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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 The Dawn Award winner, Hall of Fame Moments finalists and any other award winners as required for the year.

The Selection Committee comprises nine Members and two external Independent ‘sports experts’ (chosen for their extensive sporting knowledge).

Click here for more details on the Nomination process.

Bruce McAvaney OAM – Chair

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 Australia’s premier horse race, the Melbourne Cup and previously the AFL for national broadcaster Channel Seven.

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

Achievements

  • 1989: Penguin Award for ‘Best Sports Presenter’
  • 1989: International Olympic Committee Media Award
  • 1997: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 1999: Inaugural TV Week Logie Award for Most Outstanding Sport Broadcaster
  • 2002: Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
  • 2002: Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2013: Appointed to the AFL Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 2019: Australian Football Media Awards – Best TV commentator, match day
  • 2020: Melbourne Press Club Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2022: Appointed the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee Chair
  • Appointed to the South Australian Sport Hall of Fame Selection Committee

John Bertrand AO – Athlete Member

John Bertrand AO is a businessman, international sportsman, and philanthropist. He has been Chair of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board since 2005.

He skippered the winged keel Australia II to victory over the US Defender 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 II victory as the: Greatest team performance in 200 years of Australian sport. When Australia II crossed the finishing line (after coming from 3 races to 1 down), the nation celebrated as never before with the late Prime Minister Bob Hawke AC GCL summing it up, ”any boss who sacks anyone today for not turning up is a bum!”

A World champion and Olympic bronze medalist (Finn class, Montreal), Bertrand represented Australia in five America’s Cups and two Olympic Games.

In his business career, he successfully built companies in the marine industry, property development and digital media industries. He was co-founder and Chairman of Quokka Sports, a pioneering digital sports broadcast company based in Silicon Valley, San Francisco.

The America’s Cup winner, Olympic bronze medalist, and multiple world Etchell class sailing champion was inducted to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and in 2013 was elevated to Legend of Australian Sport.

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

In 2016, Bertrand’s Order of Australia (AM) award was upgraded to Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition for sporting administration, in particular swimming and sailing, children’s welfare, higher education and mentoring of young people.

Bertrand was President of Swimming Australia from 2013 until 2020 and continues to mentor young aspiring Olympians.

Achievements

  • 1969: Graduated Monash University with a Bachelor of Engineering
  • 1971: Graduated Boston MIT with a Master of Science
  • 1984: Made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
  • 1985: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 1993: Inducted into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame
  • 2000: Awarded the Australian Sports Medal
  • 2001: Awarded the Centenary Medal
  • 2004: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board
  • 2005: Appointed as Chair of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board
  • 2013: Awarded Honorary Doctorate, Victoria University
  • 2013: Elevated to Legend of Australian Sport
  • 2014: Made Monash University Vice Chancellor Professional Fellow
  • 2016: Upgraded to Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

Raelene Boyle AM MBE – Athlete Member

Raelene Boyle 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.

Achievements

  • 1974: Made a Member of British Empire (MBE)
  • 1974: Awarded the ABC Sportsman of the Year Award
  • 1985: Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 1998: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 1998: Named one of 100 National Living Treasures by the National Trust of Australia
  • 2000: Awarded Australian Sports Medal
  • 2001: Awarded Centenary Medal
  • 2004: Inducted into the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2007: Made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
  • 2013: named in Australia’s Top 100 Sportswomen of All Time
  • 2017: Elevated to Legend status in Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Perry Crosswhite AM – General Member

Perry Crosswhite AM has made a significant contribution to sport in Australia, both as an athlete and as a sports administrator where he’s 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. Throughout his career he has held senior sports positions with the Australian Olympic Committee, 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2006/2018 Melbourne Commonwealth Games organising bodies, State and Federal Governments, Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission) and Australian Institute of Sport.

