Tuesday 6 August 2019

Hansard of the Legislative Council
Olympic Chef de Mission - Ian Chesterman


Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, 'You can do it in Tasmania'.  You might remember the promotional slogan we used to have.  Of course, you still can, and more.  We have now moved on.  You can do it from Tasmania.  More and more people are based in Tasmania and can take advantage of broadband and, of course, cheap air services.

Who would have thought an important part of Australia's Olympic Games organisation would be based in Tasmania, in my electorate?

Ian Chesterman, who lives in Legana, is Chef de Mission of the Australian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.  He sent me an email the other day about his tasks -

The Australian Olympic Committee has a huge job to organise for a team of around 480 athletes from 35 sports and 300 support staff to attend Tokyo 2020.

My goal is to run an athlete-focussed team that allows each person, who has worked so hard to make it to Tokyo to produce their best on their most important day, their day of Olympic competition.

Tokyo provides a great backdrop for an Olympic Games and I know that the Japanese people are fully committed to making Tokyo in 2020 a fantastic celebration of sport and human endeavour.

I'm totally enjoying my role, moving around Australia to build strong relationships with all the sports and with many athletes. 

The role is multi-faceted.  It involves working with our Federal government and their departments, the Japan diplomatic representatives, sponsors, media, the International Olympic Committee, many other National Olympic Committees, our 35 national sporting federations and all our potential Olympians.

It's a great challenge but one I am enjoying immensely.

Ian Chesterman was first elected to the Australian Olympic Committee in 2001; he became Vice President in 2016.  He was the chef de mission - that is, the head of the Australian delegation - at six Olympic Winter Games: 1998 - Nagano, Japan; 2002 - Salt Lake City, United States; 2006 - Turin, Italy; 2010 - Vancouver, Canada; 2014 - Sochi, Russia; and 2018 - Pyeongchang, South Korea.  He was the general manager before that at the 1994 games held in Lillehammer, Norway.

Australia has won five gold, five silver and four bronze medals under Ian's leadership and has come of age as a winter sports nation.

Ian Chesterman was appointed as Chef de Mission for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in 2017, becoming the first Australian to head both the Summer and Winter Olympic teams and the first to lead a total of seven Olympic teams.

He was made a life member of the Australian Olympic Committee in May 2018.  As I proudly mention, he lives in my electorate of Rosevears at Legana.

You can certainly do it from Tasmania.  That is one of the reasons Tasmania's population is increasing.

People are coming here for our clean air, water, our outstanding natural environment and because they can work anywhere from here.