The Institute's Executive Team is representative of each region of the Institute. Members of this Team include:
Dyanne Ward - CEO
Dyanne Ward has worked in the fitness industry for over 25 years, starting as a group fitness instructor, quickly moving to management and then to corporate wellness consulting. She spent a number of years with an international fitness industry association and transitioned to a national health club chain. Then moving industries for a few years Dyanne also gained a diverse range of experience across areas including aged care, consulting engineering and management consulting. She has held executive roles in privately owned and public companies, as well as not-for-profits. Dyanne’s university qualifications cover sports training, exercise physiology and recreational management. She also holds post-graduate qualifications in law and supported her professional development through the Australian Graduate School of Management. Always having had a passion for the fitness industry, Dyanne is committed to contributing to the industry’s continued growth and professionalism by ensuring highly qualified graduates enter the industry with outstanding skills and an assured future.
Debra Graham - WA
Debra has had a long and varied career in the leisure and fitness industry. She holds qualifications in management and marketing. Most of Debra's experience has been in managing leisure facilities and health clubs at both a state and regional level. Debra has spent over 25 years in the industry and most recently worked as a Regional Manager for Belgravia Leisure (a national Leisure Management Company). Her portfolio included: leisure centres; aquatic centres, stadiums, health clubs and golf courses and she looks forward to bringing these varied experiences and skills to the Institute. Having spent many years employing gym instructors, personal trainers and club managers Debra knows exactly what to look for in a fitness professional and is committed to ensuring that the Institute continues to graduate trainers who have a passion for the industry.
David Hatch - NSW and ACT
In a circular journey through the fitness industry that has spanned more than 30 years David has seen firsthand the explosive growth of the industry and in particular the phenomenon that is now personal training. After a short stint as a school teacher, David discovered that his passion for fitness could be converted into a great career and promptly swapped his blackboard and chalk for a microphone and a pair of gym shoes. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s David carved a niche as one of Australia’s leading fitness edutainers, travelling to all parts of Australasia, as well as the USA and Japan, presenting workshops and convention sessions for fitness professionals. In 1988 David was named Australian Fitness Leader of the Year in recognition of his contribution to the fitness industry. David has also had plenty of experience on the other side of the fitness fence too as a club manager and employer – operating a successful club on Qld’s Gold Coast and publishing Club Network magazine. Now, as CEO of the Australian Institute of Fitness (NSW/ACT) and an Institute Director, David is focussed on ensuring that the Institute continues to graduate Australia’s best personal trainers, empowering them to excel in this exciting industry.
Brett Hopkins - SA and NT
Brett has been involved with the Institute for over seven years, mainly driving the business through sales and marketing as well as working alongside and supporting the industry through the Institute’s Career Partnership program. As the youngest CEO of the National Executive Team, Brett continues to lead, motivate and inspire his team and graduates through his can do - will do mentality. Brett’s experience as a sales and communication professional has always inspired his regional and national contemporaries. Brett holds Certificates in Sales Mastery, Presentation Mastery and accredited in DISC behavioural styles. Brett passion for leadership has been enhanced since the recent completion of a Diploma in Leadership. Brett’s commitment to the fitness industry drives his dedication to ensuring that the standard of graduates that complete the program are highly energised and passion.
Robert Hornsey - VIC and TAS
Robert has over 40 years in the business world, opening a manufacturing business producing sporting goods in 1968. He then moved to the automotive industry where he spent over 20 years manufacturing, importing, retailing and wholesaling car parts. In 1994 Robert moved into the fitness industry at Lifestyle Fitness Centre in South Melbourne. In 1996. he joined forces with Doug Wade to purchase the Lifestyle Group which at the time was one of the largest fitness chains in Victoria. In the mid 1990s Robert became Treasurer of Fitness Victoria and remained in this role until it became Fitness Australia. Robert remains the longest serving Fitness Victoria board member in the history of the association which began in 1983. Robert also ran and financed the commencement of the registration process for Fitness Australian in Victoria. Today, Robert is a Victorian and Tasmanian Australian Institute of Fitness Shareholder, Director and Mission Commander.
Steve Pettit - QLD
Steve Pettit has extensive experience in a range of roles, thus is a very well known and highly respected figure within the fitness industry. After completing a Bachelor of Physical Education (Exercise Prescription and Management) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) Steve commenced his career in fitness as a Personal Trainer. Since this time he has gone on to work with some of the world's leading fitness providers including, Les Mills Asia Pacific, Les Mills International, Zest Health Clubs, and now the Australian Institute of Fitness. Steve's passion for improving the health and wellbeing of Australians' drives him to ensure that the Personal Trainers the Institute graduates are of the highest quality: "we are facing a real challenge in Australia, that is the battle against obesity and sedentary lifestyles. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Fitness is empowered to make a real life difference to their clients, friends and families and that is something we are very proud of."