What do we count as the biggest sporting day in Australia? Is it the AFL grand final? Maybe the NRL grand final? What about Melbourne Cup?
The Australia Day honours recognise the achievements of Australians on and off the sporting field.
This year’s significant awards – AC and AO – recognise the sporting feats and contributions of Australia’s great sportswomen – late Betty Cuthbert, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Belinda Clark, Liz Ellis, Heather McKay and Karrie Webb. Other significant sportswomen to be recognised in the awards include Shane Gould, Rechelle Hawkes, Susie O’Neill, late Gillian Rolton, Michele Timms and Jan Stephenson
Below is a list of 2018 recipients who were recognised primarily for their sporting contributions.
Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia Recipients
Late Betty Cuthbert (WA) AM MBE
For eminent service to athletics at the national and international level, particularly as a gold medallist at the Melbourne and Tokyo Olympic Games, and as a role model, fundraiser, and advocate for research into a cure for multiple sclerosis.
Evonne Goolagong-Cawley AO MBE
For eminent service to tennis as a player at the national and international level, as an ambassador, supporter and advocate for the health, education and wellbeing of young Indigenous people through participation in sport, and as a role model.
Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia Recipients
Belinda Clark (VIC) AM
For distinguished service to cricket as a player, captain and administrator, through support for national and international professional councils, and as a role model for young sportswomen.
Liz Ellis (NSW) AM
For distinguished service to netball as an elite player and coach, through support and advocacy for young women, as a contributor to the broadcast and print media industries, and to the community.
Professor Caroline Finch (VIC)
For distinguished service to sports medicine, particularly in the area of injury prevention, as an educator, researcher and author.
Heather McKay (ACT) AM MBE
For distinguished service to squash as an elite player and coach, as a pioneer on the professional circuit, and through support for young athletes.
Michael Turtur (SA) OAM
For distinguished service to cycling, particularly through the development and promotion of world-class road cycling events, and to the community of South Australia.
Karrie Webb (Queensland) AM – for distinguished service to golf at the elite level as a player, to the development of female golfers, as a mentor and role model, and through charitable and community organisations.
Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia Recipients
Robert Baker OAM – significant service to youth, particularly through leadership roles with Scouts, and to the sport of karting as an administrator and mentor.
Peter Gordon (VIC) – for significant service to the community through support for Australian rules football, health promotion and youth social welfare, and to the law.
Shane Gould (TAS) MBE – for significant service to swimming at the elite level, as a gold medallist at the Munich Olympic Games, and to water safety programs in developing countries.
Rechelle Hawkes (WA) OAM – for significant service to hockey, particularly as national captain of multiple tournament-winning teams, and as a role model and commentator
Susan O’Neill (Queensland) OAM – for significant service to swimming at the elite level.
Hayden Opie (VIC) – for significant service to education as an academic specialising in sports law, and through roles with integrity, anti-doping and appeals tribunals.
Andrew Plympton (VIC) – for significant service to sports administration through governance roles, particularly to sailing and Australian rules football.
Simon Poidevin (NSW) OAM – fFor significant service to education through fundraising and student scholarship support, to the community through the not-for-profit sector, and to rugby union.
Gillian Rolton (SA) OAM – for significant service to horse sports through roles with a range of national and international equestrian organisations.
Michele Timms (VIC) – for significant service to basketball as a competitor at the national and international level, as an Olympic athlete, and as a mentor for women in sport.
Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division Recipients
OAM’s were awarded to many volunteers in their service to their respective sports. Many of the recipients below may not be widely known outside their sport but their contributions greatly assist the development of their respective sports.
These recipients are commonly referred to as ‘unsung heroes’ of sport.
Archery – Terene Donovan (Queensland)
Athletics – Simon Baker (VIC), Peter Crombie (NSW), Tom Hancock (VIC), Stephen Stingemore (WA), Lavina Petrie (VIC)
Australian football – Brian Chaplin (VIC)
Basketball – Ronald Burgess (VIC), Beth Serle (SA)
Ballooning – Peter Vizzard (NSW)
Canoeing – Susan Natoli (VIC)
Cricket – Roger Allen (VIC), Peter Frawley (VIC), Robert Matthews (VIC), Gregory Morrissey (NSW), Owen Sperling (Queensland)
Dancesport – Margaret Lonsdale (VIC)
Equestrian – Sandra Atkins (TAS)
Football – Kevin Best (NSW), Vincenzo Princi (VIC)
Golf – Bruce Langford-Jones (VIC), Malcom MacPherson (VIC), Jan Stephenson (USA)
Harness racing – Graeme Campbell (NSW)
Horse racing – Ray Selkrig (NSW)
Netball – Carol Baiton (NSW), Deidre Ades (VIC)
Motor sports – Ross Dunkerton (Queensland), Maurice Fuller (NSW)
Parachuting – Johannes Chitty (VIC), Bruce Horsfield (NSW), Graeme Windsor (ACT)
Softball – Sheryl Burnie (TAS),
Rowing – David Ochert (VIC)
Rugby league – Neville Glover (NSW), Barry Jones (NSW)
Surf life saving – Karen Deephouse (Queensland), Andrew Murrell (VIC), Brian Thompson (NSW)
Swimming – Rozlynn Grey (NSW), Jon Henricks (USA)
Sports administration – Peter Cummiskey (Queensland), Ray Sneddon (VIC), Geoffrey Thoroughgood (NSW), David Wark (SA), Darrell White (VIC)
Congratulations to all these worthy recipients.