Date: 09 Apr 2013
The Hon Bob Ellicott QC, Former Federal Minister for Home Affairs and the Capital Territory (1977–1981) with responsibility for sport
The Hon Bob Ellicott QC, Federal Minister for Home Affairs and the Capital Territory (including responsibility for sport) from 1977–1981 played an integral role in the establishment of the AIS.
In this Q&A presentation, the Hon Bob Ellicott QC shared his experiences and touched on some of the challenges he faced establishing the AIS. The Q&A interview led by former staff member Greg Blood covered a range of issues including the decision to locate the Institute in Canberra; its objectives based on overseas models; the selection of AIS inaugural sports; links to the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now University of Canberra); and the selection of administrative and coaching staff.
This SMART TALK provided a historical account of the development of the AIS and elite sport in Australia
Taking over the sports portfolio in 1978, the Hon Bob Ellicott QC was charged with establishing the AIS after being told by the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser ‘to do something about sport.’
The establishment of the AIS was in response to Australia’s poor performance at the Montreal Olympic Games and in 1976 and an unsatisfactory result at the Edmonton Commonwealth Games in 1978.
Inspired by the concept of a national sports institute during a visit to China he recommended the Coles Report as a model for the development of a national sports institution to train and develop Australian athletes, which led to the establishment of the AIS.
The Hon Bob Ellicott QC announced the establishment of the AIS on 25 January 1980, which was then officially opened by the then Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Malcolm Fraser on 26 January 1981.
He resigned as a Federal Parliamentarian in February 1981 to become a judge on the Federal Court of Australia until 1982.
In a distinguished career, the Hon Bob Ellicott has worked as a Barrister and QC at the Bar in Sydney for more than 50 years and has served on the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 1994.