Paralympics Australia chief executive Lynne Anderson is to step down at the end of this year from the role she has held since 2015, it has been announced.
Anderson will be part of the Australian contingent which travels to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next month, vowing to be there "every step of the way with our staff and athletes" amid the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Australia finished fifth in the medals table at Rio 2016, winning 22 golds.
The chief executive, who had joined Paralympics Australia from Repucom - Australia and New Zealand, where she was managing director, will officially leave the position on December 31.
Anderson has overseen a rebrand of Paralympics Australia from the Australian Paralympic Committee, and successfully lobbied the Australian Government for investment towards Tokyo 2020 and a new community, education and events centre at the organisation’s base in Tullamarine in Victoria.
In 2019, Anderson won the Award for Leadership at the Australian Institute of Sport Sport Performance Awards.
Upon the announcement of her departure, Anderson said serving in the role had been "the most amazing privilege".
Anderson added: "It's truly left its mark on me and given me so much more than I could ever have imagined.
"I’ve always said that once you witness our amazing Para athletes live at an event you are hooked on the sport for life.
"I will always remain a passionate Paralympic supporter and advocate."
The outgoing chief executive has been praised for her work in the Paralympic Movement in Oceania.
Paralympics Australia President Jock O'Callaghan paid a glowing tribute to Anderson.
"Lynne has always been fiercely proud of the Paralympic Movement she loyally represents," said O'Callaghan.
"Today, on behalf of PA and everyone in the Paralympic family, we recognise the results of her passionate pursuit of better outcomes for Para athletes and for disability sport in Australia.
"Lynne has been instrumental in achieving greater parity in high performance funding for Para-sport, advancing new pathways and accessibility options for emerging talent and gaining a stronger voice for Para athletes across all levels of Government and in the community.
"Lynne has built an athlete-centric culture at PA, engaging alumni current Para-athletes.
"Lynne has garnered greater recognition and respect for the Paralympic movement in Australia, delivering a step change in investment from governments, corporates and broadcasters. Her legacy will be felt for many years to come."
Anderson also earned recognition from Andrew Parsons, President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
"As one of the Paralympic Movement’s most high-profile female leaders she has been a role model for others within the Paralympic Movement, receiving numerous awards in recognition of her efforts," Parsons said.
"From all at the IPC, we wish Lynne well for the future and thank her not only for her contribution to Paralympic sport in Australia but the wider Paralympic Movement."
The Australian Olympic Committee echoed those sentiments, and released its own statement in which chief executive Matt Carroll commented: "During her six years at the helm of Paralympics Australia Lynne has worked tirelessly for the advancement of disability sport, and in strengthening and improving Paralympics Australia.
"Lynne brought her significant experience and knowledge of the sport industry to the role, ensuring the development of many opportunities for Australians with a disability to participate in sport and compete at the level they desire.
"Under her leadership Paralympics Australia has consolidated its position as the peak body in Australian disability sport.
"Hers is a great legacy.
"Having known Lynne Anderson for many years, we have been able to bring the AOC and PA closer together for the benefit of sport in Australia.
"On behalf of the Australian Olympic Movement, I thank Lynne for her outstanding contribution to sport, and wish her the very best for the future."
Paralympics Australia promised it would give "careful consideration" to the transition process for Anderson’s successor.