Selection Committee

The Selection Committee is responsible for recommending to the SAHOF Board the selection of Members for Induction into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame, the selection of the finalists and winner of 'The Don' Award, the selection of 'Team Sport Australia' Award, 'Great Sporting Moments' and any other award winners as required for the year.

The Selection Committee comprises nine Members and two external Independent 'sports expert' (chosen for his or her extensive sporting knowledge). 

Click here for more details on the Nomination process.

Rob de Castella AO MBE - Chair

Robert won the world championship in 1983 and was a world record holder in the marathon from 1981 to 1984. He represented Australia at four Olympic Games (1980, 1984, 1988 & 1992) and won gold at two Commonwealth Games (1982 & 1986).

He is a former Board Member of Sport Australia (formally the Australian Sports Commission) and former Director of the Australian Institute of Sport. He is an outspoken advocate for community health targeting child obesity through his charity; SmartStart for Kids!

In 2009 he launched the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF), a health promotion charity that uses the marathon and running to address health and social issues by celebrating resilience and the achievement of our Indigenous people. He is a Founding Director of Deeks Health Foods, a grain and gluten free food business.

Rob still runs most days and is also now a passionate traditional martial arts practitioner with his 4th Dan black belt in Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate. 

Click on the below links to read more about Rob:
Board Member Profile
Athlete Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985
Appointed to the SAHOF Board in May 1997

Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 1997
Appointed as Chair of the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2000


John Bertrand AO - Athlete Member

John Bertrand is an international sportsman, businessman and philanthropist.

He skippered the winged keel Australia 11 to victory over Dennis Connor’s Liberty to win the 1983 America's Cup, breaking 132 years of American domination and in the process, breaking the longest-running record in the history of modern sport. The Confederation of Australian Sport voted the Australia 11 victory as the “greatest team performance in 200 years of Australian sport”. A World champion and Olympic bronze medallist (Finn class, Montreal), John represented Australia in five America’s Cups and two Olympic Games.

John is both a businessman and philanthropist. In his business career, he successfully built companies in the marine industry, property development and digital media industries.

In September 2013, John was appointed Chairman and President of Swimming Australia.

John continues to be a Mentor to many young aspiring Olympians.

He is a Vice Chancellor Professorial Fellow at Monash University. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Monash University, a Master of Science from MIT in Boston and an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University.

Click on the below links to read more about John:
Board Member Profile
Athlete Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985
Appointed to the SAHOF Board in April 2004

Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2005
Appointed Chair of the SAHOF Board in May 2005
Elevated to 'Legend' status in SAHOF in October 2013


Raelene Boyle AM MBE - Athlete Member

Raelene was one of the world's great modern day female sprinters. She was selected in every Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games team between 1968 and 1982 winning a total of twelve medals. She won three Olympic silver medals and seven Commonwealth Games gold and two silver medals. She set a number of Australian and Commonwealth records and was a member of two world record breaking Australian relay teams.

Click on the below link to read more about Raelene:
Athlete Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985
Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 1998
Elevated to 'Legend' status in SAHOF in October 2017


Perry Crosswhite AM - General Member

Perry Crosswhite’s contribution to sport in Australia have been significant, both as an athlete and as a sports administrator where he has played a major role in devising, establishing and administering programs which supported the resurgence and sustained success of Australian sport over more than three decades.

In his long career he has held senior sports positions with the Australian Olympic Committee, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 2006/2018 Melbourne Commonwealth Games organising bodies, State and Federal governments, Sport Australia (formally the Australian Sports Commission) and Australian Institute of Sport.

A former American who naturalised in 1971, Perry was brought to Australia to play basketball by Lindsay Gaze and began his career with the Melbourne Tigers Basketball Club playing with this team from 1969 to 1980. During this period the team won numerous Victorian and National Club championships.  In recognition of his playing record he was inducted into the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame in 2016.
He represented his adopted country in Basketball in three Olympics: 1972 in Munich; 1976 in Montreal; and 1980 in Moscow - captaining the Australian Team at the latter two Games. He played over 300 games for Australia from 1970-80. He was a member of the HQ staff at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and from 1991-93 was part of the Team which bid successfully for the 2000 Olympics.

