Sport Australia Hall of Fame Awards

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'The Sport Australia Hall of Fame' was established on 10 December 1985 to recognise the achievements of Australian sportsmen and sportswomen.[1] The inaugural induction included 120 members with Sir Donald Bradman as the first inductee and Dawn Fraser the first female inductee.[1] In 1989, the Hall of Fame was expanded to include associate members who have assisted in the development of sport in Australia.

It was first conceived in the mid 70’s by national sports administrator Garry Daly who through his passion for sport had the vision to establish a Hall of Fame across all sports to recognise and acknowledge our nation’s greatest sporting heroes. He set about researching Halls of Fame worldwide to develop a model for Australia. Garry’s vision was realised in 1985 when The Sport Australia Hall of Fame was established with him as its inaugural chairman. On 10 December 1985, 120 Athlete Members, selected from over 400 nominated and researched athletes were officially inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame at the inaugural function in the Long Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Cricket Legend, Sir Donald Bradman was named the first inductee with Swimming Legend Dawn Fraser the first female inductee. From 1985 up to 1989 only new Athlete Members were selected and inducted, however in 1989, to recognise those that play a supportive role i.e. Coaches, Administrators, Sports Science and Sports Media a new category, Associate Members (now General Members) was introduced. Each year, thereafter our greatest athletes and supportive official’s achievements have been recognised with their induction into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Membership into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame is limited exclusively to the top echelon of athletes and those that play a supportive role. Selection by their peers is the pinnacle of achievement for Australian sportspeople. They have all achieved excellence at the highest level within their sport.

As at November 2014, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame has 533 Members (388 Athlete and 145 General Members)representing all sports and genders including winter and summer Olympic sports.[2] Each year the Hall of Fame inducts notable retired athletes, associate members and upgrades one member to 'legend' status. The main award each year is the 'Don' Award but other awards include Team Sport Australia Award, Spirit of Sport Award and Hall of Fame Moments.[3]

The National Sports Museum located at the Melbourne Cricket Ground houses the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.[3]

SAHOF Leaders[edit]

Garry Daly was the inaugural Chairman of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) with Sir Hubert Opperman the first Section Committee Chairman (1983 – 1989), followed by Dawn Fraser (1989 – 1996) who also served as Chairman of the SAHOF Club. General Member Sir Donald Trescowthick was appointed Chairman of the SAHOF Trust (1996 – 1997). Throughout this period Garry Daly continued to manage the development of SAHOF until 1996 at which time 283 sports people had been inducted. In 1996 under the leadership of Sir Donald Trescowthick a review and restructure of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame was undertaken resulting, from April 1997 a registered Limited Company, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Ltd owned and controlled by its Members. Neale Fraser was appointed Chairman leading a Board of Directors consisting of SAHOF Members and representatives from The Australian Olympic Committee, The Australian Sports Commission and The Confederation of Australian Sport. In later years two independent Directors and an Ambassador were added to the Board. A separate Selection Committee was appointed headed by Chairman Robert de Castella with the responsibility for following strict selection criteria to ensure only the ‘best of the best’ are considered for induction into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Neale Fraser served as Chairman from 1997 to 2005 when he was succeeded by John Bertrand who is currently still in office


In 1993, at the initiative of Garry Daly the ‘Legend of Australian Sport’ category was introduced to more fully highlight and promote the achievements of our sporting champions. Legend status is conferred annually upon Members who have made a unique contribution to Australian sport and distinguished themselves at the highest level in sport. In doing so have offered inspiration and example to young Australians. The names of Members of this special group come to mind whenever the pinnacles of performance are discussed, leaving an indelible mark on the community and its history. As at December 2013 thirty five (35) Members have been elevated to “Legends of Australian Sport”.

In 1998 “The Don” Award, named in honour of our first Inductee Sir Donald Bradman was introduced. Bradman’s legendary inspiration to Australia as the ultimate example of sportsmanship makes him the ideal patron of an annual award to an Australian athlete, who has, through his or her example in sport, has most inspired the nation (in 2006 team sports were added for consideration). Sir Donald’s son John presents this award each year at the annual dinner. At 2013, 20 athletes and 1 Team have won this prestigious award.

In 2002 the ‘Team Sport Australia’ Award was introduced to acknowledge teams which, by their achievements have contributed significantly to Australia’s reputation as a great sporting nation. Teams selected are not inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame but are recognized as part of our nations sporting history and acknowledged on the Honor Roll in the National Sports Museum. In selecting Teams it is not intended in determining eligibility that the whole of a national team (such as Olympic or Commonwealth Games) would be considered. Neither would the whole of a world championship team e.g. swimming, athletics, cycling etc. be considered. At 2013 55 teams across 20 sports have been honored with this award.

In 2005 ‘The Spirit of Sport’ Award was introduced to acknowledge sporting performances that capture the hearts of the nation. The award is not meant to be an annual award but is given at the discretion of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board for a performance / event that is very special and destined to be part of Australian Sporting History. At 2013 only four ‘Spirit of Sport’ Awards have been made.

In 2006 the Board introduced ‘The Scholarship and Mentoring Program’ seeking to excite the next generation of young Australians to achieve their potential in both sport and life. This program aims to help young Australians to reach the highest level of their sport by providing financial funding and more importantly unrivalled access to mentoring by Sport Australia Hall of Fame Members. Additionally, each successful scholarship holder is provided an international air fare, compliments of Etihad Airways to further their international and training experience. Since the program commenced 56 scholarships across 28 sports have been awarded, many going on to Olympic and World Championship success.

