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Perry Rothrock Crosswhite AM

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Awarded Life Membership 14 November 2015

 

Birth: 22 September 1947, Washington DC, United States of America

 

Perry Crosswhite arrived in Australia from America in 1969 as a guest of the Melbourne Tigers basketball club coached by Lindsay Gaze, he stayed and became an Australian citizen in 1971.

Within three years of arriving in Australia, Perry was a member of his first Olympic Team.  Perry went on to represent Australia at three Olympics, Munich 1972, Montreal 1976, and Moscow 1980 and was captain of the team at the latter two Games. He also represented Australia at the 1974 World Championships where he was team captain and played over 300 games for Australia.

Whilst still playing basketball. Perry influenced the development of the sport at the highest level from part time management in the early 70s to the establishment of a national league with paid players in the 80s.

He was a pioneer in the establishment of professional sports administration in Australia. He was the first professional Recreation/Sport Officer employed by the Victorian government in 1973, and throughout his career, he played a significant role in the change in approach in Australian sport at both the high performance and grassroots ends of the sporting spectrum.  He helped design, implement, and administer programs that would expand opportunities for the participation of Australians in sport, such as the Life. Be In It, Aussie Sports, and Sport for All through roles with the growth in the Australian Government expansion into sports administration through the Department of Tourism and Recreation, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Australian Sports Commission, and the Australian Sports Foundation, where he held senior and pivotal positions with all of the above bodies.

In 1991 Perry accepted a position in Sydney as the first Executive Director of the Australian Olympic Committee and had administrative responsibility for the participation of the Australian Olympic team in Barcelona 1992, and the Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994Australian Winter Olympic teams as well as the Sydney 2000 Olympic Bid effort.

In 1995 Perry joined the Australian Commonwealth Games Association its first General Manager, a position he held until he retired in 2015. He became responsible for the organisation and preparation of the 1998 Australian team which competed in Kuala Lumpur. During the Games he served as Team General Manager.

At the same time, along with ACGA President Sam Coffa, he devised and implemented the domestic bid process for the Australian candidature for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. This was completed in 1996 with Melbourne being declared the bidding city. He was an instrumental part of the bidding team which was successful in having Melbourne named as 2006 Games host.

Perry also served as Team General Manager for the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth and Chef de Mission for the Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010 Games.

In 2000 Perry was involved in the organisation of the Australian team to compete in the inaugural Commonwealth Youth Games, the Millennium Commonwealth Youth Games held in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a member of the Organising Committee, he was involved in planning for the II Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo 2004.

His international experience and expertise in events organisation, and team management was recognised by his appointment to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) Co-ordination Committee for the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. He was also a member of the CGFs Marketing Committee.

He was a member of the Board of the organisation committee for both the Melbourne and the Gold Coast Games.

Perry was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2007 ‘For service to sport, particularly through executive roles with the Commonwealth and Olympic Games organisations, and to basketball as a competitor at national and international levels’, the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 ‘As a past player and merit award holder’, and Australian Sports Administrator of the Year in 1998.

He was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame as a General Member in 2003 and the Basketball Australia Hall of Fame in 2016.