The Dawning of A New Award In Australian Sport as Dawn Fraser To Be Recognised In a Night of Sporting Heroes And Legends

Dawn Fraser Life Membership
HONOURED: Dawn Fraser receives her Swimming Australia Life Membership from John Bertrand who has instigated the Dawn Award at this year's Sport Australia Hall Of Fame Celebration. Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia (Delly Carr).

The inaugural “Dawn Award” – named in honour of legendary four-time Australian Olympic swimming gold medallist Dawn Fraser will be announced at this year’s annual Sport Australia Hall of Fame Awards on December 2.

The Dawn Award will be presented to a courageous Australian ground breaker who has demonstrated achievement against the odds and challenged the status quo, joining the Don Award, named after legendary Australian cricketer Don Bradman.

(The Don Award is considered Australian sport’s highest honour, awarded to an athlete or team who has most inspired the nation through performance and example over the past 12 months. (Previous winners include Ash Barty, the Australian Women’s T20 Cricket Team, Cathy Freeman OAM, Jeff Horn, Michelle Payne OAM, Kurt Fearnley AO and Cadel Evans AM).

Cate Campbell, Rohan Taylor Dawn Fraser_1843

GOLDEN GIRLS: Dawn Fraser is always a welcome figure on the Australian Swim Team and is pictured here with four-time Olympic relay gold medallist Cate Campbell and Dolphins head coach Rohan Taylor. Photo Courtesy: Swimming Australia (Delly Carr).

The recipient of the new Dawn Award could hail from the current generation or the past, and could be either an individual, team or an organisation.

Fraser, AC, MBE and Sport Australia Hall of Fame Legend, said today she was honoured to have the award in her name.

“I was quite teary when (Hall of Fame president and America’s Cup-winning skipper) John Bertrand asked me and I am so grateful to have the award while I am still here, this has fulfilled my lifetime dream,” said Fraser.“It makes it even more special that Sir Donald Bradman and I were inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 together and now we both have awards in our honour.”

Australia’s very best of the best will come to life for the 2021 Olympic year in an Australian television special featuring the Dawn and Don Awards (Australia’s Sporting Heroes and Legends – A Celebration of the 2021 Sport Australia Hall of Fame) and will go to air on the Seven Network on Thursday, December 2.

Eight greats will be honoured and inducted as the newest members of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, while two existing Hall of Fame members will be elevated to Legend status, the highest honour in Australian sport.

The honour roll of induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame includes Australia’s biggest sporting names and champions, led by Bradman and Fraser and including Cathy Freeman OAM, Ian Thorpe AM, E.J “Ted” Whitten OAM, Raelene Boyle AM MBE, Wally Lewis AM, Shane Gould OAM MBE, Sir Jack Brabham AO OBE, Greg Norman AO, Lauren Jackson AO, John Eales AM, Susie O’Neill AM, Rod Laver AC MBE, Bart Cummings AM, Louise Sauvage OAM and Layne Beachley AO, among other luminaries.

Dawn Fraser's dive into glory

FLASHBACK; It’s 1956 in Melbourne and Dawn Fraser is on her way to the first of three individual Olymic gold medals in the 100m freestyle. Photo Courtesy: Dawn Fraser Collection.

This year’s Sport Australia Hall of Fame celebration will feature special interviews with some of sport’s biggest and most beloved names, including the 2021 Hall of Fame inductees and the winners of The Don Award and The Dawn Award.

Legendary broadcaster Bruce McAvaney OAM,will be joined by Hamish McLachlan and Abbey Gelmi to host the special broadcast on Seven.

“It is great pleasure that we welcome eight new Australian sporting greats into the Hall of Fame. We will also elevate two existing members to Legend status, celebrate a new Don Award winner and launch our inaugural Dawn Award. Within the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, one can go no higher,” said, Sport Australia Hall of Fame Chair, Bertrand.

“We are thrilled once again to celebrate with all Australians these sporting superstars on the screens of Channel Seven for the second year.”

This year the public can get involved in the celebrations by voting for the News Corp Magic Moment. The most significant Sport Australia Hall of Fame moment will be won by and athlete or team from a shortlist of 20 of outstanding Australian sporting moments throughout the past 60 years.

Voting will be exclusively through News Corp mastheads, including the Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, Adelaide Advertiser, Courier Mail, The Australian, Hobart Mercury, Geelong Advertiser, Cairns Post, Gold Coast Bulletin, Townsville Bulletin and NT News.

A News Corp Magic Moment reader prize and further details will be announced through the newspapers and websites in early November.


1 comment

  1. avatar
    Penny Lee Dean

    I’m so glad she received this award. Dawn was a great swimmer and inspiration. I’m glad the Australian committee forgave her Tokyo past and recognized her for the great athlete she was for so many years.

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