Perry joined the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) in 1995, initially as General Manager, before becoming the ACGA’s first CEO in 1999. In this position, and until his retirement in 2015 he was responsible for the funding, organisation and preparation of the Australian Teams which competed at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games, as well as the many other programs and projects undertaken by the ACGA.
Perry was also a Director of the Company which successfully bid to secure the rights to host both the 2006 Melbourne and 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, and subsequently became a Director of the both 2006 and 2018 Games organising committees.

His contribution to Australian sport extends beyond elite-level to include participation.
As the first professional Recreation/Sport Officer employed by the Victorian government back in 1973, he is credited as having helped design, implement and administer programs that expanded opportunities for Australians to participate in sport including ‘Sport for All’, ‘Aussie Sports’ and ‘Life. Be in It”.

In June 2007 Perry was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Awards for his service to sport, particularly through executive roles with the Commonwealth and Olympic Games organisations, and to basketball as a competitor at national and international levels. He was made a General Member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2003.

Click on the below link to read more about Perry:
General Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2003
Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2017
Appointed to the SAHOF Board in June 2018



Nicole Jeffery - Expert

Nicole Jeffery is one of Australia's longest-standing Olympic sportswriters, specialising in swimming and athletics, for Australia's national newspaper The Australian. She has covered every summer Olympic Games since Barcelona in 1992, every Commonwealth Games since Auckland in 1990, as well as five Winter Olympic Games.

Nicole is a highly-respected journalist, who received the 2013 Kennedy Award for sports journalism among other accolades for her work in sport. She is also the author of Beyond the Limits: the Alyson Annan Story, a biography of dual Olympic hockey gold medallist Alyson Annan.

She is a dedicated student of sport with a deep knowledge of Australian sporting history, who has interviewed everyone from Marjorie Jackson and Herb Elliott to Shane Gould, Ian Thorpe and Mack Horton.

She has a broad range of sporting interests, and has also reported on golf, tennis and rugby league with distinction. 

Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2017


Bruce McAvaney OAM - General Member

Bruce McAvaney has worked as a sports broadcaster on Australian television and radio for near-on four decades. He has broadcast every Summer Olympics from 1984, as well as three Winter Games (1998, 2002, 2006). The Australian Olympic Committee has acknowledged McAvaney’s contribution to Olympics broadcasting with its prestigious Order of Merit.

Bruce has a long association with world class swimming and athletics. He continues to anchor major sporting events including AFL football and Australia’s premier horse race, the Melbourne Cup, for national broadcaster Channel Seven.

Bruce is known for his meticulous research and in-depth knowledge of the sports and athletes he covers.

Click on the below link to read more about Bruce:
General Bio

Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 1997
Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2002


Michael McKay OAM- Athlete Member

Michael McKay is considered one of Australia's most successful oarsmen over the long history of the sport, as can be demonstrated by his results. He competed in five successive Olympics from 1988 to 2004, was a finalist in all and won medals at four of them. He won gold with the "Oarsome Foursome" at the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, silver with the eight in Sydney and bronze with the eight in Athens. He was a finalist, finishing fifth, with the eight in Seoul.

Mike was awarded an OAM for service to sport in 1987 and was recognized as the Australian Rower of the Year in 1999. He served as a Board Member of the Australian Olympic Committee from 1997-2000, and was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000. In July 2007, Mike was awarded the prestigious Thomas Keller Medal in recognition of his outstanding contribution to rowing as a competitor and sports personality. To this day, he is esteemed as a sportsman of great note to our aspiring champions.

Click on the below links to read more about Michael:
Athlete Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2007
Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2009
Appointed to the SAHOF Board in February 2009


Louise Sauvage OAM - Athlete Member

Louise Sauvage was a dominant force in women's wheelchair racing for over 14 years, from her debut aged 16 at the 1990 IPC World Championships in Athletics to her retirement after the Athens Paralympics in 2004.

Over the course of her career, Sauvage won nine gold and four silver Paralympic medals, Commonwealth Games silver and was two times winner of the 800m Wheelchair Exhibition Race at the Olympic Games and five-time winner of the same event at the IAAF World Athletic Championships. She won the Boston Marathon four times, Honolulu Marathon three times, Berlin Marathon twice and Los Angeles Marathon once. Her performances elevated Paralympic sport into the spotlight of Australian sport for the first time.

