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CEO AIS Executive Report

CEO AIS Executive report

CEO AIS Executive report - page 1CEO AIS Executive report The countdown to an Olympic and Paralympic year is always an exciting and challenging time to be working in high performance sport. Following a number of key strategic and operating improvements, the Australian Institute of Sport heads into 2019–20 with programs, systems and people mobilised and focussed on fulfilling our role to lead and enable the Australian high performance sector. While there is still much work to be done, we are focused on podium success at the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020, and beyond. Our Executive Team has undertaken significant work over the past 12 months, with evolved strategic priorities, an updated investment framework and a new operating model. These are all crucial to the whole system working towards the goal of building sustainable winning systems for Australian athletes. In 2018–19 we continued to implement and refine the AIS structure to deliver better high performance outcomes, and in 2019–20, a new operating model provides us with the autonomy to have a single focus on high performance sport and better equip us to respond and lead in a dynamic high performance environment. A Federal Government funding boost of $54.1m over two years announced in April’s budget is being directed to athlete pathways and wellbeing. We are committed to delivering multiple medallists over multiple cycles and in partnership with National Sporting Organisations and the National Institute Network, a focus on pathways will help us unearth and nurture the next Ian Thorpe, Sally Pearson or Liz Cambage. It’s crucial that our high performance athletes embrace a holistic approach to their careers and lives and in this area, the AIS Athlete Wellbeing and Engagement initiatives continue with the rollout of a number of key programs. We have embedded 20 Athlete Wellbeing Managers in sports, on hand to provide guidance and support to athletes in areas ranging from mental health, to career guidance and community engagement. In March 2019 we launched the AIS Mental Health Referral Network — a group of specialist wellbeing practitioners who are just a phone call away to assist athletes and their support teams. We also partnered with Lifeline to establish the Community Custodians Program — twenty one athlete ambassadors working to create community awareness of mental health issues.

CEO AIS Executive report - page 2The pressure to perform at major competition is another major challenge for athletes and coaches and in this space we have partnered with Australian Army to introduce the Gold Medal Ready Program, a series of immersive programs and workshops with athletes preparing for Tokyo 2020. Working alongside Army Special Operations Training and the ‘Gold Medal Alumni’ — a group of gold medal-winning athletes and coaches — future Olympians are exposed to a wide range of experiences and knowledge from across the high performance realm, learning how to deal with mental and emotional challenges in unfamiliar surroundings. We are making great strides towards a genuinely collaborative national high performance sport system. Our work with the National Institute Network (NIN) and key stakeholders has delivered the National High Performance Sport Strategy 2024, tabled for release in late 2019, with an agreed set of KPIs to help us all to achieve future success. This is the first time all State and Territory Governments have agreed to a national plan and is a great step forward for Australian sport. Like any period of change and evolution, there are still some tweaks to be made and creases to be ironed out, but I am confident with our passionate staff, refreshed goals and renewed sense of purpose we will continue to strive towards instilling pride and inspiration in all Australians through sport. Peter Conde Chief Executive Officer AIS