Media release: Independent Appointments Panel Announces Steering Committee to Help Shape the Future of Gymnastics in Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Anna RobertsonIndependent Review, Media Release

The Independent Appointments Panel has announced who will be part of the Steering Committee to propose changes and implement recommendations from the Independent Review of Gymnastics New Zealand.

The Gymnastics New Zealand Steering Committee is comprised of Independent Chair, Sally McKechnie and eight other members.

Gymnast Members

  • Bronte Coluccio has been involved in the local gymnastics community for more than 20 years. She represented New Zealand in Aerobic Gymnastics, has held coaching and judging roles and served on numerous sporting and judicial committees. She has a BA with a double major in criminology and sociology and currently works as a stunt performer.
  • Carmel Leslie is a former New Zealand gymnast competing at an elite level internationally. Her diverse experience including sport development, athlete/coach mentoring, sport science lecturing and gymnastics coaching at a regional and national level. She is currently a programme manager at the Otago Academy of Sport working with athletes, coaches, parents, and sport science providers.
  • Jacqui Godfrey is a New Zealand representative in artistic gymnastics, formally as a gymnast and currently as an FIG brevet judge. She has built a 20 plus year career in sport operations and governance, including senior management roles in gymnastics, diving, and netball across three countries. She currently serves as the Director of Trampoline & Tumbling at USA Gymnastics.
  • Kierran Tuhi is a former New Zealand trampoline athlete who has competed at four world championships including a world championship final and is a world cup silver medallist. He has served many years as a national level judge and has coached many aspiring athletes. Kierran is a qualified civil engineer currently working in the commercial construction industry.
  • Olivia Jöbsis is a former gymnast representing New Zealand at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She has worked as a coach for preschool to competitive gymnasts, a judge, choreographer, and programme manager. Since completing her law degree, she has volunteered at Community Law (Women’s Sessions) and Youth Law Aotearoa gaining important insights into the challenges that vulnerable women, young people, and marginalised individuals face when accessing advice, remedy, and justice; as well as the need to build trust and informed consent to ensure constructive engagement

Human Rights Specialist

  • Dr. Claire Achmad is an international human rights law and policy specialist, with an interest in children’s rights, and advocacy for children. She holds a PhD in international children’s rights law and has worked across the NGO, social services, government, inter-governmental and international development locally and abroad. She is currently the chief executive officer of Social Service Providers Aotearoa, a peak body for community-based social services. She also holds a number of advisory and governance roles in New Zealand and internationally in the areas of children’s and human rights.

Child and Youth Specialist

  • Willow Duffy is a vocal child advocate and an expert in child protection and creating child-safe organisations. She is a founding member and CEO of Safeguarding Children, a charity dedicated to preventing child abuse. Her team has trained over 23,500 New Zealanders in child protection and developed systems and processes to keep children safe in organisations. Willow led projects to develop child protection and safeguarding resources for Sport New Zealand and the Ministry of Education.

Sports New Zealand Representative

  • Rebecca Rolls leads diversity and inclusion at Sport New Zealand. Rebecca (Ngāti Porou) has a justice sector background spanning over 20 years. Prior to joining Sport New Zealand, she was a general manager at the Department of Corrections, leading the integrity and assurance functions. She served 10 years in police, seven of those spent in the Criminal Investigation Branch working in several areas including child abuse and sexual assaults.

“Thanks to everyone who put themselves forward to be part of the Steering Committee. We appreciate that may not have been an easy process, particularly for those who have experienced harm, and we would like to acknowledge the courage these individuals demonstrated when putting themselves forward,” said Dr. Shane Collins, Chair of the Steering Committee Appointments Panel.

“The Appointments Panel received a high number of quality applications and had some hard choices to make. We reviewed applicants against the agreed set of competencies that included feedback from stakeholders and held interviews with a range of candidates. The panel is delighted with the calibre of individuals appointed who, together, provide all the required competencies. Along with the Chair and Sport New Zealand representative, they reflect the best mix of skills and experience of candidates who met the competencies.”

The Steering Committee reflects the diverse gymnastics community – those who have lived experience, have participated in competitive and high performance/elite gymnastics, and are representative of the range of roles and clubs, demographics, genders, and geographies. They also bring relevant experience from outside the gymnastics community.

The appointees to the child and youth and human rights specialist roles are both leading experts in their field, with a strong track record of achieving practical, positive change.

“This is a positive opportunity for change so we encourage the gymnastics community to please come with us in the waka – your insights and perspectives will help make the change practical. There will be plenty of opportunities for the community to get involved in working groups and workstreams the committee identifies, and we encourage you to be active in shaping the culture and future of gymnastics,” said Sally McKechnie, Chair of the Steering Committee.

“We would like to acknowledge the calibre and professionalism of the independent Appointments Panel chaired by Dr. Shane Collins, whose members have all volunteered hours and hours of their time. The thought and care they’ve put into this process, has been exceptional so a huge thanks to them all,” said Quinton Hall, Chair of Gymnastics New Zealand.

“We are excited that the Committee is now formed, and we can begin work on change that will be vital to the sport moving forward.” he added.

“The Steering Committee has a critical role to play in helping to shape the future of gymnastics in Aotearoa. We took the time needed to run a thorough process and get the appointments right. This included incorporating feedback from the gymnastics community and experts through consultation. The panel also received training from an expert in a trauma-informed approach to help ensure a safe process,” added Dr. Collins.

Over about 15 months from establishment, the Steering Committee will make proposals to the board of Gymnastics New Zealand on changes including in the areas of leadership and culture, policies, procedures, and regulations. The first task is to formulate a work plan, which is due to the Gymnastics New Zealand Board within three months of the Steering Committee’s first formal meeting in the new year.


For further information:

Gymnastics NZ website for photos.

Anna Robertson
Communications Manager
M +64 21 424 938