Meet the Team

Meet the members of the Coaching and Refereeing Advisory Committee (CRAC)! The CRAC was assembled to provide support and advice in relation to the technical aspects of coaching and refereeing, and the operational delivery of strateigic intiatives to enhance the attraction, retention, development and performance of coaches and referee in water polo across Australia.



Aleksandr Osadchuk OLY

Aleks represented Australia at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Since retiring from the pool, Aleks has held various coaching and administration roles in the sport, including Queensland Academy (QAS) of Sport Women's Water Polo Head Coach, QAS Water Polo High Performance Manager, and currently works at Water Polo Queensland in the role of Head of Performance and Pathways.


Bronwyn Smith OAM OLY

Bronwyn is an Olympic gold medalist (Sydney 2000) and two time Olympian (Athens 2004) for the Australian Women's Water Polo Team.  Bronwyn has worked with Water Polo Australia since 2016 as the National Women’s Team Operations Manager.  She also has coached numerous junior teams at club and state level.


Charles Turner OLY - WPA General Manager - Performance

Charles represented Australia as a member of the Australian Men's National Water Polo team at three Olympic Games: Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984. Following on from his playing career, Charles took up coaching - assuming the role of the Australian Men's National Team Assistant Coach at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, and Head Coach at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. In 2002, Charles became the CEO of the NSW Institute of Sport, and continued until his retirement in 2017. Charles now works at the General Manager - Performance at Water Polo Australia.


Danny Flahive

Hailing from Victoria, Danny played his entire water polo career with his beloved Footscray Water Polo Club. Since retiring from the pool, Danny has enjoyed many roles poolside, including coaching senior and junior teams at Footscray, as well as the men's national league team at the club. Danny is also an internationally renowned referee, having been on the FINA list for a number of years and refereeing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


David Smyth

David is a retired Physical Education teacher, who coached school water polo programs in Victoria from 1975 - 2020. David has also been a National League referee for nearly 20 years, as well as being involved in National Underage Championships in the vast roles of referee, delegate and tournament director since 1996.


Debbie Watson OAM OLY

Debbie is arguably the finest women's water polo player that Australia has produced. Worldwide, she is one of the only female water polo players to have won gold at a World Cup, World Championship and Olympic Games level. Deb's career in the pool spanned 17 years, during which she captained Australia from 1991 to 1995 and was voted the best player in the world in 1993. Deb still remains heavily involved with water polo, having coached various junior and youth teams at both an Australian and New South Wales state level. 


Don Cameron OLY

Don reprsented Australia at the 1988 Olympic Games in water polo. He went on to be involved with the men's national program as a coach throughout four Olympic campaigns, including head coach at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Don worked as a physical education and science teachers for ten years before his coaching and administration careers.


Georgina Kovacs

Over the past decade, Georgina has built experience in leading and empowering a multi-disciplinary team, collaborating with various stakeholders, researching and introducing innovative solutions to enhance performance. She is passionate about building capacity and sustainable pathways in sport, building capability of people and teams by creating and driving a learning culture.


Jack Lusic

Jack played goal keeper for the Queensland State team and Australian National Team for a number of years. Following on from his playing career, Jack commenced working for the Queensland Academy of Sport in the role of goalkeeper coach and still remains in the position. Jack also worked with the Aussie Stingers during their Tokyo Olympic campaign.


Jo Clark (nee Fox) OAM OLY

Jo is an Olympic gold medalist (Sydney 2000) and two time Olympian (Athens 2004) for the Australian Women's Water Polo Team. Since retiring from playing water polo at the national level, Jo has coached the Melbourne Barbarians Women's National League team, Australian Country Women's team, Queensland Country Women's team and various Victorian State teams.


John Fox OLY

John represented Australia at the Olympic Games on two occasions: Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992. Following on from his playing career, John took up the role of coaching, where he was Head Coach of the Men's program at the Australian Institute of Sport from 2004 - 2008, Australian Junior Coach 200 - 2007, going on to coach the men's national team for five years leading up to the London Olympic Games. John is currently the Head Coach of the Youth Men's team in the National Age Group Program.


John Whitehouse OAM

John represented Australia in the sport of swimming, and since retiring as an athlete has made an extraordinary contribution to Australia water polo. His outstanding contribution to water polo in Australia has spanned over 30 years, including membership of the FINA Technical Water Polo Committee since 1992 and its Honorary Secretary since 1996, as well as refereeing at the Olympic Games final in Seoul (1988), and the World Championships in Perth (1991).


Jordan Desbrow

Jordan is currently a Strength & Conditioning Coach at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS). He has worked with the men's and women's water polo programs at QAS since 2018, and was the lead Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Aussie Stingers for their final preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.


Nicola Johnson - WPA General Manager - Pathways

Nicola has been involved in water polo for over 30 years as a player, referee, coach and administrator. She is currently an accredited FINA referee, having been appointed to the Tokyo Olympic Games, the first Australian female to referee at an Olympic Games.  Some of her career highlights include refereeing at the Tokyo Olympics, appointed as a Technical Official for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, refereeing at various FINA World Championship events and coaching the Australian schoolgirls teams over a number of years. Nicola is currently part of the Water Polo Australia team, in the role General Manager - Pathways.


Richard McInnes - WPA Chief Executive Officer

While currently CEO, Richard’s passion is about creating engaging and inspiring learning environments for athletes. He brings a range of coaching experience to assist in the development of the new Framework, from entry level programs and school clinics as a Development Officer, to being a Club Head Coach in two different sports in regional and metropolitan areas, remotely coaching representative Country teams, before a 10 year professional coaching career at the International senior level across both male and female National teams, both locally and overseas and including six World Cup campaigns. He has been fortunate to work at the elite level across multiple sports and multiple countries, providing an opportunity to learn from a wide variety of coaches and experts.


Scott Schweickle - WPA Learning Content Coordinator

Scott is an experienced water polo coach and referee, having won 23 medals at National Championships at the helm as Head Coach of various teams, and appointed to the FINA referee list from 1996 - 2009. Scott holds a Masters degree in Sports Coaching, and currently works in the WPA Learning and Development team in the role of Learning Content Coordinator.


Taryn Woods OAM OLY

Taryn was a member of the Australian Women's National Team for 12 years, with a career highlighted by winning a gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Since retiring in 2004, she has been involved in coaching cadet and youth national teams, including Assistant Coach at the 2010 World Youth Championships in Siberia. She also held the role of NSWIS Youth Development Group coach for a number of years, as well as various coaching roles with the UTS Balmain Tigers. Taryn was Assistant Coach for the Women's National Team in 2018 winning a bronze medal at the World Cup in Russia. Taryn is currently the Head Coach of the Australian Cadet National Age Group Program.


Tom Hoad AM OLY

Tom's contributions to water polo is so deepingly ingrained that he was fittingly bestowed with the nickname 'Mr Water Polo.' His extraordinary service to the sport as a player, team leader, coach and administator has spanned six decades. As a player and a coach, he represented Australia at eight Olympic Games and while his contribution to the sport as a competitor and coach was considerable, his work as an administrator and advocate proved every bit as ground breaking and influential.