Celebrating Professor Steve Selig, ESSA’s newest Life member

17 May 2021

Last week at the Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) Annual General Meeting (AGM), we said farewell to two Elected Directors who have stepped down from their role. One of these Directors was Professor Steve Selig, who has spent the last 16 years serving the ESSA Board, with further contributions to the organisation and the membership dating back to 1996.

To commemorate this significant achievement, ESSA President, Kirsty Rawlings presented Steve with Life membership at the AGM, making him just the fourth member to receive this recognition for achieving a high level of professional accomplishment, responsibility and service to ESSA.

“There is no better acknowledgment of one's long-term commitment to the industry and ESSA than Life membership. Steve has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to ESSA and has dedicated many years to the exercise and sports science industry,” says Kirsty.

Although he became an ESSA member in 1999, Steve was an invited member of the AAESS National Working Party in 1996 that developed the first set of knowledge, skills, and competency criteria for exercise physiologists in cardiorespiratory rehabilitation. He was then part of the AAESS (Victoria) Working Party in 1999 that achieved the first successful Work Cover approval for Provider Numbers for AEPs. This was the first compensable scheme available to AEPs in Australia.

Between the years of 2006 to 2015, Steve was integral in the development of the professional standards for both Exercise Physiology (both sets of standards) and Exercise Science. Between 2007 – 2015, Steve served as the Chair of the peak committee, ESSA Accreditation and Curriculum Committee (EACC) which was the engine room that provided the oversight for the AEP professional standards on behalf of the Board and was the forerunner to the two Councils that ESSA now has. He then later sat as the Chair of the ESSA Board’s sub-committee for the governance of standards and accreditation.

In 2005, Steve then joined the ESSA National Board as an Elected Director, where he served ESSA tirelessly until 2021 – 16 years of hard work, dedication and valuable inputs that was continuously recognised by ESSA members who re-elected him each time.

Steve has also received a variety of honorable recognitions throughout his time at ESSA, including the ESSA President’s Award in 2010 for services to exercise physiology, awarded ESSA Fellowship in 2011, and then named one of the “Top 25 influencers of exercise and sports science” as part of the 25-year celebration of ESSA.

Although his contributions extend further than what’s above, Steve has played a vital role in the recognition of Accredited Exercise Physiologists and exercise physiology accreditation system in Australia, and he is part of the legacy that helped to accomplish these significant milestones.

“Steve often jokes that he is part of the furniture at ESSA, but that really doesn’t do justice to the significance of his contribution and time spent helping ESSA grow into the strong and sustainable organisation that it is today. Although we are sure Steve will continue to contribute to ESSA in any way he can, we thank him for his last 25 years of service and wish him all the best with his next adventure,” adds Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA CEO.

“On behalf of ESSA, our members and all stakeholders who’ve had the pleasure to work with him, congratulations to Professor Steve Selig on his recognition of Life membership, a true serviceman of ESSA.”

Steve then wanted to thank those who have supported him on his ESSA journey:

There are some very special people that I want to thank and many others I won’t have space to thank here:

  1. Anita Hobson-Powell: I had the privilege of working with Anita throughout my entire time on the Board and her entire time as an employee of ESSA. Her passion for the work that ESSA does on behalf of the members is inspirational, and is only matched by her vision and energy for getting things done.

  2. Professor Jeff Coombes (UQ): Jeff was one of the first Presidents that I served with, and I will be forever grateful for the efforts that Jeff made back in 2006-2007 to understand why big changes were needed to the accreditation standards for EPs. Without Jeff’s incredible support at a time when I really needed it, I would have been a one term Board Director.

  3. All of the Directors that I have served with. I haven’t been the easiest of Directors that they have worked with and I offer a collective apology to all of them for my less than succinct lectures that they often had to suffer!! I appreciate so much what they have done for the members.

  4. All of the people that worked with me on various sets of standards and accreditation schemes. Marg Torode, Herb Groeller, Leonie Otago, Deborah Pascoe and Jacqui Raymond and many others….too many to name here.

  5. The current Board has been fantastic, and I am not just saying that because it is the current Board. The members should know that ESSA is in fantastic hands with the current Board.

  6. Kirsty Rawlings (UniSA): Kirsty is not only the first and long overdue female President but is providing incredible leadership. She is across so many complex issues coming up to the Board and I have found it inspiring to work with her.

  7. Assoc Prof Kade Davison (UniSA; immediate past President): we shared so much of our ESSA journeys together; I valued and needed his counsel more times than I could count, but more importantly his friendship means so much.

  8. The staff of ESSA: too many to name here but I want to especially thank Carly Ryan, Wendy Rahtz, Sarah Hall, Belinda Burke, Craig Knox, Linda Waterman, Anna Wilkes, Zoe Bickerstaffe, Camella Holland Brightman, Rachel Holmes, and Nardine Presland. And Janette Frazer-Allen (previous staff member of ESSA).

  9. FINALLY, and most important of all, YOU the MEMBERS. You put us here and you trust us to do the best job on behalf of the members. I have never forgotten that we are here to serve YOU. My number one goal for the whole time that I have served ESSA has been to try to achieve better professional opportunities for our members. All other Directors feel the same way, as do the Staff. Thank you all!