CEO Leigh Russell to depart Swimming Australia



Swimming Australia today confirmed that CEO Leigh Russell has advised the board she will be stepping down as CEO at the end of November this year.

Swimming Australia deputy board chairperson, Tracy Stockwell, said that Leigh had been a strong leader for the organisation and for the sport over the past three years.

“Under Leigh’s leadership, we have built a strong executive and a high-performance team. There is also a clear strategy and vision,” Ms Stockwell said.

“As Australia’s number one Olympic sport, we are well placed going into a disrupted but highly anticipated Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics in 2021 and then on to the 2024 Games.

“The Board and Leigh agreed that the revised timing of the Tokyo Games means that now is the right time to find a new CEO with the passion and drive to lead the sport into the future.

“Leigh’s leadership and commitment to high-performance and integrity has driven major changes in the organisation and has set Swimming Australia up for success both in the pool and out of it.

“As one of the few female sports leaders in the country, Leigh has championed inclusion and a culture of high-performance, support, mentorship and leadership that is underpinned by strong values.

“We wish Leigh all the very best and thank her for her significant contribution to our sport.”


Russell said she felt now was the right time to step down from the role.

“With the revised timelines pushing Tokyo out by a year, meaning an immediate kick off post games to preparations for Paris, I felt it was in the best interests of the organisation and the sport to allow a new CEO to take the reins now,” Ms Russell said.

“I’m proud of what has been achieved over the past three years and I feel Swimming Australia is now in the strongest position it can be going into Tokyo and Paris.”

Swimming Australia will be appointing an interim CEO shortly and the search for a CEO to lead Swimming Australia to Tokyo, Paris and beyond will commence soon.