Australian Canoeing (AC) is calling for nominations for a new Athletes’ Commission in a step to ensure that the views of athletes are continuously taken into account in a positive and meaningful way, especially when key decisions are being made.

‘‘We have many stakeholders. They are all important, but our athletes are central to so much of what we do,” explained Phil Jones, Australian Canoeing CEO. “We are working to establish a new representative Athletes Commission that has the support of the athletes and that can bring forward the views and report back to our athlete cohort. This will provide an essential feedback mechanism to our senior management and the Board.”

“Our previous Athletes Commission, Chaired by Ken Wallace, has served the organisation well and Australian Canoeing is very grateful for their contribution. However, the organisation is changing and It is time to refresh way the Commission operates.”

In summary, the new Athletes Commission will be asked to:

  1. Communicate on behalf of the athlete body any concerns or issues of the athletes.
  2. Offer advice and recommendations to the Board on athlete programs.
  3. Report to the athlete body the outcome of relevant decisions made by Australian Canoeing on issues identified by the athlete body through the Commission.
  4. Advise the Board on how athletes can better access opportunities to improve their sporting performances.
  5. Identify and make recommendations on improvements to athlete support and welfare and assist in the implementation of the athlete programs.

The Terms of Reference, agreed by the Australian Canoeing Board in November 2017, can be found  here. The Athletes Commission will be invited to comment on the Terms of Reference once elected.

Australian Canoeing has a very talented pool of athletes with many recognising the important of contributing to the governance of the sport and already active both nationally and internationally: Olympic medallists and World Champions Jessica Fox and Ken Wallace both sit on the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Commission, with Paralympic Champion and 2017 Paracanoe World Champion Curtis McGrath recently selected as an inaugural member of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) Commission. Jessica Fox was elected to the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Athletes Committee in 2017. She joined Paralympic Medallist and 2017 Paralympic World Champion Amanda Reynolds bringing the Australian representation on the eight-member ICF Athlete commission to two.

If not elected to the Australian Canoeing Athletes Commission, Jessica Fox (Slalom), Ken Wallace (Sprint), Curtis McGrath (Paracanoe) and Amanda Reynolds (Paracanoe) will all be invited to become ex-officio members of the new Commission. In addition, the elected members may invite up to three other athletes to join the Commission based on specific skills that they identify as adding value. The Commission will elect their own Chair and Vice Chair.

The Athletes Commission will report to the Board of Australian Canoeing. The Chair will be invited to attend Board Meetings and report as appropriate.

Australian Canoeing is initially seeking nominations from athletes in the Sprint, Slalom and Paracanoe disciplines. This may be expanded in the future but in the meantime, other disciplines will be encouraged to ensure that there is athlete representation on the relevant Technical Committee.

The election process will see one woman and one man elected from each discipline, with elections normally taking place every two years at the relevant National Championships. The timelines for the inaugural nominations and elections in the three disciplines are as follows:

  Slalom Sprint Paracanoe
Nominations Open 24th January 2018 5th February 2018 5th February 2018
Nominations Close 9th February 2018 27th February 2018 27th February 2018
Election Open Australian Open

16th February 2018

Nationals Championships

6th March 2018

Nationals Championships

6th March 2018

Election Close Australian Open

18th February 2018

Nationals Championships

10th March 2018

Nationals Championships

10th March 2018


The Terms of Reference of the Australian Canoeing Athletes Commission can be found here.

Slalom Nomination details can be found by clicking here.

Sprint and Paracanoe Nomination details can be found by clicking here.

For further information contact:  Mary Macaluso Sports Services Manager at or 02 9763 0370

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