Steve Bracks will replace the outgoing Malcolm Speed as the chairman of Cycling Australia. The former premier of Victoria was the chair of the organising committee for the 2010 Geelong world championships.
Bracks resigned as premier in 2007, going on to hold several positions on advisory boards and working as the Australian Consul-General in New York. He has never previously held a position in sports administration. Joining Bracks on the board are Steven Drake and new deputy chair Duncan Murray.
The 62-year-old told the Herald Sun that following his involvement in the 2010 Worlds, his interest in the sport has never wavered and he is looking forward to the new challenge.
“It was the first time the Worlds had been held outside Europe, and it was a spectacular event. That exposed me to the UCI [Union Cycliste Internationale] and Cycling Australia and that was part of it,” he said.
“I’m like so many others in that I’m passionate about cycling. I also thought this was something I could do to give back and to utilise my skills in chairing the board, bringing about a unified position, a clear strategic direction and a way forward for the organisation.”
Cycling Australia is only now exiting from a challenging period for the national body that saw it post several large annual financial losses. Orica-Scott team owner Gerry Ryan's tenure as president was to steer the ship into calmer waters. Under the stewardship of Speed, Cycling Australia has continued to improve its financial position, although Bracks is committed to “stabilise the finances in the future and make sure there’s good long-term financial stability.”
“I think it’s important that everyone’s on the one page, everyone’s clear and signed on and we’re all pointing in the one direction. I see that as one of my key performance indicators.”
Bracks added that he keen on improving the relationships between Cycling Australia and the likes of Mountain Bike Australia, which has seen the two national bodies at loggerheads.
“CA has made some significant progress over the past couple of years, but we always want to do better, and that relies on making sure the organisation continues to be effective, that it has long-term financial stability and a clear strategic direction for the sport across the nation. That’s what we’ll be trying to do.”
The new Cycling Austalia board is composed of Steve Bracks, Duncan Murray, David Ansell, Matthew Dever, Steven Drake, Linda Evans, Leeanne Grantham, Anthony Griffin and Anne Gripper.