs across the country, which includes swimmers, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers. The body oversees the management and development of the sport from the national team at the elite level, the conduct of national and international events, through to grass roots participation. The organisation's vision is to become Australia's leading sport through increased participation, continual outstanding performance and commercial excellence.

Swimming Australia Limited
IOC nationAUS
National flag
Official websitewww.swimming.org.au
Year of formation1909
Former namesAustralian Swimming
Number of affiliated Swimming clubs1, 100 estimated
Membership size100,000 estimated
International federationFédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)
FINA members pagewww.fina.org
FINA member since1909
Continental associationOceania Swimming Association
National Olympic CommitteeAustralian Olympic Committee
Member of NOC since1896
National Paralympic CommitteeAustralian Paralympic Committee
Member of NPC since1990
Other affiliation(s)
  • Australian Commonwealth Games Association
PresidentJohn Bertrand AM
  • Daniel Burger
  • Abi Cleland
  • Bruce Havilah
  • Graeme Johnson
  • Nicole Livingstone OAM
  • Simon Rothery
  • Tracy Stockwell OAM
  • Mr Jeremy Turner
Organisation Structure
Chief ExecutiveLeigh Russell
Head CoachJacco Verhaeren
SponsorsHancock Prospecting

In 1985, the organisation had approximately 90,000 registered members.[1]


Competitive national swimming championships were first held in 1894. Australia had swimmers at most major international swimming events since the 1896 Summer Olympics.[2]

This interest led to the creation of the Amateur Swimming Union of Australia, the precursor to Swimming Australia, which was founded in 1909 at a meeting of state swimming representatives at the Sports Club on Hunter Street in Sydney's CBD. There they established a charter which included the key features of the promotion of uniformity of rules and regulations across Australia; the adjudication all matters of disputes between affiliated associations; the control and management of swimmers visiting Australia; the control and management of Australian representatives in any contest of international nature; and control the recognition of all "best on record" performances.[3]

Within a short time the Amateur Swimming Union of Australia had extended its charter to include negotiation with the recently formed International Swimming Federation (Fédération Internationale de Natation, FINA).

James Taylor was the foundation president and served for the first 35 years of the body's existence from 1909 to 1944.

During 1985, under a new corporate structure, the Amateur Swimming Union of Australia was incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory and became Australian Swimming Inc.

On 1 October 2004, Australian Swimming became a company limited by guarantee and changed its name to Swimming Australia Ltd.[4] Glenn Tasker served as the chief executive officer until June 2008, and the organisation's headquarters is located at Unit 12, 7 Beissel Street, Belconnen, ACT. In 2013, Mark Anderson was appointed CEO.

The Australian Swim Team underwent a rebranding in 2014 and was renamed the Australian Dolphins Swimming Team.

Swimming Australia supports and runs the Swimming Australia National Training Centre at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Australian Swimmers of the Year

Swimming Australia announces a number of awards annually, most notably the Australian Swimmer of the Year Award.[5]

1990Glen HousmanQueensland
1991Hayley LewisQueensland
1992Kieren PerkinsQueensland
1993Kieren PerkinsQueensland
1994Kieren PerkinsQueensland
1995Susie O'NeillQueensland
1996Susie O'NeillQueensland
1997Michael KlimVictoria
1998Michael KlimVictoria
1999Ian ThorpeNew South Wales
2000Ian ThorpeNew South Wales
2001Ian ThorpeNew South Wales
2002Ian ThorpeNew South Wales
2003Ian Thorpe
Grant Hackett
New South Wales
2004Jodie HenryQueensland
2005Grant HackettQueensland
2006Leisel JonesQueensland
2007Libby LentonQueensland
2008Stephanie RiceQueensland
2009Jessicah SchipperQueensland
2010Alicia CouttsQueensland
2011James MagnussenNew South Wales
2012Alicia CouttsQueensland
2013Cate CampbellQueensland
2014Cate CampbellQueensland
2015Bronte Campbell
Emily Seebohm

