Paralympics Australia names directors for Paris to Brisbane trip. PA

Four new Paralympics Australia (PA) directors have been appointed to lead the green and gold from Paris to Brisbane, aiming to create the most successful era in Australia's Paralympic history.

PA's aim is to create the most successful era in the history of the Oceania nation's Paralympic Movement, and it will seek to achieve this by strengthening its Board with the appointment of four new directors. 

Paralympians Ellie Cole and Matthew Nicholls and sports marketing expert Michael Bushell have joined the Board from 1 April 2024, while Australian Paralympic Team Co-Captain Curtis McGrath will begin his term after the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games on 1 October. 

The quartet were appointed following a highly competitive recruitment process that began in December last year. Paralympics Australia President Alison Creagh, who chaired the recruitment committee, said the calibre of applicants was exceptional. 

"The addition of Ellie, Matthew and Michael to our Board, and Curtis later in the year, comes at an exciting and pivotal time for our organisation and I have no doubt that the expertise and experience they bring will be of great benefit to the Australian Paralympic Movement," Creagh said.

Australia's Ellie Cole of Australia has won six Paralympic gold medals. GETTY IMAGES
Australia's Ellie Cole of Australia has won six Paralympic gold medals. GETTY IMAGES

"I congratulate our new Directors on their appointments and look forward to seeing them take on the great challenge, responsibility and opportunity that comes with being part of the Paralympics Australia Board," the Paralympics Australia President added.

Creagh said the Board's priority was to maximise opportunities on the road to the Brisbane 2032 Paralympic Games. "There are challenges to overcome and immense opportunities that we must turn into meaningful outcomes that will ensure our long-term sustainability. I am confident that the new perspectives and insights will set us up for a successful future," he concluded.

Ellie Cole, a participant in the last 4 Paralympic Games (Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo) with an impressive tally of 17 Paralympic medals (6+5+6), has taken on a leadership role as General Manager of Team Australia for the 2023 Trinbago Commonwealth Youth Games following her retirement from swimming.

Curtis McGrath is a Paralympian, three-time Paralympic gold medallist and eleven-time World Championship gold medallist. A former Australian Army engineer, he is currently a member of Paralympics Australia's Athletes Commission and co-captain of Australia's 2024 Paralympic Team for the Paris Paralympic Games.

Curtis McGrath won gold in the men's canoe sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. GETTY IMAGES
Curtis McGrath won gold in the men's canoe sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. GETTY IMAGES

Matthew Nicholls is a Paralympian who represented Australia at the 1998 Nagano Winter Paralympics in Alpine Skiing for People with Disabilities. His extensive experience in finance, public administration, consulting and the corporate sector will bring a valuable perspective to the Board.

Michael Bushell has more than 40 years' experience in the sports marketing industry. His expertise in navigating the complexities of the Paralympic, Olympic and Commonwealth Games across multiple functional areas, as well as his track record of maximising revenue through strategic partnerships, will be instrumental to the Australian organisation.

The new appointments join Creagh, Vice President Grant Mizens, Tim Carmody, Rebecca Frizelle and Kate Jones as directors of Paralympics Australia.