UniSport Australia (UniSport) is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. UniSport is governed by a nine person board comprised of six member elected directors, two independent directors appointed by the board, and one director appointed by Universities Australia.
Each elected Board Director and the Chair serve on the board for an initial two year term, after which they can choose to submit a nomination to be re-elected for a further term.
The board meets a minimum of five times per year and is represented by the following people.
Dr Lisa Gowthorp
Chair - Director - Member elected, 2020-current
Lisa is an Associate Professor of Sport Management at Bond University, and the Associate Dean of External Engagement in the Business School.
Lisa has previously worked in high performance sport for over 12 years, with organisations such as the NSWIS, the AIS, Gymnastics Australia and Australian Canoeing. She has managed sport teams at World Championships and the Olympic Games.
Lisa is passionate about high performance sport, governance and policy and undertakes research in these areas. She is also a Director of Paddle Australia, and Vice-President of SMAANZ (Sport Management Australia and New Zealand).
Lisa continually consults with industry on governance issues and sport policy.
Doctor of Philosophy - Griffith University
Master of International Sport Management - Southern Cross University
Bachelor of Education (PD/H/PE) - Newcastle University
Deputy Chair - Director - Member elected, 2019 - current
Paul has 23 years’ experience in the co-curricular Australian Higher Education sector with experience extending across multiple disciplines. Dedicated to his current role as the Director of Student Engagement and Services at the Australian Catholic University, Paul is committed to promoting student equity, access to higher education and engagement through holistic support and programs. This has involved establishing sporting programs, accommodation and medical structures nationally for the Australian Catholic University.
Former CEO of the University of Sydney Union, Paul has extensive experience leading and managing change in large and complex organisations.
Paul is passionate about sport and has served many years as a volunteer in the sports of surf lifesaving and water polo and is currently a delegate to the Australian Water Polo League and a member of the Executive Committee of the Sydney University men’s water polo club, one of the largest and most successful University sporting clubs in Australia. He recognises the important role UniSport Australia plays in facilitating a rich aspirational sporting pathway.
Graduate Certificate, Catholic Culture & Leadership
Graduate - Australian Institute of Company Directors
Graduate Diploma in Property Investment & Finance - Property Council of Australia
Business Management Certificate, Australian Institute of Management
Bachelor of Building (Hons 1st) - The University of New South Wales
Diploma of Teaching - SCAE
Director – Member elected, 2018–current
Katrina has 15 years’ experience working in sport, within tertiary, not for profit, and commercial sectors. With over a decade in sports marketing she brings strong commercial, brand and marketing expertise to the board. Katrina has worked with global brands to drive business objectives through sport, leading the delivery of international sponsorships at the Australian Open Tennis, Hong Kong 7’s Rugby Union, London 2012 Olympics, and Paralympic World Cup.
Katrina’s experience spans multiple markets, having cultivated her career in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, bringing with her different cultural perspectives on the value of sport. In her current role as CEO of ANU Sport, located in Canberra, Katrina is responsible for all campus sport and physical activity.
Katrina is passionate about sport and believes in its power to deliver social change and build community – particularly within the tertiary education sector. She was a representative netballer and the founder of the Women in Sport group.
Bachelor of Arts (Hons) English and Philosophy – University of Leeds
Director – Member elected, 2021–current
Bryan is a decorated sports and university administrator with a combined 25 years’ experience. Since 2011, he has served as CEO of UQ Sport at The University of Queensland, where he oversees the operation of Queensland’s largest multi-sport complex, as well as the delivery of more than 400 diverse sport and recreation programs.
Bryan’s sporting prowess also includes a six year stint as Stadiums Queensland’s Senior Manager. In this role, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Sleeman Sports Complex – one of Queensland’s centre of excellence for elite athletes. Bryan also orchestrated strategic, business and operational plans for the state’s major sporting venues, including The Gabba and Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC).
Bryan is passionate about delivering exceptional sporting opportunities for student-athletes, and helping to further develop intervarsity sport competitions across Australia.
Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing - University of New Brunswick, Canada
Bachelor of Arts, Economics - University of New Brunswick, Canada
Graduate - Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD)
Prof Paddy Nixon
Director – Appointed / Universities Australia recommended, 2022–current
Professor Nixon holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from Sheffield University. A technologist and computer scientist, Professor Nixon was previously the Vice-Chancellor of the multi-campus Ulster University in Northern Ireland. No stranger to Australian shores, he moved to Tasmania in 2010 where he was Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research — delivering significant growth in both rankings and research funding—before returning to the United Kingdom.
Professor Nixon has a deep understanding of the nexus between industry and university research having had significant industrial and commercial experience through collaborations with INTEL, Microsoft Research, HP, Oracle and IBM as well as being involved in start-ups and establishing the Irish national early stage technology incubator.
