SSA Board

President, Graeme Jennings

Graeme Jennings was previously the President of School Sport Australia from 2016 – 2020 and returned to the position in 2023.
Graeme has been a leader in education and school sport for 30 years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Education (PDHPE). Graeme has a successful track record as a teacher, coach, administrator and College Principal at Great Lakes College, a multi campus collegiate in Forster/Tuncurry, NSW with 1500 students. He was a professional Rugby League player in Australia and the United Kingdom. He is acutely aware of the importance of teamwork, communication, accountability, inclusivity, and transparency. His diverse background, blending expertise in education, sports, and leadership, positions him as a dynamic figure dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of students, teachers, parents and coaches.
Vice President, Paula Nielsen - South Australia

Paula Nielsen was appointed to the School Sport Australia Board in 2013 - 2015 and again in 2018 as the South Australian representative. Paula is the School Sport SA Team Leader overseeing the operations of the SA Department for Education's School Sport Team. She has been working for SA School Sport since 1997.
Paula was a representative on the ACARA National Consulation Forum on the H&PE Australian Curriculum - influential in ensuring that the movement and physical activity strand remained essential to this subject area. Further to this she has been a Sport SA Director advocating for the importance and value of sport in education.
She currently holds the position of School Sport Australia National Netball Advisor and has been involved since 1993. Prior to this Paula coached the SA 15 and Under Netball team from 1987 - 1992. Paula became a life member of School Sport Australia in 2014 and has been a life member of School Sport Australia Netball since 1999.

Treasurer, Dr Keith Graham OAM - Queensland

Keith was appointed as the Queensland representative on the School Sport Australia Board in 2018 and during this time has served as Board Member, Treasurer and Vice President. As a Board Member, Keith has the current responsibilities of being Chair of the International Programs Committee and Chair of the Audit and Risks Subcommittee. In addition to his Board roles, Keith is the School Sport Australia Sports Advisor for Touch Football, a position he has held since 2013. At the state level, Keith is the current Chair of the Queensland School Sport Management Group, elected in 2018, which has oversight of the Qld school sport program, and has served on the Executive of Qld School Sport Primary Touch Football for over 20 Years. He is a Life Member of Qld School Sport and Qld Primary School Touch Football and is a recipient of a School Sport Australia 10-year service award.
Keith is a Senior Principal within the Qld Department of Education, overseeing school reviews across the state. He believes sport is a vital part of the school curriculum as it can develop not only sport ability in students but also attitudes, behaviours and values which become so important in adult life. Keith has been involved in school sport at regional, state and nation level for over 30 years holding various leadership and coaching positions. In 2019 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for his commitment and leadership to school sport. Keith holds a Diploma of Sport Psychology, a Masters of Education, a Masters of Applied Linguistics and a Doctor of Education. He is currently undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy in the area of behavioural leadership.
Jason Borton

Jason is a former teacher and school principal in the ACT Education Directorate. He is an experienced Senior Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the education industry. Skilled in K-12 Education, Collaboration, stakeholder engagement, policy and service delivery. Jason has a passion for school sport and providing opportunities for young people to compete at the highest level.
Ben Thomas - New South Wales

Ben Thomas was appointed as the New South Wales School Sport Australia Board Member in 2022. Ben is the NSWPSSA Senior Vice-President and has been a part of the NSW School Sport executive for 9 years. Ben has been involved in school sport for 25 years and has held many positions at a state level, including NSW Track and Field Convener, General Manager for Pacific School Games and the NSW School Sport Beyond 2030 Committee.
Ben is the Principal of Avoca Beach Public School, a primary school of 500 students on the NSW Central Coast. He is a proud advocate of Public Education and the vast opportunities that it provides for every student. Ben is committed to providing a balanced education for students and is a strong believer in the importance that sport plays in the development of the whole child. His sporting passions include Football, Surfing and Track and Field.

Jane Slater - Northern Territory

Jane Slater arrived in Australia in July 2003 and in Darwin in 2004. Jane’s School Sport NT journey began three weeks later with an inter-state hockey coaching appointment and has continued ever since in a variety of roles.

Jane trained as a Physical Education teacher and has taught in England, The USA, Belgium and Botswana before arriving in Australia. She joined the Department of Education in the Northern Territory in 2006 as the Senior School Sport Coordinator. She is currently the Assistant Principal for the School of Sport Education NT.

Jane is an School Sport Australia ten year Service Award recipient having coached 12 years girls’ football (soccer) 12 years and 16 years girls’ hockey and managed 12 years girls and boys cricket teams. She believes strongly in the great value sport adds to the education of our young people.
Courtney Laskey - Tasmania

Courtney has a rich background in sports coaching, management, and administration, currently holding the position of Community Liaison - Sport within the Department for Education, Children and Young People in Tasmania.
With extensive experience spanning from grassroots to elite levels, Courtney brings a comprehensive understanding of the sports landscape to the board of School Sport Australia.

Courtney is committed to making grassroots sport and representative pathways accessible for all.
Her work is driven by a passion for participation and a steadfast dedication to supporting women and girls in sport.

Courtney and the Tasmanian Government place great importance on the engagement in and provision of sporting opportunities for Tasmanian children and young people, including access to national events.
As a board member of School Sport Australia, Courtney aims to continue her advocacy for equitable sports programs and to contribute to the development and promotion of sporting environments that empower young athletes across the country
Jamie Parsons - Victoria

Jamie is an engaging and inclusive leader who has developed and lead high profile organisations throughout his career. Jamie is currently the CEO at School Sport Victoria. He has held roles as CEO at Badminton Australia, CEO at Gymnastics Victoria, Commercial and Contracts Manager at the Office of Commonwealth Games and held Senior leadership roles at Netball Australia, the World Swimming Championships and Deaflympic Games.
Jamie has worked extensively in the education sector including leadership roles at Victoria’s Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne Museum and Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Jamie has worked directly in schools in community sport programs in Victoria and the Northern Territory, has taught sports management in the TAFE Sector and currently teaches sessionally at Victoria University.
In addition, Jamie has held director roles at Vicsport (the peak body for sports in Victoria), convened the National Sport Collective (a group of NSO/NSOD CEOs), was a member of Sports Australia’s Sport Volunteer Coalition, is a member of the Victoria University Sport Management Advisory Committee and has held director positions on the Boards of Football Victoria and Little Athletics Victoria.
Jamie is able to develop and build high performing teams of people to deliver organisational strategic priorities through valuing and engaging all key people involved including athletes, officials, volunteers, customers, participants, board members, paid staff, contractors, partners and other key stakeholders.
Jamie is passionate about bringing people together through sport, leisure, culture and physical activity to find new and innovative ways to support all in our community live healthy and productive lives.

Peter Smith - Western Australia

Peter Smith was appointed to the SSA Board in 2013 as the Western Australian representative.
He is employed by the Education Department of WA and is the Manager of School Sport Unit overseeing the operations of School Sport WA and has been in this role since 2006.
Peter trained as a Physical Education, Mathematics and Information Technology teacher and taught for 25 years in WA secondary schools.
He currently holds the position of School Sport Australia Cricket Sport Advisor and has been involved with School Sport Australia since the early 1990’s. Peter has attended the SSA AFL 15s Championships since 1993, attending his first SSA National Championship in Melbourne in that year.
Peter was awarded Life Membership of School Sport Australia in 2023 marking over 30 years of service to SSA. Peter is also a Service Award recipient for SSA Australian Football.
Outside school sport Peter’s sporting interests include Cricket, AFL and Softball.
Special responsibilities: National Programs Advisory Group Chair.