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Australian Institute of Sport

Performance Leader Program

For leaders in the high performance sports sector

The Performance Leader Program is tailored to performance leaders in the high performance sports sector.

This includes National Sporting Organisations (NSOs), the National Institute Network (NIN) and high performance partner organisations who have the capacity and capability to deliver outstanding results for Australia over the next decade.

Program overview

The program will be delivered over a two year period through a series of face-to-face residential labs, immersive experiences, project work, executive coaching, individual assessment, and regular feedback and reflection.

The Performance Leader Program will fund a maximum of 20 performance leaders each year, with successful placements determined through a rigorous application and selection process.

Key Dates

1 21-24 May, 2018
2 17-20 September, 2018
3 26-29 November, 2018
4 20-23 May, 2019
5 16-19 September, 2019
6 25-28 November, 2019

Program themes

A high level overview of program themes is provided below:


This theme will focus on leading adaptively in a complex networked environment.

Key topics include complex adaptive systems, adaptive leadership and organisation power and systems with a focus on developing the following capability sets:

  • Ability to leverage the whole system – drawing upon expertise in all areas of the team
  • Shift from an operational to a ‘leaderful’ mindset
  • High level influencing and negotiation skills
  • Readiness to adapt and encourage continuous change
  • Complexity of mind; developing the ability to hold the paradoxes (eg competition and collaboration).

This theme will focus on strategic thinking and execution including planning for the future: setting a vision.

Key topics include values and organising principles, holding multiple perspectives and questioning underpinning assumptions, strategic approaches and business models with a focus on developing the following capability sets:

  • Strategic thinking, planning and articulation
  • Setting a vision and clearly defining a pathway to get there
  • High level accountability and alignment
  • Processes and systems to support the strategy
  • The ability to hold the ‘whole’ in mind and constantly assess and adjust.

This theme will focus on dealing with ambiguity and continuous change.

Key topics include the role of ‘change agents’, working emergently and creative thinking with a focus on developing the following capability sets:

  • Complexity of mind to match complex systems
  • Capacity to challenge own and high performance system assumptions and paradigms
  • Commitment to continuous review and improvement
  • Readiness to adapt and encourage continuous change, recognising the ‘competing commitments’, which might need to be assessed and challenged.

2018/19 Performance Leadership Program

Justin DrewNational Performance DirectorTriathlon Australia
Bede Durbidge Elite Program ManagerSurfing Australia
Andrew FaichneyPara Program ManagerAthletics Australia
Jane Fernandez

General Manager, FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Bid

Football Federation Australia
Stephen FoleyGeneral Manager High PerformanceDiving Australia
Michael  HallChief Operating OfficerAthletics Australia
Brett JonesGeneral Manager - High PerformanceQueensland Cricket
Kate McLoughlinGeneral Manager, Games DeliveryAustralian Paralympic Committee
Paul PriceHead of PerformanceSquash Australia
Elise RechichiTalent Pathway Development ManagerAustralian Sailing

2017/18 Performance Leadership Program

Scott BowenPerformance Manager, Rugby 7sAustralian Rugby Union
Lasse BundgaardHigh Performance DirectorBadminton Australia
Alison CampbellHigh Performance Director (Acting)Athletics Australia
Joelie ChisholmChief Executive OfficerAustralian Taekwondo
Tegan ColganPerformance Team DirectorWestern Australia Institute of Sport
Ramone CooperNational Pathway and Programs ManagerSki and Snowboard Australia
Nicky FreyNASS Transition ManagerAthletics Australia
Adrienne GlancyNational Performance Director (Acting)Gymnastics Australia
Nick GreenChief Executive OfficerCycling Australia
Richard McInnesGeneral Manager, High PerformanceNetball Queensland
Mark OsborneHigh Performance Programs ManagerSwimming Australia
Kathryn PeriacNational Manager, ParatriathlonTriathlon Australia
Brenda TierneyPerformance Manager, Wheelchair TennisTennis Australia
Alex VallentineChief Executive OfficerJudo Federation of Australia
Chris WebbHigh Performance ManagerEquestrian Australia

2016/17 Performance Leadership Program

Melissa BackhouseGeneral Manager Participation and DevelopmentSwimming Australia
Barnaby EatonNational Talent Pathways ManagerRowing Australia
Leigh GoodingNational Wheelchair Program ManagerBasketball Australia
Ben HartungGeneral ManagerHockey Australia
Ashley MerkurMedical Services and Rehabilitation ManagerOlympic Winter Institute of Australia
Alexandr OsadchukHigh Performance Manager - Water PoloQueensland Academy of Sport
Joanne RichardsNational Pathways ManagerGymnastics Australia
Lorinda RuglessHigh Performance ManagerArchery Australia
Jamie SalterHigh Performance Pathway ManagerSwimming Australia
Carl SaunderManager, Sports ProgramsTasmanian Institute of Sport
Joshua SearAthlete and Coach Pathways ManagerCycling Australia
Tony SherwillGeneral Manager Bowls OperationsBowls Australia
Richard VaughanCEOSquash Australia
Stacey WestNational High Performance Pathway ManagerNetball Australia
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