Volleyball Australia President and businessman Craig Carracher has been elected to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Executive as a replacement for Russell Withers, who resigned in September following allegations of worker exploitation within his company 7-Eleven.
Carracher’s nomination was unanimously passed by AOC members and he will become a member of the AOC Finance Commission, the Audit and Risk Committee and the Board of the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF).
He will also contribute to the AOF Investment Advisory Committee and AOC President John Coates hailed his appointment to the Executive.
“Craig has received global recognition for his achievements in volleyball and together with his extensive legal, corporate and investment experience no-one is better qualified to join our Executive,” he said.
“The Executive recognised Craig’s impeccable business credentials and felt he will make a valuable long-term contribution to the Executive and the Board of the AOF.
“Craig is devoted to his sport and is admired and respected by the athletes, officials and volunteers for his hands on approach.
“I am sure our other AOC member sports will applaud his appointment.”
Carracher pursued a career in law after he played on the Australian Pro Beach Volleyball Tour from 1989.
He then joined the Board of his local club and switched his focus from law to sports administration, becoming chief executive and a director of Volleyball Australia in the build-up to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
Coates claimed Carracher is well respected within volleyball, adding that he is “highly regarded by the new President of the International Volleyball Federation for his work in Asian and Oceania volleyball”.
His election comes after Withers, the billionaire founder of convenience store 7-Eleven in Australia, opted to step away from his role on the AOC Executive after an investigation by Fairfax Media and the ABC programme Four Corners claimed that two thirds of the company’s shops in the country have been underpaying their employees.
He had been nominated to the AOC Executive by the Equestrian Federation of Australia, which he served as President from 2001 to 2006, and had sat on the Executive for 14 years before his resignation last month.
After the scandal emerged, Withers also resigned as 7-Eleven chairman.
September 2015: Founder of 7-Eleven leaves Australian Olympic Committee role amid wage exploitation scandal