Class of 2004

A word from James

Read more about James's experience here

James Ellender

Since starting out on the front desk of my local leisure centre and studying at ACPE, I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey working in my passion – making a difference to communities’ health and wellbeing. This has taken many forms over the years and along the road there have been many twists and turns. In every situation I have benefited greatly from having mentors. Some formal programs, others just the people in my network. But in all cases, people who have influenced (challenged) my thinking and decision making and part of my continual support network.

This is why I’m committed to mentoring and look forward to whatever it brings. Alumni need that reference point, a sounding board – or even just knowing that person is available for them.

Over the years I have been part of opening some of the most iconic sport and leisure facilities in Australia, supporting new programs and initiatives to tackle major health issues, and have sat on many reference groups and steering committees all committed to driving continuous improvement and making a difference in the sport, leisure and health sector.

I have worked in senior operational and executive roles for some of the largest leisure operators across Australia and New Zealand including the YMCA and Belgravia Leisure and bring an extensive understanding of the challenges and opportunities that collaboration can bring across Private, Not for Profits, Government, Health and Sport. 

Today I’m the Chief Executive of ActiveXchange – a fast growing, award winning data technology company purpose built for Sport, Leisure and Government. It’s a phenomenal learning curve for me personally as the entire sector continues to up-skill itself in data aggregation, machine learning and predictive modelling and I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of this transformation. Day in day out I work closely with literally 100’s of operators, state and national sports, government agencies and industry experts, supporting, and shaping more active and healthy communities across Australia and New Zealand. 

I’m passionate about leaving a legacy of change in how our sector is understood, valued and funded, and committed to harnessing the power of data to drive decision making to foster earlier activity, intervention and health outcomes.