The AIS has pulled together a group Olympians, world champions and Paralympic stars in an attempt to give athletes a chance to have a bigger impact on Australian sporting decisions.
The group, to be known as the athlete advisory committee, met for the first time in Sydney on Tuesday and will be guided by retired long-distance champion Steve Moneghetti.
The hope is the committee will help close the gap between the boardroom and playing field by making recommendations to the Australian Sports Commission board.
Surfing champion Sally Fitzgibbons will be joined by rower Josh Booth, para-swimmer Matt Levy, hockey's Jane-Anne Claxton and 23-year-old diver Anabelle Smith among others.
The decision to give athletes more of an input into decisions is part of the institute's new approach to cross pollination of sports despite shifting from its traditional role as an athlete hub in Canberra.
"From a high-performance perspective we love to think we represent athletes, but there's nothing better than hearing from them directly," Moneghetti said.
"What I'd love to think is that this is athlete driven. There are things that will come out of conversations that none of us [on boards] have considered.
"Having the communication and networks that are directly tapping into the athletes are essential. It gives you a far better representation of what's happening on the ground.
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"It encourages the cross pollination you might not have otherwise. Having them together and share ideas allows you do to it in a formal way where you can get some pretty positive outcomes.
"It can give a bit of purpose to the AIS now that it's decentralised a bit. Having the diversity of this [committee] ... you're getting views from the whole sporting community."
The AIS has worked to reinvent itself as a business in recent years and the Bruce campus is set to be downsized to cater for the new operations.
The institute is moving away from being a training hub or a base for athletes on scholarship to instead focus on sports science and athlete wellbeing.
The newly formed committee will give input to pathways, policies, education and wellbeing to give directors an insight into the minds of elite athletes.
"We hadn't met as a group until [Tuesday]. It's all pretty new, so we're going over responsibilities and setting the agenda," Moneghetti said.
"Initially we'll be a bit more reactive. Hopefully when we cross a few of those off, we can then set the agenda to be ahead of the game and the athletes can be educated before an issue arises."