Australian businesswoman and President of Australian Women’s Rugby – Josephine Sukkar AM – has been appointed Chair of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).
Commonwealth Games Australia joins with the wider Australian sports industry in congratulating Ms Sukkar on her appointment.
Ms Sukkar brings extensive corporate and commercial experience to the role as Principal of Buildcorp and is a passionate advocate for Australian sport. In 2019, she was appointed Chair of the Sports Diplomacy Advisory Council to spearhead the Government’s Sports Diplomacy 2030 strategy and her broad experience also includes private, public and not-for-profit Boards, including Opera Australia, the Australian Museum, Melbourne University Infrastructure Advisory Board and the Sydney University Football Club Foundation.
As President of Australian Women’s Rugby, an affiliate of Rugby Australia, Ms Sukkar has also been a driving force behind the growth in the women’s code across the country.
Rugby 7s has been played at every Commonwealth Games since Kuala Lumpur in 1998 where the men made their debut. It was an optional sport in Manchester in 2002 and Melbourne in 2006 before becoming a ‘core’ Games sport from Delhi 2010 onwards. Women’s Rugby 7s made its debut on the Gold Coast in 2018 where Australia won the silver medal behind New Zealand. Both women’s and men’s 7s are on the program for Birmingham in 2022.
Ms Sukkar is the first female Chair of the ASC and will oversee Sport Australia, which is responsible for driving the broader sport sector, including participation and the Australian Institute of Sport, charged with the ongoing improvement of the nation’s high performing sport sector.
Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston congratulated Ms Sukkar on her appointment.
“The ASC has a vital role in leading Australian sport via both Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, and Commonwealth Games Australia looks forward to continuing to work closely with both arms to ensure the continued growth and development of Australian sport at all levels,” Mr Houston said.
In making the announcement, Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck said Ms Sukkar is an outstanding leader who brings thirty years of business experience to the role, as the co-founder and principal of Buildcorp Group, as well as a strong understanding of Australian sport.
“For three decades, Ms Sukkar has helped lead a successful Australian family-owned business through many challenges, including the Global Financial Crisis and most recently COVID-19,” Minister Colbeck said.
“During this time, she has also been a strong contributor to the national sporting community, most notably driving increased female participation through her involvement in Australian Women’s Rugby.
“I am delighted she will now use her experience and passion to lead Australian sport as we navigate through a COVID-safe world.”
“Ms Sukkar will play a vital part in shaping the future of sport and I look forward to working with her to ensure the sport sector in Australia is prepared, adaptable and resilient.”
Ms Sukkar said she was honoured to be appointed to the position and looks forward to fostering growth in Australian sport.
“I look forward to engaging with Australian athletes and sports organisations to address their challenges, particularly those posed by COVID-19,” Ms Sukkar said.
“I also want to help them achieve their goals and build participation in our many sports.”
Applicants for the position of Chair of the ASC were assessed by the newly formed Sport Appointments Selection Committee.
The appointment of Ms Sukkar is the first recommendation made by the Committee, which includes Commonwealth Games and Paralympic wheelchair racer and now coach Louise Sauvage, former Matildas vice-captain Moya Dodd, former and Commonwealth Games and Olympic swimming champion Samantha Riley, Department of Health Associate Secretary Caroline Edwards, and is Chaired by former Federal Minister for Sport, the Hon Warwick Smith AO.
Ms Sukkar will begin her new role on 8 February 2021 for a three-year term.
Minister Colbeck thanked Acting Chair and Commonwealth Games Australia Board member Steve Moneghetti AM for his leadership following the retirement of John Wylie AM in November.