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Club and Community | 17 August 2023

Swimming Australia calls special general meeting

The Swimming Australia Board will call a Special General Meeting of its voting members to vote on the adoption of a new constitution aimed at delivering governance reforms essential to the future of the sport.

The new constitution will modernise the operations and governance of the organisation and ensure everyone in the Australian swimming ecosystem has the best experience possible, no matter their level of involvement.

The new constitution has been developed with input from Swimming Australia’s voting members and with the mandate of Swimming’s world governing body, World Aquatics, which has been consulted throughout the process, and aligns more closely to the Australian Sports Commission’s Governance Principles.

The changes will provide Swimming with a governance structure that aligns with its requirements as a member of World Aquatics and within the wider International Olympic Committee structure.

The new constitution will also ensure more power to athletes, a stronger voice for athletes and coaches, while also delivering a broader voting base.

World Aquatics has advised Swimming Australia that these are changes that need to be made and if the motion for the new constitution isn’t passed then World Aquatics reserves its rights to consider further action against Swimming Australia in line with its constitution.

Swimming Australia President Michelle Gallen said the changes were critical to protecting the whole swimming ecosystem, from grassroots and community level, through to high-performance.

“These changes are aimed at our members and bringing much needed – and called for – change and stability to how our sport is governed,” she said.

“On the back of our swimmers’ recent success at the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, the Para Dolphins in Manchester, and in the leadup to Paris 2024, now is the time for Swimming in Australia to be just as high performing out of the pool.

“The changes will ensure the sport’s administration and governance is of a world-class standard and will strengthen the voice of athletes and coaches.

“The message from the governing body is abundantly clear. If we don’t make these necessary changes, then our standing in the sport is in jeopardy.”

The proposed new constitution has been endorsed by World Aquatics.

“World Aquatics welcomes the changes to the Swimming Australia Constitution, which will give more power to athletes and a voice on the Board, while also delivering a broader voting base more closely connected to athletes and coaches,” said World Aquatics Executive Director, Brent Nowicki.

“The changes will also allow for a modernised governance structure that aligns with the sport’s requirements as a member of World Aquatics.”

The Special General Meeting will be held on Friday 20 October at 5pm AEDT.