Graham Croker

The results are as follows:


Bruce Ross     233 votes

David Hynes    163 votes

Informal            68 votes.

Bruce Ross was declared elected as President

Female Vice-President

Denise Wee        232 votes

Tanya Finikiotis    163 votes

Informal                69 votes

Denise Wee was declared elected as Female Vice-President

Male Vice-President

Tom Carter        228 votes

Andrew Bray    167 votes

Informal            69 votes

Tom Carter was declared elected as Male Vice-President

Bruce Ross was re-elected president of Sydney University Sport & Fitness for a record 19th year at the annual elections last night.

When counting finished Mr Ross held a comfortable advantage over challenger David Hynes, a 1996 Atlanta Olympian who was running for the presidency for the first time. The election covers two-year term of office.

Denise Wee and Tom Carter were also re-elected vice-presidents for 2009-10. The election of treasurer and secretary will take place next week.

Mr Ross said on behalf of Denise Wee and Tom Carter, he thanked members for their support.

“We regard the result as a strong endorsement of the policies pursued by the management committee over the past year,” he said.

“Given issues raised during the campaign, we believe that the result signals a recognition and endorsement of the wisdom of working in close partnership with the University.

“The University recently wrote to us reaffirming that it will honour its financial commitments to SUSF in respect of capital infrastructure and financial management planning.

“With our executive director, we are currently undertaking a strategic review to ensure that we continue to move forward strongly despite the current difficult economic environment.

“We also want to pursue new initiatives to help smaller clubs to grow.”

Mr Ross’s long association with SUSU began when he was elected to the Sports Union Management Committee as a Senate representative in 1990. The following year he replaced Maurice Cunningham to become the 39th President of the Sports Union since its foundation in 1890. He followed in some illustrious footsteps, with the first three presidents being Sir William Manning (1890-1894), The Hon. Sir William Windeyer (1895-96) and The Hon H.N. MacLaurin (1897-99). The previous longest-serving president was John Kean (1978-1987).

A graduate of the University of New South Wales, where he majored in economics in an Arts degree, Mr Ross came to Sydney University in 1973, serving for 28 years as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics. His principal research and teaching interests were in the fields of business enterprise and corporate strategy.

His initial involvement with sport at Sydney University was as coach of the Football Club’s First Grade Colts team in 1989. He coached various colts and grade teams during the following four years and became a great supporter of the club.

In 1991 Mr Ross proposed the introduction of a system of sports scholarships, the foundation of the Sports Union’s comprehensive elite athlete program. Following a 1989 study tour with then executive director Greg Harris of athletics departments and sporting programs at major universities in the United States, he took on the role of Academic Counsellor to the elite athletes. He has since worked in conjunction with the athlete services managers at the Sports Union, providing academic and career advice. He has taken a particular interest in encouraging past sporting scholars to maintain their involvement with the University and its sporting clubs.

“The greatest thing about the sports scholarship scheme is the success of the students on the academic side,” he said. “The scholarships are modest in monetary terms – it’s the additional service that counts.

“They are collectively more successful academically than other students. And that’s because the scholarship offers them academic counselling and time management skills. They develop a study culture and our academic results are now better than that of the overall student body.”

Mr Ross said there has been a big change in attitude to sport by students during his time with the Sports Union. “They are now playing and training at elite levels and acting accordingly on and off the field,” he said.

Mr Ross said other universities had better sporting infrastructures and were implementing scholarships and employing coaches to challenge Sydney University.

“In major sports, the district clubs are aligning with licensed clubs to pay players amounts that we both cannot and would not attempt to match,” he said. “We have advanced by developing programs that focus on outstanding coaches and sports scientists. We have a sports scholarship program which emphasises academic and career counselling and support, and we have the best brand name in Australian universities.”