Appointments signal Volleyball Australia's future vision


Walter takes on role as Participation Director

Volleyball Australia has announced several key initiatives to help continue its growth as one of Australia’s most innovative and exciting sports.

Women’s helloworld Volleyroo, Rebecca Walter, has been appointed the new Participation Director for VA.

Volleyball Australia’s CEO, Mathieu Meriaux, said Walter will bring enormous passion and experience to the position.

“We have talked a lot as an organisation about creating pathways for athletes, coaches and officials, but it is great to see there is also an administrator pathway between State Volleyball Associations and Volleyball Australia,” Meriaux said.

“Rebecca is greatly respected by all stakeholders and is one of our sport’s top administrators. The work she has done in Victoria has had a massive impact.

“She loves our sport, is a passionate player herself, and we are excited she is stepping up to the executive team.

Walter’s first task will be to roll-out the We are Volleyball agenda, which is an exciting and innovative $4 million new investment strategy into volleyball and beach volleyball.

The Volleyroo squad member will also be focusing on capturing all volleyball participants in the national customer relationship management (CRM) program, as well as delivering both the new junior participation programs framework and the coaching and officiating framework.

“I'm very excited to be taking on the role of Participation Director,” Walter said.

“Participation of our sport is imperative to our sustainability and continued growth, and through my previous role at Volleyball Victoria I feel as though I have a solid foundation regarding understanding of challenges at the state level.

“I intend on not only working with all the states in achieving individual goals for participation but for all of us as a whole and to push the boundaries of our current programs to develop more participation opportunities.

“My focus moving forward will be 'WE' so that we all know that we are on the same page and at the end of the day, that is more people playing volleyball,” Walter said.


Meriaux also announced Volleyball Australia will be establishing a Digital Transformation Office, to continue its progression as one of Australia’s most innovative sports and to work alongside the implementation of the Fortix CRM.

“When I started four years ago, we were spending 60 per cent of our time on Word/Excel, 30 per cent on emails and 10 per cent on other things,” Meriaux said.

“To cope with the current workload, we need to maximise today’s technology to enhance our collaboration, save time and optimise our outputs. The exciting thing is that technology is getting cheaper and cheaper but we need to change manage all our organisations and navigate the very rich digital environment.”

Volleyball Australia President, Craig Carracher, said the importance of such a development could not be understated.

“The efficiencies and productivity demanded of sport in the 21st century is sometimes overwhelming, and we must invest to procure the best support systems to our staff, stakeholders and our thousands of volunteers,” he said.

“NSOs are truly the most efficient delivery mechanism for sport in Australia, but we must chase innovation and productivity improvements.

“A Digital Transformation Office will fast-track the digital collaboration and innovation between all stakeholders. The DTO will be a small team, including myself, that will engage with all stakeholders to maximise the use of technology.”

Projects of the DTO will include the roll out of the Volleyball Digital ID, as well as the deployment of new collaborative platforms across all levels of administration.

Mr Meriaux said business partner Fortix is at the heart of Volleyball Australia, and the sport will work to further leverage its capability within our sport and integrate it with complementary platforms.


Volleyball Australia has also appointed experienced coach and administrator, Les Young, to the newly created position of Interim Chief Information Officer.

Meriaux said VA is in the process of implementing a strategic plan covering the 2017/21 period, with the next face-to-face National Stakeholders Meeting (NSM) scheduled in May.

“After the internal review of our organisation, it became apparent that Volleyball Australia needed the full review and implementation of new processes to support this new strategic era,” Meriaux said.

“Les Young’s expertise in this area is very extensive, having review and implemented operational excellence in multi-millions dollar projects.

“His role will be challenging given the time constraint imposed upon him. We are looking to leverage Les’s extensive experience for our organisation, and we will review the progress over the next few months.

“We are doing so much across so many programs and portfolios, there must be ways to simplify and reduce the workload. For us to execute our Strategic Plan, there will be internal and external processes (with our member states) that will need to be implemented.”

Young’s first role will be to engage with all our stakeholders as well as all the VA staff members to execute a full needs assessment.

With geography one of VA’s biggest barriers, it is hoped combining the DTO to an interim Chief Information Officer will enable greater collaboration.

"As a volunteer contributing to the sport I love for the last 30 years, I have seen some great individual efforts and some great achievements over that time; however, I don't believe we have ever been in a position like we are now,” Young said.

“On the back of a strong international and national eventing strategy, and some great work by passionate staff, we have an excellent opportunity to further align our business and provide the foundation for sustainable growth into the future.

“I feel privileged to be able to champion our collective efforts to revolutionise and align the way we support our staff and volunteers to deliver real outcomes. I look forward to working with all of our stakeholders to understand our collective needs and deliver this enabling capability."


Meriaux said these processes will enable the executive team and the broader team to deliver on a very ambitious mission, helping to become a world leader in our sport.

And he said these changes are just the start. Volleyball Australia is looking at more initiatives to improve the sport throughout the country.

“VA is exploring more innovative ways to draw on the deep experience of sports administration and leadership across the country,” he said.

“We are investigating mentorship roles from experienced state, association and club administrators, along with coaches and officials who can offer so much to the decision making and leadership of the sport if given direct engagement opportunities with a national governing body.

“This approach will encourage a culture of ‘joined-up thinking’ and ensure the great knowledge across our sport is shared in a structured and meaningful manner.”