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Australian Institute of Sport

AIS 40th anniversary


We are continually looking for ways to progress the AIS and Australian sport.

The AIS was one-of-a-kind in 1981, the only sport institute in Australia. There is now a sport institute or academy in every state and territory.

We have united to become the National Institute Network and are positioned to positively influence more Australian athletes than ever before.

Here are some of the key moments in our journey so far.

AIS historical timeline

For further information on AIS Sports, please visit the AIS Alumni Network on the Clearinghouse for Sport website. This work is currently being assembled. Unless otherwise indicated, all AIS sports will gradually be included to this network.

  • 1981

    The AIS officially opened by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Malcolm Fraser on 26 January (Australia Day).

    Don Talbot was appointed inaugural AIS Director and Kevan Gosper, Chair of the AIS Board.

    The eight founding sports were basketball, gymnastics, netball, swimming, tennis, track and field, football, and weightlifting.

  • 1982

    The South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) was established.

  • 1983

    Construction of the indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and swimming complex were completed.

    The Gymnastics Training Hall was opened on 1 March 1983 by the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Fraser.

    The West Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) was established.

  • 1984

    Dr John Cheffers was appointed AIS Director.

    Ted Harris was appointed new ASC Chair.

    Greg Hartung was appointed ASC CEO.

    The AIS diving program in Brisbane and hockey program in Perth were established.

    Construction of the Frank Stewart Training Centre for netball, Football (indoor) basketball and weightlifting and outdoor synthetic football pitch were completed.

  • 1985

    Professor John Bloomfield was appointed AIS Chair.

    The Sports Science and Medicine Building was opened on 22 July 1985 by the Hon John Brown MP, Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism.

    The AIS Athletes' Residence and the Corporate Services Building was opened by the Prime Minister, the Hon Bob Hawke, on 29 October 1985.

    The AIS squash program in Brisbane and men's water polo and rowing in Canberra were established.

    The Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS) was established.

  • 1986

    The AIS Football outdoor facility was completed, which included the two grass fields, changing rooms and lecture room.

    The AIS men's cricket program in Adelaide was established.

  • 1987

    Ronald Harvey was appointed AIS Director.

    The AIS cycling program in Adelaide was established.

    In August the government decided to merge the AIS with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

  • 1988

    The AIS rugby union program in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra was established.

    Perry Crosswhite was appointed as acting ASC CEO.

  • 1989

    The AIS canoe facility opened on the Gold Coast.

    Ronald Harvey was appointed ASC CEO.

    The ACT Academy of Sport (ACTAS) was established.

  • 1990

    Robert de Castella appointed AIS Director.

    The AIS men's volleyball program in Sydney was established.

    Jim Ferguson was appointed ASC CEO.

    The Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) was established.

Opening of the AIS by Malcolm Fraser 1981
AIS Men's Football Team 1981
AIS Sports Science 1982
AIS Campus 1983
Indoor Basketball Hall Opening 1984
AIS administration building and AIS residence 1985

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  • 1991

    The AIS men's road cycling program in Canberra was established.

    The Life-skills for Elite Athletes Program (LEAP) commenced.

    The Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) was established.

  • 1992

    The AIS golf program in Melbourne was established.

  • 1993

    AIS women's softball program in Brisbane is established.

    AIS women's road cycling program in Canberra is established

  • 1994

    Mike Fitzpatrick was appointed new ASC Chair.

  • 1995

    John Boultbee was appointed as AIS Director.

    The AIS mountain bike program in Canberra was established.

  • 1996

    The New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) was established.

    The Northern Territory Institute of Sport (NTIS) was established.

  • 1997

    The AIS boxing, wrestling, archery and shooting programs in Canberra were established.

    The AIS Australian football program in Melbourne was established.

    Peter Bartels was appointed new ASC Chair.

  • 2000

    The AIS sailing and slalom canoeing in Sydney, and camps based women's cricket and triathlon programs were established.

AIS Biomechanics dome javelin testing 1991.
National Sport Information Centre (NSIC) video editing facilities 1998.
AIS Sports Haematology Biochemistry Laboratory 1999.

