Swimming Australia

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Swimming Australia Limited
Swimming Australia logo.png
IOC nation AUS
National flag Australia
Sport Swimming
Official website www.swimming.org.au
Year of formation 1909
Former names Australian Swimming
Number of affiliated Swimming clubs 1, 100 estimated
Membership size 100,000 estimated
International federation Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA)
FINA members page www.fina.org
FINA member since 1909
Continental association Oceania Swimming Association
National Olympic Committee Australian Olympic Committee
Member of NOC since 1896
National Paralympic Committee Australian Paralympic Committee
Member of NPC since 1990
Other affiliation(s)
  • Australian Commonwealth Games Association
President John Bertrand AM
Organisation Structure
Chief Executive Mark Anderson
Olympic team manager Wayne Lomas
Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren
Sponsors Hancock Prospecting

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.

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[edit]

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

Year Winner State
1990 Glen Housman Queensland
1991 Hayley Lewis Queensland
1992 Kieren Perkins Queensland
1993 Kieren Perkins Queensland
1994 Kieren Perkins Queensland
1995 Susie O'Neill Queensland
1996 Susie O'Neill Queensland
1997 Michael Klim Victoria
1998 Michael Klim Victoria
1999 Ian Thorpe New South Wales
2000 Ian Thorpe New South Wales
2001 Ian Thorpe New South Wales
2002 Ian Thorpe New South Wales
2003 Ian Thorpe
Grant Hackett
New South Wales
2004 Jodie Henry Queensland
2005 Grant Hackett Queensland
2006 Leisel Jones Queensland
2007 Libby Lenton Queensland
2008 Stephanie Rice Queensland
2009 Jessicah Schipper Queensland
2010 Alicia Coutts Queensland
2011 James Magnussen New South Wales
2012 Alicia Coutts Queensland
2013 Cate Campbell Queensland
2014 Cate Campbell Queensland
2015 Bronte Campbell
Emily Seebohm

Stakeholders and affiliations[edit]

Swimming Australia's key stakeholders includes:

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[edit]

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[edit]


  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 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2007-01-01. 
  4. ^ "Neil Martin takes reins over Swimming Australia". Xinhua. 2004-09-18. Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  5. ^ "Swimmer of the Year". Swimming Australia. 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "About AUSTSWIM". AUSTSWIM. Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-02-04. 
  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. ^ a b Gilbert, Julie (8 July 2014). A victim of alleged sexual abuse by her swim coach talks to 7.30. Interview with Adam Harvey. 7.30. 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. 

External links[edit]