Irene Donnet (diving) was a two-time medallist at the Sydney 1938 British Empire Games and a member of the famed Donnet diving dynasty. Donnet became springboard national champion at the age of 16 before representing Australia at the 1938 Games as a 20-year-old. She won gold in the 3m springboard event at the Games, becoming Australia’s first female Commonwealth Games diving gold medallist. The springboard specialist even came away from the Games with the bronze medal in the 10m platform, her least preferred event, displaying her immense diving talents. Sadly the world-class diver did not get a chance to compete an Olympic Games, with the outbreak of World War II cancelling the 1940 Olympics, Donnet turned to raising a family, when the Olympics returned in 1948, a now 30-year-old and mother of four, was upstaged in the Victorian championships by 19-year-old Barbara McAulay. The same Barbara McAulay who would later marry Irene’s younger brother Tom, and become Barbara Donnet, another matriarch of the Donnet dynasty.
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