Dawn Fraser And Olympians Named In Queens Birthday Honours
The Australian Olympic Committee has congratulated Olympic swimming great Dawn Fraser who has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours announced today.
AOC President John Coates says Dawn Fraser AC, MBE holds a special place in Australian sporting history and her award is richly deserved.
“Dawn has done so much more than her four Olympic gold medals and three silver, as remarkable as those achievements were.
“She has been a team ambassador and team mentor to so many young swimmers and other athletes coming through and she’s had so many important roles in the community. She’s just a great Australian.
Mr Coates also acknowledged honours to fellow Olympics gold medallists Lynn McKenzie (OAM), John Cuneo (OAM), also rowing coach Lyall McCarthy (OAM), former Hockey Australia President David Hatt (AM) as well as Max Beck (AO), a former Chair of the Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinner Organising Committee.
“I want to congratulate all those Olympians and those who have provided great service to the Olympic movement in Australia in a variety of ways.
“I would also like to congratulate Kurt Fearnley AO who has been such a mighty ambassador for the Paralympic movement and a champion athlete. An honour well deserved.
“Closer to home, congratulations to AOC Vice President Helen Brownlee who has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her remarkable contribution to sport.
“For more than 50 years Helen has been a dedicated volunteer to the sport of canoeing as a competitor volunteer, administrator, judge and is the first woman to be elected to the Executive Board of the AOC. In 2015 she was also inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame.
“To this date Helen continues to devote herself to sport as an administrator at every level. She holds multiple significant posts within the world of canoeing, a sport to which she has devoted herself over a lifetime.
“But Helen’s achievements go so much further as President of the NSW Olympic Council, a Member of the IOC Commission for Olympic Education, the Executive of the Australian Olympic Committee, a Director of the Australian Olympic Foundation and of course she is Vice President of the AOC and an AOC Life Member.
“Right now, she is in Samoa where she continues to work tirelessly for the Oceania National Olympic Committee furthering women’s sport in our region. We are delighted that on top of the OAM she was awarded in 1985 she has been further recognised for her commitment to sport and particularly to athlete wellbeing.
Helen says the honour was unexpected given she loves what she does.
“It’s been such a great pleasure to have worked with so many wonderful people over the years, you don’t think about receiving this type of recognition.
“There have been so many highlights, but getting the funding for the canoe slalom course so we could hold this event in Sydney 2000 was certainly one of the great challenges. If the money didn’t come through, it wouldn’t have been on the programme.”