Since retiring from international competition, Louise has turned her attention to coaching with the NSW Institute of Sport assisting with the development of future Paralympic athletes and is now a highly respected World Championship gold medal winning Coach.

Click on the below link to read more about Louise:
Athlete Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2007
Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2009



Debbie Watson OAM - Athlete Member

Since retiring from competition, Debbie has undertaken numerous activities including; the NSWIS Water Polo coach and Athlete consultant in careers and education, assistant Water Polo Coach at National League Level (2 years at Balmain & 2 at Sydney University) and coached many junior school water polo teams.

She has also commentated at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

Debbie is currently; a PD/H/PE teacher (22 years and counting), current Head Coach of the Sydney University Women’s National League Team, manager of the Born 2000 Australian Water Polo girls team/squad for the upcoming 2018 World Championships in Serbia and a Mentor of the SAHOF Scholarship Program.

She has also been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2001.

Click on the below link to read more about Debbie:
Athlete Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2006
Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2017


Alan Whelpton AO - General Member

Alan Whelpton was President of Surf Life Saving Australia from 1975 to 2001 retiring to accept the position of President of the International Life Saving Federation. During his term as President of SLSA he instigated many changes including the introduction of female lifesavers, Masters Championships and the televising of surf life saving competitions. He is also currently the Chairman of the Western Sydney Academy of Sport and Chairman of the NSW Hall of Champions Selection Committee.

Click on the below link to read more about Alan:
General Bio

Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1996
Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee in 2000



Debbie Spillane AM - Expert

Debbie Spillane was the first woman hired by the ABC as a sports broadcaster and was a fixture on ABC television and radio for more than three decades.

She has reported on a wide range of sports but is probably best known for her ground-breaking role as a sideline reporter on ABC-TV's rugby league coverage in the 1980s and 90s.

In addition to calling cricket, A-League soccer and basketball and reporting from two Olympics and two Commonwealth Games Spillane was a sports news presenter on ABC NewsRadio and ABC television for several years, hosted ABC radio's iconic Grandstand program for three years, presented sports news and in the 90s was a regular on ABC-TV's sports comedy show "Live & Sweaty".

Outside the ABC she has done stints as media manager for Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league club and the Sydney Kings National Basketball League team, been a sports columnist for the Sun-Herald and written for Rugby League Week and Big League magazines.

Her autobiography "Where Do You Think You're Going Lady?" was published by Allen & Unwin in 2007.

Shortly before retiring from the ABC in 2016 she was awarded the Australia Medal in the Queens Birthday Honours for services to sports journalism and for being a role model for women in broadcasting.

In 2018 she was recognised by the Australian Sports Commission with their "Lifetime Achievement Award" for sports journalism.


Adrianne Sarkozy
Chief Executive Officer, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Click on the below link to read more about Adrianne:
Staff Bio


Chris Little
Heritage Coordinator, The Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Click on the below link to read more about Chris:
Staff Bio



Jed Smith
Manager; Museum and Heritage Services, National Sport Museum

Jed Smith has managed sports museums for over twenty years. He started out at the World Rugby Museum in London during the mid-1990s and moved to Melbourne in 2007 to work on the project to build the National Sports Museum at the MCG. As Manager, Museum and Heritage Services for the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), Jed and his team have responsibility for the National Sports Museum (including the Australian Gallery of Sport & Olympic Museum collection), the MCC Museum, the MCC Library, the MCC Archives and the heritage dressing located throughout the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The National Sports Museum has been the proud home of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame since 2008 and Jed has been working closely with the SAHOF team to plan a significant redevelopment of the gallery that will emphasise key SAHOF messages, such as the importance of inspiration, whilst also tying the gallery more closely to a sense of what sport, and its elite athletes, means to Australia and Australians.



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When considering the stature of an athlete or for that matter any person, I set great store in certain qualities which I believe to be essential in addition to skill. They are that the person conducts his of her life with dignity, with integrity, courage, and perhaps most of all, with modesty. These virtues are totally compatible with pride, ambition, and competitiveness.