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  • 2001

    Michael Scott was appointed AIS Director.

    Mark Peters was appointed ASC CEO.

  • 2003

    The new extensions for the AIS archery centre and AIS rowing centre were opened.

    The AIS golf facility located at Moonah Links, near Rye on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula was opened.

  • 2004

    The AIS cricket academy moved to Brisbane.

  • 2005

    Professor Peter Fricker was appointed AIS Director.

    The AIS/AVF beach volleyball national centre of excellence was launched.

    A new extension to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) diving dry land training facility at the Sleeman Centre in Chandler, Queensland was opened.

  • 2006

    The new $17 million Aquatics Training and Recovery Centre was constructed.

  • 2007

    The AIS High Performance Hub opened. Featuring a 110-metre indoor running track (with jumping pit), new physiology laboratories and an enhanced strength and conditioning gymnasium.

    The new AIS Athlete Residences opened.

  • 2008

    Greg Hartung was appointed new ASC Chair.

  • 2009

    Matt Miller was appointed ASC CEO.

  • 2010

    The European Training Centre (ETC) opened in Varese, Italy.

    Warkwick Smith was appointed new ASC Chair.

2001 Sports Policy Launch - Peter Bartels ASC Executive Board and Prime Minister John Howard.
AIS women's cricket squad in the biomechanics dome 2002.
Swimming performance analysis with John Fowlie 2003.
AIS Netball 3D session 2005.

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  • 2011

    AIS assumes responsibility for the leadership and strategic direction of high performance sport in Australia, working with state and territory institutes and academies to establish The National Institute System Intergovernmental Agreement.

  • 2012

    Matt Favier was appointed AIS Director.

    A new leadership direction for the AIS, with national sporting organisations taking complete responsibility for AIS sports programs by the end of 2013.

    AIS established as a Centre for Paralympic Excellence.

    John Wylie AM was appointed new ASC chair.

    Simon Hollingsworth was appointed ASC CEO.

  • 2013

    AIS stages inaugural World Class to World Best Conference.

    Launch of the new Sport Science/Sport Medicine Best Practice Principles.

    The Combat Centre is established.

    Launch of the Athlete Management System (AMS) - an online platform to manage athlete data to improve health and performance outcomes.

  • 2014

    New AIS brand launch.

    The AIS opens its new FIFA-approved synthetic Football pitch.

    The former archery centre is converted to the Football Centre.

    Direct athlete funding — dAIS - is launched to directly support athletes.

  • 2015

    The AIS and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) collaborated to release the Concussion in Sport Australia position statement and website.

  • 2016

    The AIS Basketball and Netball Centre receive a FIBA accredited flooring upgrade.

  • 2017

    Peter Conde appointed AIS Director.

    Kate Palmer was appointed ASC CEO.

    The NBA Academy was opened at the AIS in Canberra, sharing facilities with Basketball Australia’s Centre of Excellence.

  • 2018

    Australian Government launched the National Sport Plan, Sport 2030.

    Launch of the Gold Medal Ready program.

    The Mental Health Referral Network was created.

  • 2019

    The National Institute Network signs a unified National High Performance Sport Strategy for the first time.

    The AIS, in partnership with Volleyball Australia launch the first Australian all-weather beach volleyball training facility on the AIS Canberra campus.

  • 2020

    AIS launch the AIS Framework for the reboot of sport in a COVID-19 environment.

    The AIS helps deliver the $6.5m water jump in Brisbane for our aspiring Winter Athletes to train at home.

    Launch of Share a Yarn - community engagement initiative designed to connect high-performance athletes with Indigenous communities.

    Robert Dalton was appointed Acting ASC CEO.

World Class to World Best Conference David Culbert 2012.
Para Triathlon athlete Bill Chaffey lab testing 2014.
AIS signage outside visitor centre with elite athletes 2016.
AIS elite athlete education network 2019.
Athletes using recovery boots in the AIS recovery facility 2020.
Covid-19 - Clearinghouse for Sport front entrance 2020.
Online live event 2020.

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