The City of Melbourne is pleased to announce the 2008 Melburnian of the Year is Olympic and world champion yachtsman John Bertrand.
John Bertrand’s enormous sporting success have made him a national household name and inspired many Australians. But while his name will forever by synonymous with Australia’s historic 1983 America’s Cup win, it is John’s philanthropic work with two Melbourne-based non-profit organisations that has earned him this prestigious award.
“John was selected for his tireless dedication to the welfare of children through his work with the Alannah and Madeline Foundation,” Lord Mayor John So said. “He consistently campaigns Australia’s business and community leaders to address the issue of violence against children, as he believes that every child has the right to a happy childhood. John is an inspirational Melburnian who has won the admiration of thousands of Australians. He is to be congratulated for his outstanding contribution.”
As Chairman of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, a charity dedicated to keeping children safe from violence, John has overseen the organisation’s rapid growth since he joined in 1998. He is also responsible for securing Her Royal Highness, Crown Princess Mary, as the foundation’s international patron, after they met in her adopted home of Denmark.
John’s passion and commitment for developing young sports people led him to join the Sport Australia Hall of Fame board as Chairman in 2005, an organisation that strives to preserve the proud history of Australian sport, and to excite the next generation of Australians to achieve their potential.
John will be involved in several official engagements in his role as Melburnian of the Year, including a flagraising ceremony with Lord Mayor John So at Enterprize Park on Melbourne Day, August 30, at 10am. John will officially receive his award at the gala Melbourne Awards Dinner at the Town Hall that evening.
The Melburnian of the Year is selected by an independent panel of judges, made up of notable Melbourne individuals from a broad range of business and community sectors. The winner must be an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution to the city in their chosen field, as well as contributed significantly to the Melbourne community.
The Hall of Fame congratulates our Chairman on a well deserved honour.