Auckland medal winners McMahon and Griggs feature in Australia Day Honours


Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of their medal winning performances at the Auckland 1990 Commonwealth Games, former Commonwealth Games teammates Johanna Griggs and Dr Jennifer McMahon have received Australia Day honours.

The pair join a host of grassroots sports contributors and higher profile Commonwealth Games Australia family members who received well deserved honours.

Dr Jennifer McMahon (TAS) received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to education and sport, thirty years to the day after her silver medal winning 200m freestyle behind Auckland Games golden girl Hayley Lewis.  A day earlier in Auckland McMahon won gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay with Lewis, Janelle Elford and Julie McDonald. She is now a prominent educator at the University of Tasmania and is an award-winning researcher focused on abuse in sport, athlete wellbeing and education interventions centring on abuse and coach education.

Auckland teammate Johanna Griggs (NSW) was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to community health, television and sport.  As a sixteen-year-old, Griggs won a bronze medal behind Nicole Livingstone OAM in the 100m backstroke in Auckland before going on to become a popular presenter across sport and lifestyle programs on Channel Seven, including at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and multiple Olympic and Paralympic Games broadcasts. Jo is also a board member at Beyond Blue.

As should always be the case, the 2020 Australia Day Honours include many community and grassroots sports contributors.

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) recipients include former chair of Netball Australia Jan Sutherland (SA); Lisa Beehag (NSW) who was assistant coach with the gold medal winning netball teams at the 1998 and 2002 Games; along with Ronda Alterator (NSW) and Ruth Daws (SA) for services to netball.

Long serving athletics official Barry Dobson (QLD) received an OAM for services to athletics.  Dobson served as an official at the Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games as an umpire and track umpire.

Swimming NSW life member Suzanne Bergersen and Swimming Tasmania President Susan Currie received OAM’s, as did Swimming Tasmania board member Glensie Gale and Victorian Masters swimming identity Andrea McNeil (VIC) all for services to swimming.

Vernon Turner (NSW) and Vicki Warren (QLD) received OAM’s for services to hockey and Julie and Neville Womersley (NSW) OAM’s for services to lawn bowls in Woolgoolga.

Former men’s national indoor volleyball coach Tomas Santamaria (VIC) was awarded an OAM for services to volleyball and Mrs Dallas Cooper (TAS) and Mr Ashley Cupitt (QLD) received OAM’s for services to badminton and boxing respectively.

From the sports administration and services side of sport, former Paralympics Australia General Manager and Michael Hartung (NSW) was awarded an OAM for services to people with disabilities, popular AIS physiotherapist, Commonwealth Games medical team member and former Commonwealth Games Australia medical commission member Craig Purdam received an OAM for service to sports administration, and to physiotherapy.

Former AIS chair Professor John Bloomfield AM received an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to higher education in the field of sports science, and to professional sporting organisations, as did former sports minister current Sport Australia Hall of Fame director Rod Kemp AM.

Finally, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organising committee (GOLDOC) director John Witheriff AM received an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for services to business and the community on the Gold Coast.

Commonwealth Games Australia congratulates them all for their service to sport in Australia.



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