The Australian Weightlifting Federation has its first appointed female Chair.

West Australian Coach and lifter, Danielle Waller, was appointed to the role at this month’s AWF board meeting.

Two other prominent females in Australian weightlifting, Deborah Acason and Leanne Goldsworthy, were also appointed to the seven-person board.

“I am confident that the AWF Board has a skill mix that is required to meet the strategic goals detailed in the AWF’s 2015-18 Strategic Plan,” Ms Waller said. “I am delighted and humbled to take on the role of Chair and work alongside my fellow Directors on a National Sporting Organisation Board that now boasts over 40 per cent female representation, considerably above the national and international average.

“Weightlifting, similar to many other sports, has the power to change the lives of young women by introducing opportunities for leadership and development and transforming gender norms.

“I, along with Deborah and Leanne, will work hard to be excellent role models and trail blazers for other women to follow in our footsteps and take on similar roles in the future.”

In another development, two-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, Damon Kelly, was elected by State members to the one board director vacancy.

“I think we’re going to kick some goals in the next couple of years,” Kelly said after his first board meeting.

“Everyone on the board at the moment is very passionate about the sport and they want to see us succeed.

“That was my main motivation for getting on the board. I’m definitely passionate about weightlifting, and I just want to see it grow. I think we can definitely do that over the next couple of years.

“It’s especially really important leading into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.”

For the first time in the AWF’s history, each AWF Director will have a responsibility to consult with State Members on a regular basis.

The goals of this initiative are to strengthen relationships, enhance two-way communication and keep up to date with the State Member expectations and concerns, ensuring these matters receive proper consideration by the AWF Board.

The current AWF Board and the states assigned to the directors

Ms Danielle Waller
 Chair (Elected Director) WA
Mr Damon Kelly
 Elected Director QLD
Mr Lyn Jones
 Elected Director ACT/NSW
Mr Pedro Sanchez
 Elected Director VIC
Mr Phil Maunder Elected Director SA
Mrs Deborah Acason Appointed Director TAS
Ms Leanne Goldsworthy Appointed Director NT

Ms Waller said it was a great thrill to be the sport’s first female Chair, and that she hoped to carry on the outstanding work performed by the outgoing directors. “I have enjoyed working with and learning from our three outgoing officers – Dr Robert Mitchell, Mr Boris Kayser and Ms Mary Macken,” she said.

“These distinguished volunteer leaders conducted themselves with the utmost professionalism and their exemplary services contributed significantly to many tasks and objectives that the role of an AWF Director entails.

“The manner in which Rob, Boris and Mary offered their expertise, guidance and wisdom is especially noteworthy. On behalf of the AWF Board and membership, I extend the gratitude, respect and praise for the years of effort and input these three Directors gave so selflessly to AWF governance, programs and services.”

Mr Glenn Ferguson, of Ferguson Cannon Lawyers, will continue as AWF Company Attorney and Mr Louie Kortesis, Zest Accounting, will remain as the Company Auditor.