Ms Spring is also currently Chair of the University of Sydney Sports Foundation, which drives sports philanthropy, and is NSW Co-Chapter Lead of not-for-profit mentoring organisation Minerva Network, which supports elite female athletes on and off the field.
University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson said the historic appointment of Ms Spring – the first woman Chair since the University’s first sporting body was established in 1890 – would support the ongoing focus on elite sporting achievement, wellbeing and inclusion.
“As both the first woman appointed to lead Australia’s premier tertiary sporting body and the first wheelchair user in the role, Jane’s appointment is a landmark one for the University and Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness,” Ms Hutchinson said.
“Her track record of sporting excellence as both an athlete and administrator, and her enormous contribution to accessibility and inclusion through her roles at the NSW Disability Council, Australian Disability Strategy Advisory Council and the University of Sydney Sports Foundation, make her the perfect person to succeed David Mortimer. I would like to recognise and thank David for his generous and highly valued contribution to SUSF and the University over many years.”
Jane Spring, who has been in a wheelchair for 33 years after being seriously injured in a car accident, said she was honoured and excited to assume the position.
“To be the first female Chair of the Board of SUSF is a great privilege. I am excited by the opportunity to bring my insights as a woman and a person with a disability to this role,” Ms Spring said.
“I wish to build on the work that David Mortimer AO has done in four years as Chair and to ensure the Board continues to work effectively as we support the CEO and SUSF staff to deliver our strategy.
“As well as being the first women with a disability to have this role, my insights as a sports administrator, elite athlete and recreational sports person are also significant. I am also excited to partner with the University to ensure that the student experience at the University of Sydney provides the opportunity for all students to fulfil their potential.”
Ms Spring, who as Chair will oversee the University’s famed sports program which has seen the University of Sydney produce more Olympians and Paralympians than any other campus in Australia, said she had enjoyed a life-long passion for sport and that at the age of 59, she continued to sustain her energy by staying fit.