David Schmude has been appointed as the new chair of UniSport Australia ©David Schmude/Linkedin

The UniSport Australia Board have announced the appointment of David Schmude as chair of the organisation following a meeting in Gold Coast.

Schmude, previously deputy chair, will replace Dr Deidre Anderson, who had been chair since 2014.

Anderson, however, has said she will serve as a director on the Board to assist Schmude in his transition.

"After five years leading the organisation I believe it is in the best interests of UniSport to transition to a new chair given the challenges that lie ahead beyond my tenure," she said.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the current directors and all those who I have served with over the past few years."

Schmude has revealed that one of his top priorities as chair of UniSport Australia, which has represented university sport in Australia for 97 years, will be to secure a two-tiered National Championship, designed to drive higher levels of engagement by elite student-athletes.

David Schmude will replace Deidre Anderson as chair of the UniSport Australia Board ©Macquarie University
David Schmude will replace Deidre Anderson as chair of the UniSport Australia Board ©Macquarie University

Schmude paid tribute to Anderson and said that she will still be a useful asset to the organisation.

"Dee has done an incredible job and I'm grateful to still be able to call on her support and expertise as a member of the Board," he said.

"The Board and the organisation are in great shape.

"Dr Anderson has indicated she is keen to continue her work as chair of the International Sports Strategy Committee and her athlete well-being and support work with the Australian Uniroos programme.

"We are pleased of course to utilise Dr Anderson's obvious gifts in these areas."

UniSport Australia chief executive Don Knapp also paid tribute to Anderson and welcomed Schmude to his new role.

"Dee has done an amazing job over the last five years in leading the board and the organisation through a period of major change," he said.

"This year's launch of the UniSport Nationals is an enduring legacy of Dr Anderson's leadership.

"To now have David as chair - someone from a regional university - demonstrates the diversity of the board, which represents the diverse range and scale of the 42 member universities across Australia."