David Grace, a sports lawyer, has been promoted to the role of president and chairman of Athletics Australia, track and field's domestic governing body, it was announced today.
Grace, a vice president of AA since 2011 and a board member since 2006, replaces Rob Fildes as president and chairman of the organisation.
He has been an arbitrator on the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2000 and was a member of the court's division established for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Grace said: "I look forward to tackling the many challenges we face as a sport alongside a very capable team of directors."
Earlier this year, AA and Little Athletics Australia, the governing body for junior track and field in the country, began a review into a potential merger, encouraged by a government offer of A$2 million ($1.82 million), via the Australian Sports Commission, the country’s sports funding and administration body.
Grace said the "pursuit of a possible merger" remains a "key priority", but that in the meantime "while we continue to operate independently as Athletics Australia we explore all avenues that could lead to improved commercial viability for the sport."
Fildes, who is retiring after eight years in charge of AA, said: "I am proud of the position in which I will leave the sport for the next generation of leaders and I look forward to working alongside David and his team in a less formal capacity as we pursue the vital undertaking of working towards becoming one sport."
Matthew Mahon, a former director of marketing and communications at the Australian arm of IMG, the international sports and entertainment firm, has filled the vice-presidency seat vacated by Grace.
Mahon is already a board member at the federation.