Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) alumni and family have joined an esteemed list, with several acknowledged on the distinguished Australia Day 2024 Honours List.
Elevated to Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to sport as an advocate for diversity and inclusion is four-time Commonwealth Games medallist Ellie Cole AM.
Cole, who served as General Manager of the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games Team, has long been a passionate voice for the role that sport can play in people’s lives, and continues to support the development of athletes at all levels.
Joining Cole as a Member of the Order of Australia are Michael Bushell AM, for significant service to sport administration through several roles, Peter Duras AM, for significant service to sport physiotherapy and to the community, and CGA Investment Committee member Lorraine Berends AM, for significant service to the financial and business sectors, and to the community.
Bushell has served as a Director across five Commonwealth Games and been a key figure in sport administration for over 30 years, while Duras has been instrumental in the world of sports physiotherapy, volunteering at six Commonwealth Games.
The CGA community has also welcomed a number of new recipients of Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) for their various services to sport and the community.
The late Rick Mitchell OAM, who won a gold, two silver, and a bronze medal across the two Commonwealth Games in which he represented Australia, was honoured for his service to sport as an athlete and administrator.
Twice named as athletics team captain, he was the flagbearer at the Brisbane 1982 Commonwealth Games, was a three-time Olympian, and won a silver medal in the men’s 400m at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.
Mitchell was admired by his teammates and athletes and continued his involvement in the sport following his retirement, commentating on athletics until his passing in 2021.
Rachael Lynch OAM joins Mitchell on the honour roll following a distinguished career on the hockey pitch, alongside her significant work off the pitch as a mental health ambassador.
A two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Lynch was also a dual Olympian and World Cup silver medallist and played 233 games for Australia across her career.
Off the pitch, she is currently a Performance Lifestyle Advisor with the Victorian Institute of Sport and a passionate advocate for mental health, serving as an ambassador for RUOK? Day.
Joining Mitchell and Lynch are the following members of the extended Commonwealth Games family:
- Pat Carroll OAM, Auckland 1990, Victoria 1994, and Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games team member, for services to community health and athletics,
- Raymond Dorsett OAM, for services to hockey
- Evelyn Halls OAM, for services to sport administration, and to fencing
- Professor Paul Harpur OAM, Manchester 2002 and Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games team member, for service to people with disability
Additionally, Emma McKeon AM was last night recognised as the 2024 Young Australian of the Year. She is the most successful competitor in Commonwealth Games history with her trophy cabinet featuring 20 medals, including 14 gold, from three Games appearances.
McKeon has a strong swimming pedigree. Her father, Ron McKeon, collected four gold medals from two Commonwealth Games appearances at Edmonton 1978 and Brisbane 1982, while older brother David McKeon won gold at Glasgow 2014. Her mother Susie Woodhouse swam at Brisbane 1982.
A round of applause for your 2024 Young Australian of the Year, Emma McKeon AM pic.twitter.com/WZtuBLTYfk
— AusoftheYearAwards (@ausoftheyear) January 25, 2024
Commonwealth Games Australia President Ben Houston noted their recognition and congratulated all on their service to sport and their community in Australia.
“Commonwealth sport is at the heart of Australia’s story, and we welcome the continued acknowledgement of those that have contributed to the green and gold at the Games,” Houston said.
“Our congratulations to those who were elevated to and received a Member of the Order of Australia, as well as the recipients recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia.”
“Additionally, we extend out congratulations to Emma McKeon AM, who was recognised as the 2024 Young Australian of the Year.”
“Emma is an Australian sporting icon, and a great example of what comes from embracing sport and pursuing excellence alongside family, friends and teammates.”