Harrison Calls Time

The Board of the Victorian Institute of Sport has paid tribute to Chief Executive Officer Anne Marie Harrison who announced today that she will retire in October, after 18 years in the role.

VIS Chair, Nataly Matijevic, lauded Ms Harrison for her lengthy stewardship of the VIS and her enormous service to Australian high-performance sport.  

“Anne Marie’s leadership of the VIS and her contribution to high-performance sport in this country over many years has been inspirational,” Ms Matijevic said. 

“The holistic development and success of elite athletes that the VIS is renowned for and the progressive example the VIS has provided over decades to the Australian sports eco-system is in no small part due to her intellect, empathy and passion. 

“On behalf of the Board of the VIS and the many athletes and high-performance staff who flourished under her leadership, I offer congratulations and gratitude.” 

Ms Harrison addressed athletes and staff this morning, advising them of her decision to end her remarkable tenure following the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris. 

“It is the right time in my life and, I believe, the right time for the VIS,” Ms Harrison said. 

“It is the greatest privilege to lead the VIS and I am immensely proud of our role in high-performance sport in Victoria and Australia and of the benefits that we deliver to all Victorians as a source of excellence and inspiration.

“The VIS is close to my heart and because of that I believe the end of my current contract will be the right time to step aside and provide a new CEO and the team with the opportunity to work with Victoria’s wonderful athletes to enable them to flourish and achieve their dreams in future Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games, particularly with a home Games in Brisbane in 2032.  

“The VIS must always evolve and improve if it is to continue to serve Victorian sport to the high standard it has for 34 years.” 

Harrison succeeded inaugural VIS Executive Director Dr Frank Pyke in 2006, after an impressive seven-year career as the founding ED of the Scottish Institute of Sport. The Scots had just enjoyed their most successful Commonwealth Games, in Ms Harrison’s hometown of Melbourne, and Dr Pyke was retiring. 

Since then the likes of Cadel Evans, Scotty James, Dylan Alcott, Lydia Lassila, Glenn Ashby, Mack Horton, Leisel Jones, Kim Brennan, Kelly Cartwright, Carol Cooke and Liz Watson have passed through the VIS, working with its renowned high-performance staff. 

The VIS now supports almost 450 athletes in 48 sports, with 120 high-performance staff. 

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos also paid tribute to Harrison for her significant role in upholding the state’s reputation as the home of Australian sport.

"I would like to thank Anne Marie for her incredible contribution to the Victorian Institute of Sport across her illustrious tenure, helping transform the Institute into what it is today.” 

“Her leadership over the past 18 years has been instrumental in helping guide the VIS through so many national and international events, supporting athletes from across the state and upholding the reputation of the VIS as national leaders. I wish her the very best of luck in all future endeavours.” 

A recruitment process for the CEO position will commence shortly.     

Ms Harrison will be available to media upon request.

Media enquiries should be directed to VIS Communications & Marketing Manager Stephen Rielly on 0418 121 970 or Stephen.rielly@vis.org.au  

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