A former American who naturalised in 1971, Crosswhite was brought to Australia to play basketball by SAHOF Member Lindsay Gaze OAM and began his career with the Melbourne Tigers and played with this team from 1969 to 1980, a period in which 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 at the Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, and Moscow 1980 Olympic Games and captained the Australian Team at the latter two. He played over 300 games for Australia between 1970-1980 and was a member of the Headquarters staff at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and from 1991-1993 and was part of the team which bid successfully for the 2000 Olympics.

Crosswhite 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. Crosswhite 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 and, 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 Crosswhite 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.

Achievements

  • 1998: Australian Sports Administrator of the Year
  • 2000: Awarded the Australian Sports Medal
  • 2003: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2007: Made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
  • 2015: Awarded Australian Commonwealth Games Association Life Membership
  • 2016: Inducted into the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2017: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 2018: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board

Robert de Castella AO MBE – Athlete Member

Francois Robert (Rob) de Castella AO MBE, affectionately known as ‘Deek’, won Australia’s first IAAF World Championship in 1983 and was a world record holder in the marathon between 1981-1984. He represented Australia at the Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul, and Barcelona Olympic Games and won Commonwealth Games gold in Brisbane and Edinburgh. His inspiring runs encouraged many people to watch or participate in marathon races and he was awarded Australian of the Year in 1983.

De Castella is a former Board Member of Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission) and became Director of the Australian Institute of Sport in 1990, a position he held for five years. He is an outspoken advocate for community health, targeting child obesity through his SmartStart for Kids! charity.

He has been a passionate advocate for athletics and marathon running and is proud custodian of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) – using marathon running to change lives by promoting healthy and active lifestyles throughout Indigenous communities. He is also a Founding Director of Deeks Health Foods, a grain and gluten free bakery. He still runs most days and is now a passionate traditional martial arts practitioner with his 4-Dan black belt in Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate.

In 2011, he co-Directed and featured in the documentary, Running To America. The film tells the story of four young Indigenous men who are plucked from obscurity in the Australian outback by de Castella to compete in the world’s most famous race, the New York Marathon.

Achievements

  • 1982: Made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
  • 1983: Australian of the Year
  • 1985: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 1997: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board
  • 1997: Appointed to the Sport Australia hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 2000: Awarded the Australian Sports Medal
  • 2001: Appointed as Chair of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 2001: Awarded the Centenary Medal
  • 2001: Voted among the Australian Institute of Sport’s ‘Best of the Best’
  • 2014: Made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

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.

Achievements

  • 2017: Appointed to the SAHOF Selection Committee

Michael McKay OAM- Athlete Member

Mike 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.

Achievements

  • 1987: Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia
  • 2000: Awarded the Australian Sports Medal
  • 2007: Inducted into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2007: Awarded the Thomas Keller Medal by the International Rowing Federation
  • 2009: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board
  • 2009: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee

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.

Achievements

  • 1993: ABC Junior Sport Star of the Year
  • 1993: Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)
  • 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998: Australian Paralympian of the Year
  • 1997: Australian Institute of Sport Athlete of the Year
  • 1997, 1998, 1999: Australian Female Athlete of the Year
  • 1998: Winner of the Australian of the Year Awards in the ABIGGRIUOP National Sports Award category
  • 1999, 2000: International Female Wheelchair Athlete of the Year
  • 2000: Inaugural Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
  • 2000: Named Sport Australia Female Athlete of the Year
  • 2000: Received an Australian Sports Medal
  • 2001: Selected in the AIS Australian Dream Team
  • 2001: Sydney Harbour SuperCat named in her honour
  • 2007: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2009: Elevated to Legend Status NSW Hall of Champions
  • 2009: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 2011: Inaugural Inductee into the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame
  • 2012: Inducted into the International Paralympic Hall of Fame
  • 2014: Inducted into the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2018: Sport NSW Coach of the Year
  • 2019: Elevated to Legend of Australian Sport

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 Olympic and two Commonwealth Games, Spillane was a sports news presenter on ABC NewsRadio and ABC television for several years, she 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 teams, 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 Sport Australia (previously Australian Sports Commission) with their ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for sports journalism.

