Gillies, Roberts and Keelan among those recognised on King’s Birthday


Edinburgh 1970 hurdler Penny Gillies OAM and famed commentator Sandy Roberts OAM are among the members of the Commonwealth Games family to be recognised with a King’s Birthday Honour today.

Gillies is a five-time Australian 100m hurdles champion, placing fourth in the final at the 1970 Commonwealth Games before going on to compete at the 1972 and 1980 Olympic Games. She is now a revered coach, including with the Australian Team at the 2002 and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Roberts was first seen behind the microphone at the 1980 Olympic Games before going on to bring the Commonwealth Games, and many other sports, to the lounge rooms of millions of Australians for more than 30 years.

Both Gillies and Roberts were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, alongside Suellen Hardie OAM for services to swimming, who served as the Control Room Supervisor at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

In other acknowledgements, Anita Keelan AM and Christine Sinclair AM were elevated to Members of the Order of Australia for services to netball and squash respectively.

Keelan was the Assistant Coach of the gold-medal winning Australian Diamonds at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and a Team Official at Trinbago 2023. She serves at the National Pathway Manager at Netball Australia.

Sinclair has served as a squash referee at every Commonwealth Games since Kuala Lumpur 1998, alongside previous roles on the Squash Australia Board of Directors and as the Referee and Rules Convener for the Oceania Squash Federation.

“Sport is at the heart of Australia, and service to sport is rightly acknowledged through King’s Birthday Honours to showcase those people who make an outstanding contribution,” Houston said.

“From athletes like Penny (Gillies) to commentators and officials like Sandy (Roberts) and Anita (Keelan), it’s fantastic to see the Commonwealth Games family included alongside the more than 700 recipients today.

“Their contributions have inspired, and we congratulate them wholeheartedly.”



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