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A very different sport association for John Bertrand AM

Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia

The Board of Swimming Australia today announced the appointment of Mr John Bertrand AM as the new President of Swimming Australia Ltd.

The appointment is another positive step for the leadership structure of Swimming Australia, as the sport heads towards Rio and beyond.

Mr Bertrand AM is a dual Olympian, world champion sailor, respected international business leader and renowned philanthropist. He represented Australia in five America’s Cups and at two Olympic Games (1972, 1976), including winning an Olympic bronze medal in Montreal in 1976.

His America’s Cup career was exceptional. He skippered Australia II, the yacht which won the America’s Cup for Australia in 1983, breaking 132 years of American domination in the sport.

That victory was recognised by the Confederation of Australian Sport as the ‘greatest team performance in 200 years of Australian sport.’

In over 25 years of America’s Cup campaigning (1970-1995), he was involved in all areas of creating and leading these high performance teams including skipper of the Australia II team and chairman of oneAustralia.

John Bertrand is the current Chairman of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame and also Chairman of the Alannah and Madeline Children’s Foundation – a charity that was established after the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996 and is now a world leader in child protection causes and anti-bullying programs. John is also chairman of selectors of the highly successful Australian Olympic Sailing Team.

John was conferred a Member of the Order of Australia in 1985.

In accepting the appointment to President, Mr Bertrand said he was looking forward to working with the Board, CEO Mark Anderson and the Executive team at Swimming Australia to lead the sport to future success, both in and out of the pool.

“I am honoured to have been selected to preside over Swimming Australia,” Mr Bertrand said.

“I’ve had an association with high performance sport and high performance teams for more than 40 years and this appointment is one of the highlights of my career.

“Swimming has a proud history in this country and a reputation for hard work, humility and success. This tradition needs to continue and be a clear focus for all athletes and coaches as we head towards Rio in 2016.

“Australians love watching our gold-capped swimmers in action and personally I get a real sense of pride when they are making their presence felt on the swimming world stage. The recent performances at the World Championships in Barcelona and Montreal were a positive next step towards Rio and it’s clear that things are moving in the right direction.

“My immediate focus will be to provide the corporate leadership and direction to ensure continued improvement in sporting results, corporate governance, team culture and grass roots growth at the community sport level,” Mr Bertrand said.

Acting Chair of Swimming Australia Mr Clem Doherty said that Mr Bertrand’s proven track record for excellence, achievement and experience across sport and business would be an asset to Swimming Australia moving forward.

“John has been an inspiration to generations of Australians and is a perfect role model for our next generation of elite athletes,” Mr Doherty said.

“He brings a unique mix of corporate expertise, government relations, sporting prowess and leadership of high performance teams and will be a valuable asset to the sport.”

CEO of Swimming Australia Mr Mark Anderson said Mr Bertrand’s accomplished sporting and business career, combined with his outstanding leadership skills will add significant value to our sport.

“I look forward to partnering with John as Swimming Australia continues to take some important next steps, both from high performance and commercial perspective, and build upon the positive progress the sport has already made this year,” Mr Anderson said.

“We will work together and with all our key stakeholders to ensure swimming in Australia is once again a formidable powerhouse on the world stage,” he said.

Mr Bertrand will fill the position for the remainder of its term until October 2014 as per the Swimming Australia Constitution.

Mr John Bertrand AM – Born 20 December 1946 in Melbourne, Victoria
• Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) 1970 – Monash University
• Masters of Science in Ocean Engineering 1972 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Dual Olympian – Munich 1972, Montreal 1976 (Bronze medallist)
• Skippered Australia II to victory in the 1983 America’s Cup
• Member of the Order of Australia 1985 – in recognition of services to yachting
• Awarded Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for outstanding achievement in the America’s Cup
• Awarded Centenary Medal in 2001 for service to Australian society through sport
• Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Alannah and Madeline Foundation since 2001
• Chairman of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame since 2005
• Named Melbournian of the Year in 2008
• Received Monash University’s Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011
• Vice Chancellor Professorial Fellow of Monash University – 2013
• Appointed President of Swimming Australia Ltd – August 2013

By Lachlan Searle, Swimming Australia