Good Governance | Integrity | Athlete Development & Wellbeing | Health & Safety

Prendergast Takes Lead Role at Australian Athletes’ Alliance

The Australian Athletes’ Alliance (AAA) has today announced the appointment of Ian Prendergast to its lead role of General Secretary.

Prendergast succeeds AAA co-founder, Brendan Schwab, who has relocated to Switzerland as the head of the global athletes’ union, UNI World Athletes.

The AAA is the peak body for Australia’s elite professional athletes, representing more than 3,500 athletes across Australia’s eight major players’ and athletes’ associations:

·         Australian Cricketers’ Association

·         Australian Football League Players’ Association

·         Australian Jockeys’ Association

·         Australian Netball Players’ Association

·         National Basketball League Players’ Association

·         Professional Footballers Australia

·         Rugby League Players’ Association

·         Rugby Union Players’ Association

Prendergast will combine his AAA duties with his current role as General Manager of Player Relations at the AFLPA, and is looking forward to bringing his knowledge, as a former AFL player and current advocate for the largest players’ association in Australia, to the AAA.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to be appointed General Secretary of the peak body for professional athletes in this country,” he said.

“The collective voice of athletes has never been more important with respect to the good governance and integrity of sport in Australia and abroad, particularly given the ever increasing professionalism of sport, changing landscape and emerging risks facing the essence of sport and its people.”

Prendergast will work closely with Jacob Holmes, CEO of the NBLPA, who will assist him in the role, along with the AAA Board, to progress strategic objectives in line with the AAA’s Policy Platform and Charter of Athletes’ Rights.

The Australian Athletes’ Alliance will focus on sharing best practice amongst its member associations and continue to develop sustainable working relationships with peak sporting bodies and government to promote understanding of the valuable role the AAA can play.

Now stepping away from the AAA after eight years of involvement, Schwab is turning his attention to representing athletes on truly global matters in his role with UNI World Athletes. But, having been involved from the beginning, Schwab looks forward to the continued evolution of the Australian Athletes’ Alliance.

“The solidarity within the AAA is built on the mutual respect all professional athletes have for each other, knowing the incessant sacrifice and hard work that is required to succeed at the elite level,” he said.

“That solidarity will ensure that the AAA plays a critical role in shaping the future of Australian sport. However, Australian governments and sporting bodies still have some way to go before they fully appreciate that the athletes must have a seat at sport’s top tables if the current threats to the wellbeing of sport are to be addressed.

“Well balanced and effective solutions are required which are consistent with the rights of athletes. To this end, the AAA Charter of Athletes’ Rights is a first that I am confident will become a key measure against which the governance of sport will be assessed throughout the world.”

Australian Athletes’ Alliance Chair David Garnsey also looks forward to further developments at the AAA and what Prendergast’s appointment will bring to the organisation.

“With an intimate understanding of issues impacting athletes across all of Australia’s professional team sports, Ian’s appointment to General Secretary marks the start of an exciting era for the AAA,” he said.

“We would also like to extend a profound thanks to Brendan for the outstanding dedication, expertise and advocacy he brought to the AAA over the years - we’re pleased that now, not only the AAA, but an even larger group of athletes will benefit from his experience and talent."


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