He is deeply committed to the civic obligations of a university and recognises the critical and unique role the University of Canberra plays in the ACT. Professor Nixon believes that modern universities need meaningful engagement with their students, their staff, industry partners and the community to deliver consistent and compelling impact.
Doctor of Philosophy, Computer Science - The University of Sheffield
Bachelor of Science (Hons) - University of Liverpool
Director - Appointed, 2022 - current
Barry Wallett has been working as a senior executive in the education sector for the last 20 years and involved in professional advocacy work in Canberra for the last 35 years. He is a former journalist, has a communications and marketing degree and is currently working as a government and media relations advisor, primarily in the not-for-profit sectors.
Barry has worked on a number of high-profile advocacy campaigns for the
education, health, mining and social welfare sectors. He has won several
communications awards and over many years has had considerable involvement in a range of high-level individual and team sporting activities covering hockey, cricket, swimming, cycling, triathlon and AFLW.
He was previously Executive Director (2018-20) and Deputy Executive Director (from 2009) of the Independent Schools Council of Australia, Chief Executive Officer of the Construction Industry Training and Employment Association (CITEA); General Manager, Australian National University’s ANU College and Divisional Manager for the ANU Education Centre.
Bachelor of Communications - University of Canberra
Director - Appointed, 2022 - current
A highly skilled and respected senior executive and Board Director with expertise in providing dynamic leadership, strategic direction, change management and an empowered people and culture environment. Deborah has over 30 years of senior management and Board experience in broadcasting, media and telecommunications, tertiary sector, aviation industry and sport industry.
Previous senior roles include CEO of NBN Television Network, Director of Regional Strategy for Nine Entertainment Co, CEO of 2NURFM, the University of Newcastle’s community radio station, and currently CEO of Newcastle University Sport. Deborah, until her appointment to 2NURFM, served on the Council for the University of Newcastle for over 11 years. During her term on Council Deborah was Chair of the People and Culture Committee, Chair of 2NURFM Advisory Board and a member of the Strategic Development Committee.
Deborah has a Master of Business Administration, a Diploma in Teaching, is a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Deborah is passionate about the Hunter region and its community as reflected in her professional roles and regional Board Directorships over the years, which include the Hunter Economic Development Corporation, the Newcastle Airport, the Council of the University of Newcastle, and Chair of 2NURFM Advisory Board.
Master of Business Administration - Southern Cross University
Diploma in Secondary Education - NCAE / University of Newcastle
Director - Member elected, 2023-current
David was appointed the Head of Sport and Recreation at Curtin University in 2014 and has had an extensive career in the sport and recreation industry spanning over 35 years. Staring out with a background in adventure recreation facilitation, David was employed as the Deputy Executive Director of Sport at The University of Western Australia in 1991 and was at UWA for a total of 11 years. He has held positions as a Senior Policy Officer in Strategy, Planning and Policy in the WA State Government and as a lecturer in Event Sport and Recreation Management at Edith Cowan University’s Faculty of Business & Law. Prior to working for the State Government, David was the Chief Executive Officer at the Claremont and Peel Thunder football clubs in the State Australian Rules Football League in Western Australia.
University sport roles have led to positions as the Convenor for the 1992 Summer Inter Varsity Games, Perth. Reference panel member for the 2002 World Lacrosse Championships, Perth. As a delegate with the Australian team at the 2003 World University Games, South Korea. Team manager for Team Western Australia in the international event RAID Cross Adventure Racing Series, competing in France, Italy, USA and Australia.
Previous Board positions include chairing the Western Australian Trails Reference Panel for the Heritage Council of WA, Chair of the WA Aquatic Sports Advisory Committee, inaugural Chair of Tertiary Sport Western Australia, inaugural Chair of the Western Waves female soccer team in the National League and board member of the Old Wesley Collegians Association. As a lecturer in Sport Management, David led student study tours in stadia management to the USA and established a staff exchange program with UCLA in 2014.
Associate Diploma – Applied Science
Bachelor of Applied Science – Recreation
Graduate Diploma – Outdoor Adventure Management
Chief Executive Officer
Mark commenced his role as UniSport Australia's CEO in December 2018.
Mark was the founding chief executive of the ACT Brumbies Rugby in 1995, and spent six years as Group CEO of English premiership club Saracens, and four years as CEO of the Western Force.
"I am delighted to be joining UniSport Australia at this significant time, with the opportunity to build on the work that has commenced under Don Knapp and the UniSport Board to fully develop and implement the divisional and national sports model,” Mark said.
“I am particularly keen to work with the UniSport staff to ensure we are driving value to our members, and supporting them to provide the opportunity for all students to have a healthy, active, engaged, and well-rounded higher education experience”.
Chief Executive Officer
National Sport Program
International Sport Program and National Leagues
Marketing and Communications
Finance & Administration
19th Australian Masters Games
Head of Sport & Operations