Job Adverts
Member Login


Forgot Password - Forgot Username
For Media

Exercise & Sports Science CEO Names Top 25 Sports and Exercise Science Influencers

In the December issue of Exercise & Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA) journal – Activate – CEO, Anita Hobson-Powell announced her top 25 influencers of exercise and sports science in Australia.

“In celebration of ESSA’s 25 year anniversary, I was asked to think about the 25 individuals who I believe have had the most impact on the exercise and sports science industry. This was an incredibly tough task as there have been hundreds of people who have played incredibly valuable roles in our professions and association, trying to narrow these down to just 25 was difficult to say the least,” explains Ms. Hobson-Powell.

“Of course, i must honour those who say around the table at the first official Annual General meeting (held in Perth) in 1992, I wonder if they could imagine how far we have now come?”

“The list of 25 individuals have all played dynamic roles in the development of ESSA and its members. As you will see, the range of backgrounds is a true reflection on our membership and industry – diverse, passionate and incredibly hard working. To those who didn’t make my list, you are not forgotten and I thank you for all your efforts. To those who did make the list, I am truly appreciative of your work and hope there is more to come!”


Top 25 Influencers of Exercise and Sports Science in Australia

Professor Aaron Coutts

Aaron has played a significant role for the industry, especially in the development and recognition of sports science accreditation within Australia. Aaron’s commitment has led to significant recognition of sports science internationally and the ability for Australian trained sports scientists.

Professor Allan Hahn

Allan has been one of Australia’s leading sports scientists. He played an important role in setting up a systematic talent identification program in Australia as well as trialling a screening test for the banned drug erythropoietin (EPO).

Dr Brendan Joss

Brendan made extensive contributions to both the ESSA National Board and Western Australia State Chapter. He has paved the way for the profession in Western Australia from job growth to the recognition of AEPs, especially in regards to musculoskeletal rehabilitation.

Dr Chris Askew

Chris has made many contributions over the years to ESSA. Not only was Chris the President of ESSA’s National Board for two years, which saw ESSA focus on optimising its governance role, he was also responsible for chairing the review of the exercise science standards. Chris is now the Chair of ESSA’s Professional Standards Advisory Council.

Professor Chris Gore

Chris has worked tirelessly on developing and promoting the revised sports science accreditation. He attended various stakeholder meetings to ensure they understood the importance and value of accreditation.

Mr Chris Tzarimas

Chris contributed extensively to activities at a NSW and national level. He played a foundational role in obtaining recognition of accredited exercise physiology as an allied health profession within Medicare.

Mr Daryl Sadgrove

Daryl contributed extensively to activities at a NSW level and national level. He was tenacious in lobbying recognition of accredited exercise physiology as an allied health professional within Medicare, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Medibank Private.

Professor David Bishop

David was President when ESSA’s accredited exercise physiologists received recognition within Medicare. He has served two different terms on the ESSA National Board and was focused on improving the recognition of our professionals.

Mr Kevin Conlon

Kevin contributed to both the ESSA National Board and Queensland State Chapter, but he has paved the way for the profession in QLD for job growth and the recognition of AEPs, especially in regards to workplace rehabilitation. 

Dr Lainie Cameron

With an undergraduate degree in Osteopathy, Lainie then trained as an AEP. On top of teaching many students over the years, she was an author of the ground breaking text book – Clinical exercise: a case-based approach.

Mrs Lyndell Crawford-Round

Lyndell was a previous staff member of ESSA and during her time she helped ESSA receive over $1,000,000 of funding with the MacArthur Divisions of General Practice which provided the HEAL program throughout Australia. Lyndell is now providing a significant role for our industry as the first ever exercise physiology advisor to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Associate Professor Marg Torode

Marg contributed to establishing ESSA’s previous standards for exercise science and exercise physiology. Marg has also been behind the accreditation of many university courses under NUCAP.

Professor Jeff Coombes

Jeff is a former, long-standing President, and still actively involved with the organisation through the Professional Standards Advisory Council and Exercise is Medicine Australia. During his tenure, ESSA grew tremendously as an allied health professional body, and saw an increase in the recognition of AEPs through other regulatory bodies. Jeff was also the author of ESSA’s inaugural textbook – Student Manual on Exercise, Health and Sport Science assessments.

Professor John Bloomfield

John was not only a former ESSA National Board Member, he also played a momentous role in establishing human movement degrees in Australia. he has authored and co-authored over 100 books, chapters and reports on sport, many of which you and I were educated from.

Dr Kade Davison

Kade has been a long term member of the ESSA National Board Member and South Australian State Chapter. Kade has played a significant role in the development of exercise science standards and helped to guide ESSA’s recognition internationally.

Hon. Kate Lundy MP

Who can forget the “Blackest Day in Australian Sport”? This was the day sports science was thrown into the spotlight. Despite its negativity, this day identified the need to have a quality assurance system in place to oversee those working in sports science, and Kate Lundy was a key driver in this.

Mr Nathan Reeves

Nathan is the current President of the ESSA National Board and has helped guide the organisation through some significant changes and developments. Nathan has also played a significant role with the Queensland State Chapter and developing job opportunities for our members.

Dr Ian Gillam

Ian Gillam was one of the founding Board Directors of AAESS in 1992 and is a long serving volunteer and was a staff member of the Association. Ian has played a key and significant role in developing the recognition of sports

Dr Phil Hamdorf

Phil, a former President of the ESSA National Board, was responsible for employing ESSA’s first Executive Officer to increase the professional offerings of ESSA, formerly AAESS. Phil also plays a significant role in leading the ESSA Fellows.

Dr Simon Rosenbaum 

Despite being a junior researcher, Simon’s research and work led to the development and recognition of AESs and AEPs in the field of mental health and his work has led to international recognition.

Professor Steve Selig

Steve has been a long-standing Director of the ESSA National Board and was part of developing ESSA’s original exercise physiology accreditation system. He has continued to lead the two subsequent reviews of the professional standards and continues to use his passion to support the industry.

Professor Rob Newton

Robert has been one of Australia’s key researchers in the exercise and sports science field. He has played a significant role in the strength and conditioning industry, and became Australia’s first cancer exercise specialist. His work is often seen in the media, and has played a key role in promoting the exercise physiology profession.

Hon. Tony Abbott MP

How can we not thank former Prime Minister Tony Abbott? As the Minister of Health at the time, it was Minister Abbott who recognised AEPs as allied health practitioners under the Medicare scheme and included us in the Chronic Disease Management items and the Type 2 Diabetes items.

Mr Tom Penrose

Tom was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of AAESS with Tony Parker. He played a significant role in NSW developing sports science and community based programs. Following his passing, ESSA paid tribute to his work by naming our first grant
in his honour – The Tom Penrose Community Service Grant.

Professor Tony Parker

Tony was ESSA’s inaugural President and known as one of the founding fathers of ESSA (AAESS). Tony led the industry with the difficult decision to establish itself as a stand alone professional organisation and break away from Sports Medicine Australia. Tony has extensive national  and international experience and connectivity within the disciplines of exercise and sports science. He has championed the role and importance of ESSA and our members throughout his career. Under Tony’s leadership work began on the initial development of NUCAP and advocated its purpose and significance within the higher education sector. Tony also contributed extensively to the recognition and acceptance of exercise and sports science disciplines within organisations such as Sports Medicine Australia, FIMS  and ICSSPE.