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Australian Unity Bank CEO confirms departure

The mutual bank’s chief is set to step down later this year to lead a federal government commission.

Australian Unity has revealed that its bank’s chief executive Kieren Perkins has resigned, with his departure effective from 4 March. 

Mr Perkins, who had been an Olympic swimming gold medalist in the 1990s, will be joining the Australian Sports Commission, the agency responsible for the fundings and administration of all levels of Australian sport, as its new CEO. 

He will commence his time with the Australian Sports Commission sometime during the first quarter of this year. 

Mr Perkins began his tenure as CEO with Australian Unity Bank in July last year, following 12 years in a range of senior banking roles at NAB. 

The mutual bank’s outgoing CEO was also previously the commissioner of the Australian Sports Commission from 2001 to 2007 as well as the president of Swimming Australia from 2020 to 2021. 

Australia Unity CEO, retail, Christine Yates said: “We’re really proud that Kieren has been given an incredible opportunity to contribute to our community and country in a way that only he can do. 

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“With Kieren’s pedigree as one of Australia’s greatest athletes, as an astute business person and more importantly as a wonderful person with incredible integrity, the opportunity to lead sport in Australia in the run up to the 2032 Olympics was too important for him to miss.

“We couldn’t be prouder to have had him as part of Australian Unity in 2021.”

The federal Minister of Sport, Richard Colbeck, added Mr Perkins will bring first-hand experience of high-performance sports as well as an “intrinsic understanding of the important role grassroots sport plays in the health and wellbeing of all Australians”.

“With a decade of major events on the horizon in the lead up to Brisbane 2032, there is plenty to look forward to in Australian sport and we look forward to Mr Perkins continuing to have a positive impact on our nation,” he continued. 

Mr Perkins commented that he could not be “more thrilled and honored” to be appointed to the role, adding it was an opportunity to shape participation and elite sport in the country. 

As an athlete and administrator, I have lived the importance of a symbiotic sport system that has strong grass roots participation, underpinned by volunteerism, helping uncover and develop the ambitious talent that will represent our country on the world’s biggest stages,” he said.

Mr Perkins added that he believes his corporate experience affords him “the business and relationship skills” necessary to bring together important stakeholders.

He concluded: The decade leading to 2032 is a generational opportunity to build a lasting legacy for all sport, in an environment that allows everyone involved to safely live all of the positive life experiences sport can bring.” 

[Related: Anthony Healy joins Bank Australia board]

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