Leaders of tomorrow

Advance your career.

Chief Executive Officer – Swimming Australia

Swimming Australia

Swimming is Australia’s No. 1 participation sport, and the country’s most successful Olympic and Paralympic Sport.

After disappointment in London and then in Rio, the Dolphins have returned from Tokyo as the most successful gold medal winning squad in history. Australia won 20 medals, including nine golds, lifting spirits across the country.  New superstars of the pool such as Ariarne Titmus, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Kayley McKeown and Emma McKeon, captured the imagination of Australia, continuing Swimming’s history of peak performance at Olympic Games and World Championships.

Swimming forms part of the very fabric of being Australian. Swimming Australia is the peak governing body with nearly 1,000 clubs and 90,000 registered members nationally. Swimming is unique as it is a life-skill, a sport and a recreation. Nearly everybody swims or loves swimming, making the Dolphins ever more relatable than other Olympians.  Swimming Australia’s vision is to enrich and inspire the nation from grass roots community participation through to elite level swimmers competing on the global stage.

The Opportunity

It’s a critical time to join Swimming Australia as it undergoes an unprecedented period of expansion and renewal. The CEO will lead Swimming in seizing the momentum from Tokyo and the continuing opportunity of FINA World Championships and a Commonwealth Games in 2022, and then Paris 2024 followed by LA 2028. Longer-term there is the unprecedented opportunity created by a home Olympics in 2032, which will see the Dolphins central to our Australian Olympic success.

The CEO will be a proven Strategic leader with a strong commercial skillset able to build the Swimming Australia and Dolphins brand. The opportunity created by our success in Tokyo and the prospect of the 2032 Olympics is enormous and the CEO must continually build value in the Swimming Australia assets and brand, generating the required revenue to underpin sport strategy, programs, services, and events.

The role collaborates with a complex system of stakeholders and therefore demands outstanding relationship management skills to engage and build strong, cooperative working relationships within the swimming family. As CEO you will ensure best practice collaboration and a harmonious working relationship between Swimming Australia and its Member Associations.

The CEO will continue to build integrity and trust with our largest stakeholders including critical relationships with Sport Australia, Sport Integrity Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee.

The CEO must be a progressive, modern leader able to implement positive changes to the sport. They will develop a modern, inclusive, and diverse culture with best practice athlete wellbeing and coach development and safe, elite performance.

Chief Executive Officer

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the CEO will:

  • Set and drive strategy and strategic outcomes for Swimming in Australia.
  • Be accountable for the operational and financial management of the business.
  • Ensure the adherence to robust governance processes for the organisation.
  • Lead, inspire and develop a talented Executive Team.
  • Build and enhance the swimming brand throughout Australia, delivering strategies, events, services, and programs with a focus on greater engagement of participants while providing meaningful commercial opportunities for sponsors and supporters.
  • Build robust, co-operative, and productive working relationships with Swimming Australia Member Associations, government bodies and key sponsorship partners.
  • Drive commercial outcomes to ensure long term financial sustainability of the organisation and the sport.
  • Implement and lead customer-centric programs and activities designed to maximise engagement of the Swimming Australia family (including swimmers, parents, officials and other stakeholders) while driving retention and growth of the sport.
  • Ensure the Dolphins succeed at the elite international level through the High-Performance Team.
  • Promote and represent Swimming Australia at all levels domestically, internationally and in the media to the highest professional standards.
  • Advocate for and drive the highest standards of integrity and safe sport.
  • Ensure the sport implements best practice through robust policies, services and programs that respond to and fulfil its broader social responsibilities (e.g. Diversity & Inclusion).

Key Position Accountabilities 

Leadership & People Management

  • Actively lead, manage and develop the Swimming Australia Executive team and affiliated contractors to leverage strengths, achieve targets, build and strengthen relationships and maximise output.
  • Provide thought leadership and promote and drive best practice for the Swimming Australia team.
  • Demonstrate our values of courage, unity, and excellence, and be respectful of the sport’s proud history by instilling these values throughout the swimming community in Australia.


  • Lead the development of Swimming Australia’s 2024 and 2032 strategies in consultation with the Swimming Australia Board and Executive.
  • In consultation with the Board, set, review and monitor KPls to deliver on Swimming Australia’s strategic priorities.
  • Contribute to the development of new Swimming Australia initiatives.
  • Innovate, together with the Chief Commercial Officer and others, to enhance Swimming’s brand and bring exciting new commercial and swimming initiatives to life that benefit the sport from grass roots to elite.
  • Oversee the delivery of the High-Performance Strategic Plan to produce international benchmark event success.
  • Ensure growth in the participation base, increasing the desirability of the sport for swimmers and their parents.

Stakeholder Management

  • Forge strong relationships and actively collaborate with the Swimming Australia Member Organisations and Affiliated bodies.
  • Ensure strong relationships with key commercial and industry partners.
  • Establish and maintain a strong relationship with Sport Australia (Australian Sports Commission) and the Australian Institute of Sport, as well as other relevant government bodies, including the SIS/SAS network.
  • Proactively liaise with other National Sporting Organisations and Australian and global sporting codes and organisations.
  • Proactively and positively represent and promote the sport through media channels.

Commercial & Business Management

  • Develop and deliver strategies to ensure the long-term financial viability of Swimming Australia, including identifying and creating new revenue streams and funding opportunities.
  • Secure incremental revenue through commercial sponsorship and partnerships, government funding, media and licensing arrangements, content and events and realise new opportunities.
  • Oversee and contribute to the operational delivery of Swimming Australia programs, projects, events and initiatives with maximum positive impact.
  • Ensure regular reporting against key performance measures to the Board of Swimming Australia.
  • In consultation with the Chief Operating Officer, ensure that Swimming Australia expenditure remains within budget.

For more information on the role including detail on Key Relationships and the Background & Technical Qualities required please see the attached Candidate Brief for further detail.

Location and Travel 

This role will be based at either the Swimming Australia’s head office in South Melbourne or South East Queensland.

The nature of the position will require frequent domestic and infrequent international travel to attend scheduled meetings and events.

Remuneration Guide

An attractive and competitive remuneration package will be available to the successful candidate, negotiable depending upon skill level and experiences.

How to Apply 

Please send your CV along with a detailed cover letter to SRI before Wednesday 29 September that briefly details why you feel you would be suitable for this role and includes details of your current remuneration.

Please send to:

Jonathan Harris jharris@sriexecutive.com +61 413 939 993 or Josie Lahey jlahey@sriexecutive.com +61 478 803 255

Applicants must have the right to work permanently in Australia. In accordance with Child Protection legislation candidates will be required to provide a Working with Children Check (WWCC) clearance number for verification by Swimming Australia prior to employment. Selection of the successful candidate will be based upon the results of child protection screening and relevant reference checks.


SRI is a global executive search and consulting firm, servicing the consumer sectors. We work as one partner-led team with staff based in key global markets across 11 offices on four continents. We offer dedicated and specific sector, function and region expertise. Our services include executive search, board assessment, succession planning, salary benchmarking, advising clients on their internal and external hiring strategy, new market entry and multivacancy projects.


Tagged as: Australia, CEO, Chief Executive Officer, Swimming, Swimming Australia

You must sign in to apply for this position.

You can apply to this job and others using your online CV. Click the link below to submit your online CV and email your application to this employer.