Stakeholders and affiliations

Swimming Australia's key stakeholders includes:

  • Swimming New South Wales
  • Swimming Victoria
  • Swimming Queensland
  • Swimming South Australia
  • Swimming Western Australia
  • Swimming Tasmania
  • Swimming Northern Territory
  • Swimming ACT
  • Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA)
  • Australian Swimmers Association

Swimming Australia is affiliated to the following bodies:

Whilst the following organisations are affiliated with Swimming Australia:

  • Australian Waterpolo Association Inc
  • Australian Diving Association Inc
  • Australian Synchronised Swimming
  • AUSSI Masters Swimming in Australia

Swimming Australia is also a foundation member of AUSTSWIM and is involved in the development of an Australian Water Safety Organisation.[6]

Sexual abuse allegations

In July 2014 the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, a Royal Commission of inquiry initiated in 2013 by the Australian Government and supported by all of its state governments,[7] began an investigation into the response of Swimming Australia to allegations of child sexual abuse against Terrance William Buck; the response of Swimming Australia, Swimming Queensland, and the Queensland Academy of Sport to allegations of child sexual abuse against Scott Volkers; and the responses of the Offices of the Directors of Public Prosecutions in Queensland and New South Wales to determine whether to prosecute allegations of child sexual assault; the response of Scone Swimming Club to the convictions of Stephen John Roser for indecent assault and for committing acts of indecency against a child; the response of the Queensland Commissioner for Children and Young People and Child Guardian to an application by Scott Volkers for a 'blue card'; and related matters.[8] Six former students, a number of swimming executives, government officials, Margaret Cunneen SC, Anthony Moynihan QC, Nicholas Cowdery QC, Lloyd Babb SC, The Honourable Justice Leanne Clare SC and Paul Rutledge gave evidence or made statements before the Royal Commission.[9] The Royal Commission heard from women who alleged they'd been abused as children and that despite informing officials, the alleged perpetrators did not face criminal trial on the basis of recommendations provided by government prosecutors in both New South Wales and Queensland.[10][11] In April 2015 Swimming Australia president John Bertrand issued an apology to former swim students who were victims of sexual abuse.[12]

Allegations against various swimming coaches were reported as first aired in the media up to ten years earlier;[11][13][14] and new cases were alleged following the Royal Commission hearings.[15]

See also


  1. Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism; Australian Sport Commission (1985). Australian Sport, a profile. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publish Service. p. 187. ISBN 0-644-03667-2.
  2. Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism; Australian Sport Commission (1985). Australian Sport, a profile. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publish Service. p. 186. ISBN 0-644-03667-2.
  3. "Organisational History" (PDF). Swimming Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
  4. "Neil Martin takes reins over Swimming Australia". Xinhua. 18 September 2004. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
  5. "Swimmer of the Year". Swimming Australia. 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  6. "About AUSTSWIM". AUSTSWIM. Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 4 February 2007.
  7. "Letters Patent". Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  8. "Case Study 15, July 2014, Sydney". Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  9. "Witness List and Order". Public hearing into the response of swimming organisations and the New South Wales and Queensland Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions into allegations of child sexual abuse. Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  10. Donovan, Samantha (7 July 2014). "Royal Commission to examine Swimming Australia child sex abuse cases". AM ABC Radio. Australia. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  11. Gilbert, Julie (8 July 2014). "A victim of alleged sexual abuse by her swim coach talks to 7.30". 7.30 (Interview). Interviewed by Adam Harvey. ABC TV. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  12. Balym, Todd (1 April 2015). "Swimming Australia president John Bertrand apologises to sport's sexual abuse victims". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  13. "Australian Olympic swim team 'sex abuse cover up'". The Daily Telegraph. 7 December 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. Cowley, Michael; Mahar, Jessica (9 December 2009). "Second swimmer steps forward with abuse claims against a coach". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  15. Halloran, Jessica (23 November 2014). "Swimming Australia to investigate sexual abuse claims against a former coach". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 17 May 2015.

Australian Olympic swimmers admit using sedative https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-21543642

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