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AOC Athletes' Commission Election Results

Author imageAOC07 Aug 2021
Patrick Chinyemba (R) of Zambia exchanges punches with Alex Winwood of Australia during the Men's Fly (48-52kg) on day three of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Kokugikan Arena

Australia's Olympic athletes in Tokyo have elected five new members to the AOC Athletes' Commission following the closure of voting in the Olympic Village on Saturday.

The new members elected are Rowie Webster (Water Polo), Rachael Lynch (Hockey), Cameron Girdlestone (Rowing), Andrew Charter (Hockey) and Alex Winwood (Boxing). All five members competed here in Tokyo.

Re-elected members were Jess Fox, Cate Campbell and Ken Wallace.

Alex Winwood is the first Indigenous member elected following this year's changes to the AOC Constitution which guarantees an enduring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice on the Athletes' Commission.

While Alex was voted onto the Commission by his peers as the highest polling Indigenous athlete, the AOC Executive will consult with the AOC Indigenous Advisory Committee regarding the appointment of a second Indigenous person as required under the Constitution.

Winter Olympians Lydia Lassila and Scott Kneller will continue their important work on the Commission ahead of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games next February. 

Following the expiration of his term as an IOC Member, James Tomkins comes off the Commission, while former Chair Steve Hooker's term has expired. Kim Brennan, Shelley Watts, Jamie Dwyer and Alana Quade did not seek re-election.

Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman says the Tokyo Olympians were a really engaged group and they will make a valuable contribution in the important work undertaken by the Commission.

"In welcoming this new and very enthusiastic group of athletes, I must pay tribute to the enormous amount of work undertaken by the outgoing Committee in representing the athlete perspective.

"Their thoughts around the set-up for these Tokyo Games was a critical factor in assisting our goal of providing the best possible high-performance environment at the Games.

"Under Steve Hooker's stewardship some great initiatives were advanced including the Australian Olympians' Oath and a strong connection between the Athletes' Commission and the AOC Indigenous Advisory Committee (IAC)."

AOC President John Coates says the Athletes' Commission has advanced the AOC's objectives around gender equity and Indigenous Reconciliation.

"Pending the appointment of a second Indigenous voice, we have five women and five men on the Commission. Initiatives such as the Indigenous Forum last year showed the power of the collaboration between the Commission and the IAC.

"The Commission has also demonstrated the very important capacity to listen to fellow athletes, with the survey undertaken last year around athletes' rights to express themselves at Games, a prime example. That initiative showed global leadership on an important issue," Mr Coates concluded.

Outgoing Chair Steve Hooker wished the new Commission well while acknowledging the work of the outgoing members.

"Particularly with the delay with these Tokyo Games, our Commission consulted with athletes and presented their issues to the AOC Executive for consideration. It's critical that athletes feel their Commission is working hard for them.

"I would like to thank the outgoing members whose role can't be overstated - but Kim Brennan in particular, for her role as Chair between the London and Rio Games, all the while focused on famously winning a Gold in Rio in the single scull.

"The new Commission will steer their own course. I am sure they will find areas of importance to them and really focus their energy and effort on achieving those things," Mr Hooker concluded.

The Athletes' Commission will elect a new Chair and Deputy Chair (must be a male and a female) at its meeting scheduled in September.

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