Achievements

  • 2017: Awarded the Australian Sports Commission Media Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • 2020: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee

Debbie Watson OAM – Athlete Member

Debbie Watson has undertaken numerous activities since retiring from competition, including; the NSWIS Water Polo Coach and Athlete Consultant in careers and education, Assistant Water Polo Coach at National League Level (two years at Balmain and two 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 a PD/H/PE teacher (22 years and counting), Head Coach of the Sydney University Women’s National League Team, was Manager of the Born 2000 Australian Water Polo girls team/squad for the 2018 World Championships in Serbia and a Mentor of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship Program.

She has also been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2001.

Achievements

  • 2001: Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia
  • 2006: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2008: Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • 2009: Inducted into the Water Polo Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2017: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee

Alan Whelpton AO – General Member

Alan Whelpton was President of Surf Life Saving Australia from 1975 to 2001, before 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.

Achievements

  • 1982: Made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM)
  • 1992 Honoured with life Membership of International Life Saving
  • 1996: Inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame
  • 2000: Appointed to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Selection Committee
  • 2007: Upgraded to an Officer of the Order (AO)
  • NSW Hall of Champions Selection Committee Chair

EX-OFFICIO
Adrianne Sarkozy
Chief Executive Officer, Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Adrianne Sarkozy is a highly experienced & successful manager of the group of functions including sponsorship, fundraising, event management, PR and media, membership services and marketing.

Adrianne’s most recent role was as MRC Foundation Manager at the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC). The MRC Foundation raises funds and provides in kind support to charities and organisations which support people in need and charities which assist people who are ill, poor or vulnerable.

She has impeccable connections across the globe in the areas of horse racing and breeding, also within Australia in the areas of Sports Management, cricket and AFL.

Adrianne has experience with major events, engagement with; sponsors, fans and media via roles at Collingwood Football Club, Melbourne Cricket Club, in Tourism promoting the Australian Gallery of Sport and Olympic Museum (now Australian Sports Museum) and MCG as a tourist attraction. Experience at Racing Victoria Limited around managing the Racing Museum at Federation Square and managing the Richmond Football Club’s inaugural Hall of Fame.

Adrianne has also managed International sporting talent such as; Sir Ian Botham, Dean Jones, David Boon, Sir Richard Hadlee and Allan Border via her position of General Manager at Sportpro.

Adrianne is delighted and deeply honoured to represent the Sport Australia Hall of Fame as CEO.

EX-OFFICIO
Jed Smith
Manager; Museum and Heritage Services, Australian 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 before moving to Melbourne in 2007 to work on the project to build the National Sports Museum (since renamed Australian Sports Museum) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. As Manager, Museum and Heritage Services for the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC), Jed and his team have responsibility for the Australian 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 Australian Sports Museum has been the proud home of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) since 2008 and Jed’s team worked closely with the team at SAHOF to plan a significant redevelopment of the gallery in 2019/2020 that emphasised 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.

EX-OFFICIO
Chris Little
Heritage Coordinator, Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Chris pursued his passion for sport in 2012 when he started a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation Management. Throughout his studying years he completed placement work at the Western Bulldogs as a Heritage Cadet.

In his final years of study at Victoria University, Chris completed his final work placement at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in the redevelopment of the selection process, statistical and historical information. Due to the major role and influence Chris had on this redevelopment, he was offered a more permanent role at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame as the Heritage Coordinator.

Chris is responsible for overseeing the entirety of the Member selection process. This includes researching all Australian sport, collaborating with relevant sporting bodies, manage, maintain and expand the; committee guidelines, selection paperwork and nomination forms. The role maintains the integrity and neutrality of the office in the selection process and publishing of the selection documents.

His statistical analysis skills, research skills and broader historical knowledge is a valuable asset to Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

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