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Commonwealth Games history to be celebrated

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Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallists Jenny Donnet and Liz Ellis have joined the newly formed Commonwealth Games Australia Heritage and Awards Committee in a project designed to recognise, promote and celebrate the contribution of individuals and communities from within the Commonwealth Games movement.

The project will commence this month with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Edinburgh 1970 Commonwealth Games, which was a Games of milestones including Pam Kilborn-Ryan’s selection as the first female athlete to carry the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of a Commonwealth or Olympic Games.

Donnet and Ellis join former Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Perry Crosswhite and a group of Australia’s leading sport history specialists on the Heritage and Awards Committee which will be chaired by Commonwealth Games Australia Board member and Bowls Australia President Darryl Clout.

Donnet competed in three Commonwealth Games, winning the 3m springboard gold medal in both Brisbane in 1982 in and Auckland in 1990, along with silver in Edinburgh in 1986. The first Australian women to compete in four Olympic Games, Donnet was the Australian team flagbearer at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

Born into a sporting family, Jenny’s mother Barbara McAulay won gold and silver medals in diving at the 1954 Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver and dived at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

Ellis captained the Australian netball team during her illustrious 122-game career with the Diamonds and won Commonwealth Games gold medals in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, where netball made its Games debut on the sport programme, and Manchester in 2002. She also won silver at the Games in Melbourne in 2006.

Commonwealth Games Australia Heritage and Awards Committee:

Darryl Clout Chair - Bowls Australia President & CGA Board representative
Marlene Elliott CGA Board representative
Greg Blood Former National Sport Information Centre librarian, sports historian and lead on Paralympics Australia History and Wikipedia project
Bruce Coe Sports historian, author, archivist
Perry Crosswhite AM Former Commonwealth Games Australia CEO, Australian Olympic basketballer and Sport Australia Hall of Fame Member
Jenny Donnet CGA team alumni, two-time Games gold medallist whose mother also won gold at the 1954 Games, 1992 Olympic Games flag bearer
Liz Ellis AO Australia netball captain, three-time World Cup winner and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist. Sport Australia Hall of Fame Member
Peter Hamilton Sports historian and results expert who works for Olympic and Commonwealth Games provider ATOS. Has developed a full results archive for Athletics Australia and all Commonwealth Games sports and events

Commonwealth Games Australia CEO Craig Phillips said the Heritage and Awards Committee would assist with a range of projects designed to celebrate the long and proud history of the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

“We will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Edinburgh Games this month and launch a new alumni project along with a number of other initiatives that will celebrate our athletes, past, present and future,” Phillips said.

“The Heritage and Awards committee will also investigate a Commonwealth Games Australia awards and recognition program which extends beyond the current Life Membership provisions. The committee will also provide valuable expertise and assistance with our existing work on our archive and alumni projects.

“Since the first British Empire Games in 1930 and back to its predecessor, the Festival of the Empire in 1911, Australia has a proud history of participation in the Commonwealth Games and our athletes have produced moments that are etched into Australian sporting folklore.

“Australia also has a proud history of hosting the Commonwealth Games – having done so on five occasions. We look forward to celebrating these moments and athletes in a meaningful way.”

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