Athlete Career & Education Program

What is ACE?

The Athlete Career and Education Program (ACE) assists athletes to live out the motto of the VIS – “Success in Sport and Life”.

By partnering with ACE you will be able to achieve a high performance lifestyle by gaining access to career and educational opportunities, networks, professional development and lifestyle information to help equip you to make more informed choices.

How can ACE help you?

The objective of the ACE Program is to contribute to the personal and professional development of eligible elite athletes with career, educational and professional development services. ACE works closely with schools, universities, and other partners, to support athletes in coordinating their training, study and career workloads.

The ACE Program tailors specific programs to reflect the individual needs and aspirations of athletes who utilize the program thus allowing for individual growth and development. ACE achieves this through a wide variety of services:

Career Guidance and Counselling

- Career pathways and exploration
- Exploring individual values, skills and strengths
- Implementing action plans to achieve goals

Lifestyle Management

- Time management and achieving balance
- Minimising stress and the anxiety of competing demands
- Optimising sporting performance

Educational Guidance

- Secondary school subject selection and VET, TAFE, University and work pathways
- Exploration of the variety of courses available i.e. Short Course - Languages
- Letters of advocacy e.g. alternative examination venues and assignment submission options
- Study skills development

Employment Preparation

- Resumes and cover letter development
- Job search skills and Interviewing skills

Transitional Support

- Assisting with deselection, retirement, injury and relocation
- A significant change of life circumstances
- Setting goals for life after sport

Elite Athlete Friendly University (EAFU) Network

The VIS ACE program currently negotiates with eight educational institutes across Victoria to provide the EAFU Network. The EAFU network recognises universities who support elite athletes through the development of new or existing policies that support elite student athletes. This relationship enables elite athletes to achieve sporting excellence whilst at the same time allowing them to succeed in their academic endeavours.

To see which Universities are athlete friendly, visit the EAFU website.

Personal Development and Training

The VIS ACE program has a number of partnerships with organisations to help enhance your professional and personal development. The following organisations offer a wide variety of workshops and courses; some examples include:

Barrett Consulting

- Sales consulting and training

- Barrett Scholarship Program: Athletes are invited to submit their applications to the program. Upon acceptance, the participants bring their current or new business idea/s and put it through a vision, value, planning, prospecting and client centric sales filters and sales system. They attend 4 workshops which focus on developing Business/Sales Strategy, Prospecting and generating new business, sales communication (consultative & solution focused selling) to generate sales forge viable client relationships, and creating healthy business mindset. Those who attend to program then present their business plan to a judging panel. Under the Scholarship parameters the successful athlete is entitled to 4 x 90 minute face to face mentor/coaching sessions and receive funding from the ACE Program to support the growth of their business.

William Angliss Institute

- Hospitality e.g. Responsible service of alcohol accreditation
- Food and beverage courses
- Tourism
- Travel courses

Wizard Corporate Training

- Information Technology
- Professional and self development courses

Australian Institute of Fitness

- Master Personal Trainer
- Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice (specilaising in fitness)
- Fitness Business Program (Certificate IV in Business Sales and Certificate IV in Small Business Management)

Other VIS ACE workshops and courses

- Airlie Police Leadership Program
- Personal Budgeting
- Relaxation and Meditation
- Goal setting

To access these programs you need to link directly with an ACE adviser.

What do athletes think about the ACE program?

Katya Crema – Ski Cross; Masters of Property at University of Melbourne

"Balancing sport and academics is very important to me. I love being a full time athlete, but I also think study is important in order to achieve a balanced lifestyle. Architecture is a demanding degree, but with the help and support of ACE and the University of Melbourne, it has been possible to do both to the best of my ability. ACE have helped me to communicate effectively with the University, mostly in order to negotiate time off. I am currently completing the Masters of Property whilst training for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games."

Is there anything else I need to know?

National Athlete Career and Education (NACE) Program

The VIS ACE Program is part of an Australia wide Program. If you wish to learn about the NACE program, simply click on the link below to download the latest brochure. This contains information regarding the lifestyle differences of athletes compared to their peers and highlights the individual needs and requirements for each athlete.

Link to NACE flyer:


ACEonline has been developed exclusively for Australia’s elite athletes and is an interactive website designed to help support athletes manage their career, education and personal development needs. You can register today by logging onto:

How can I contact an ACE advisor?

The VIS ACE Team currently has four individuals who are willing and able to help you achieve your goals in both sport and life; these members are:

Bernadette Sierakowski - ACE Coordinator (Full Time Mon - Friday)

Marina Mateos (4 days per week, Monday - Thursday)

Sarah Roder (2.5 days per week, Monday – Thursday)

Hannah Macdougall (1 day per week, flexible)

Eloise Southby (2 days per week, flexible)

You can meet the VIS ACE staff through, individual sessions face to face, via phone, fax and skype. To make an appointment with one of the VIS ACE providers, please call (03) 9425 0000.

“We don’t stop at the finish line”