Australian Olympic Committee names new managers

December 18, 2017

FILE - In this May. 6, 2017, file photo, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates comments on his re-election during an annual general meeting of the AOC in Sydney. The AOC appointed a former police spokesman Strath Gordon as its new media director on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017 as part of a restructure of board members following complaints about a dysfunctional culture within in its administration. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

SYDNEY (AP) — The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has appointed a former police spokesman as its new media director as part of a restructure of management following complaints about a dysfunctional culture within in its administration.

Strath Gordon, who had previously worked for the New South Wales state police and the Australian Rugby Union, was named on Monday as the new head of the AOC’s communications department.

Amie Wallis, a former human resources manager at one of Australia’s biggest banks, was also appointed as the head of people and culture, a new job that was created as part of the AOC restructure.

Gordon replaces the AOC’s longtime media director Mike Tancred, who stepped aside from his duties after facing bullying allegations, even though the AOC issued a statement saying an independent tribunal’s investigation into four claims against Tancred found “none of the complaints has been made out on an objective basis.”

Tancred was reprimanded in June for telling former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong during a phone call last year that he would “bury” her.

An Ethics Centre report into the AOC’s workplace culture heavily criticized the organization after a survey of staff and stakeholders highlighted perceptions of favoritism, unfairness and open hostility between senior leaders.

John Coates, an International Olympic Committee vice-president, was challenged by former field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche for the role of AOC President, a position he had held since 1990.

Coates was re-elected in May but only after a bitter election campaign that exposed problems within the AOC and prompted the restructure.

“I welcome Amie and Strath to the AOC both of whom have enormous depth in their respective career experience and were stand outs from a large number and strong field of applicants for both roles,” AOC chief executive officer Matt Carroll said in a statement.

“With these appointments we have two new senior managers that will not only capably fill their roles but add to the strength of our management team.

“I believe they are a good fit with our organisation and both appointments address recommendations of The Ethics Centre review.”

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