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Australian sports biggest night just 50 days away

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner will celebrate the champions of our nation – past, present and future – on Thursday 12th October 2017 at Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

Membership to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame is widely considered the highest national sporting honour that can be bestowed. With 549 members, it represents the pinnacle of Australian sporting excellence.

Presented by Etihad Airways, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Gala Dinner is also the largest gathering of Australian sporting greats in the one room for the one night each year, in celebration of Australia’s finest.

2017 will mark the 33rd edition of this event, with a further eight Australian sporting icons, from on and off the field, to be inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

The new members will join those who represent more than 160 years of Australian sporting excellence, including Sir Donald Bradman AC, Dawn Fraser AO MBE, Betty Cuthbert AM MBE, Rod Laver AC MBE, Bart Cummings AM, Leigh Matthews AM, Wally Lewis AM, John Eales AM, Greg Norman AO, Catherine Freeman OAM, Layne Beachley AO, Ricky Ponting AO, Casey Stoner AM, John Coates AC and Bruce McAvaney OAM.

In addition to the eight Inductees, Australian sport’s ‘night of nights’ will see the elevation of one current Member to Legend status, becoming the official 39th Legend of Australian Sport.

The night will also celebrate ‘The Don’ Award which is widely regarded as Australia’s most prestigious contemporary sporting award. ‘The Don’ is named in honour of our first Inductee, the late Sir Donald Bradman AC and is awarded annually to the athlete or team who, through their performance and example over the past twelve months, have most inspired the nation. A shortlist of nominations will be released early next month.

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chairman John Bertrand AO said the 2017 Inductees will represent Australia’s broad sporting participation and success on the world stage.

“How lucky are we. Sport is such an integal part of the Australian way of life,” Bertrand said.

“The recent passing of one of our greats in Betty Cuthbert highlights the importance of sporting heroes to the psyche of this nation. Our sporting heroes inspire and unite.

“We look forward to celebrating our new Inductees at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame gala. These individuals have reached the top echelon of sport. One can go no higher,” Bertrand said.

The 2017 gala will also recognise the next generation of Australian sporting success.

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame Scholarship and Mentoring Program will see five junior Australian athletes mentored by five current Hall of Fame Members for the next twelve months. As well as providing a $5,000 sporting grant and an Etihad Airways international airfare, the program will offer a rare, money can’t buy experience that will further nurture and support the future of Australian sport.

Established in 1985, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame plays a vital role in preserving and perpetuating Australia’s rich sporting heritage, whilst promoting the values of courage, sportsmanship, integrity, mateship, persistence, and excellence, all underpinned by generosity, modesty, pride and ambition.

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