In 2007 ‘Great Australian Sporting Moments’ was introduced acknowledging that throughout our nation’s history there are many outstanding sporting moments that have collectively contributed a significant thread to the Australian sporting tapestry. Moments selected are not Inducted but are ‘Enshrined’ into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame and acknowledged on the Honor Roll in the National Sports Museum.

The Don Award[edit]

This award was first awarded in 1998. It is named after Sir Donald Bradman and recognises the sporting achievement of the year which has inspired the people of Australia.

Year Athletes
1998 Mark Taylor (Cricket)
Heather Turland (Athletics)
2000 Cathy Freeman (Athletics)
2001 Pat Rafter (Tennis)
2002 Alisa Camplin (Freestyle Skiing)
2003 Damian Oliver (Horse Racing)
2006 Kerryn McCann (Athletics)
2007 Glenn McGrath (Cricket)
2008 Matthew Mitcham (Diving)
2009 Steven Hooker (Athletics)
2010 Lydia Lassila (Freestyle Skiing)
2011 Cadel Evans (Cycling)
2012 Sally Pearson (Athletics)
2013 Adam Scott (Golf)[4]
2014 Sally Pearson (Athletics)


Each year a member is elevated to 'Legend' status.

Athletes Legend
1985 Sir Donald Bradman (Cricket) 1993
1985 Jock Sturrock (Sailing) 1994
1985 Betty Cuthbert (Athletics) 1994
1985 Bill Roycroft (Equestrian) 1996
1985 Dawn Fraser (Swimming) 1993
1985 Ted Whitten (Australian Football) 1995
1985 Dunc Gray (Cycling) 1995
1985 Edwin Flack (Athletics) 2009
1985 Evonne Cawley (Tennis) 1994
1985 Heather McKay (Squash) 2000
1985 Herb Elliott (Athletics) 1997
1985 Hubert Opperman (Cycling) 1993
1985 Jack Brabham (Motor Sport) 2003
1985 John Landy (Athletics) 2005
1985 John Raper (Rugby League) 2010
1985 Ken Rosewall (Tennis) 2009
1985 Margaret Court (Tennis) 1998
1985 Marjorie Jackson-Nelson (Athletics) 1995
1985 Murray Rose (Swimming) 1999
1985 Peter Thomson (Golf) 2001
1985 Reg Gasnier (Rugby League) 1995
1985 Rod Laver (Tennis) 2002
1985 Shane Gould (Swimming) 1996
1985 Shirley de la Hunty (Athletics) 1995
1985 Walter Lindrum (Billiards) 1998
1985 John Bertrand (Sailing) [4] 2013
1985 John Newcombe (Tennis) 2014
1986 Scobie Breasley (Horse Racing) 1995
1986 Keith Miller (Cricket) 2004
1986 Vic Patrick (Boxing) 1996
1987 Ron Barassi (Australian Football) 2006
1988 Greg Norman (Golf) 2007
1991 Bart Cummings (Horse Racing) 2008
1994 Leigh Matthews (Australian Football) 2010
2002 Susan O'Neill (Swimming) 2012
2005 Cathy Freeman (Athletics) 2011

The Organisation[edit]

SAHOF is a not for profit organisation and relies on sponsorship for its income. Other than a small grant from the Australian Sports Commission it receives no Government support. Our Major Sponsor, The Etihad Airways Group is also the Presenting Partner of the SAHOF Annual Induction and Awards Dinner.

The Current Board[edit]

The Prime Minister The Hon Tony Abbott MP is our Patron in Chief. Co-Patrons are Former Prime Ministers, The Hon. Robert (Bob) Hawke AC and The Hon. John Howard OAM AC. The Board of Directors is chosen from its Members and includes representatives from The Australian Olympic Committee, (AOC), The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) The Confederation of Australian Sport (CAS) and two non Members and one Ambassador. The Current Board Directors are John Bertrand AM (Chairman), Layne Beachley, Robert de Castella AO MBE, Graham Fredericks (CAS), Lindsay Gaze OAM, Geoff Henke AO, Simon Hollingsworth (ASC), The Hon Rod Kemp, Michael McKay OAM, Kieren Perkins OAM, Elizabeth Proust AO, James Tomkins OAM (AOC) and Vicki Wilson OAM. Graeme Willersdorf is the SAHOF Ambassador.

The Current Selection Committee[edit]

The Selection Committee must be Members of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame save for one “current sports expert” who is chosen primarily for his or her sporting knowledge and expertise. Their task is to select annually, Inductee’s and Award winners for the SAHOF Boards ratification. Currently Rob de Castella is Chairman with, Members John Bertrand AM, Raelene Boyle AM MBE, Alan Davidson AM MBE, Harry Gordon CMG AM, Bruce McAvaney OAM, Mike McKay OAM, Louise Sauvage OAM, Alan Whelpton AO and Roy Masters AM (media sports expert) making up the committee.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Oxford Companion to Australian Sport. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 1994. p. 394. 
  2. ^ "The Sport Australia Hall of Fame 30th Anniversary Induction and Awards Gala Dinner". Sport Australia Hall of Fame Media Centre, 9 October 2014[accessdate=6 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Awards". Sport Australia Hall of Fame website. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Adam Scott awarded The Don by Sport Australia Hall of Fame". Australian Broadcasting Corporation News. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2013.