Sydney 2000 Olympian in Modern Pentathlon, Kitty Chiller AM was the Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Olympic Team - the first ever female to hold this prestigious role. After being Deputy Chef in London 2012, the Rio role thrust her into the public spotlight the world over.
Kitty become well known for her strong stance on the values of being an Olympian, of fair play, of the behavioural expectations of Team members and of the responsibility as well as the honour of being an Olympian in this country.
In the lead into Rio, she was a high-profile leader who walked the talk so that she could genuinely lead a Team that was athlete focused. That high media profile and presence, along with the extremely challenging logistical environment of Rio came at a cost though with Kitty having to overcome many hurdles – personal and professional. Kitty is renowned for her strength and resilience in the face of challenge.
As an athlete Kitty spent almost a two decades at the top of her sport, before female modern pentathlon was added to the Olympic program in Sydney 2000. She was a 12-time National Champion, seven-time World Cup medallist and six-time World Cup finalist. Kitty was ranked World Number One in the world in 1996, 1997 and 1998. At the age of 36, Kitty competed at the Sydney Olympic Games, despite seriously fracturing her knee cap the week before the Games, requiring a reconstruction afterwards.
Retiring from competitive sport after Sydney 2000, Kitty continued to be involved in sport and has had many high-profile roles as a leader and manager in the sports world in addition to her Olympic Team appointments. She is currently an Executive Board Member of the Australian Olympic Committee and President of Modern Pentathlon Oceania and she also sits on the International Modern Pentathlon Federation Executive Board.
Kitty is a highly respected sports administrator in Australia, having led one of the country’s biggest national sports organisations, Gymnastics Australia, as CEO for five years through the challenging periods of COVID and the Athlete A global abuse scandal.
Kitty is renowned as a leader who places primary focus on the culture and values of a team – be that sporting or corporate. Her stories and lessons on authentic leadership, transparent communication and personal resilience have an emphatic and genuine impact. Suffering a major cardiac incident last year adds another important life lesson to Kitty’s remarkable story.
In her day job, Kitty is Deputy CEO of the National Sports Tribunal, and her athletic pursuits now are confined to the golf course!