Vale Harry Gallagher OAM


Commonwealth Games Australia mourns the passing of champion swimming coach Harry Gallagher OAM, aged 96.

Touted as one of Australia’s most successful swimming coaches and affectionately known as ‘Mr Gallagher’, his tremendous legacy includes a long list of achievements.

A Sport Australia Hall of Fame member, Gallagher’s dedication to swimming dated back to the late 1940s, when by chance, he taught his comrades in the army – many of whom could not swim – how to save themselves. From that fortuitous moment, the Swimming Australia legend coached some of the biggest names in Australian swimming, including champions Dawn Fraser, Jon Henricks, Lorraine Crapp, Michael Wenden, Brad Cooper and Lyn McClements among others. At the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Gallagher’s pupils won 12 gold, six silver, and three bronze medals at the Games.

Gallagher was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984, was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1986 and was made a Life Member of Swimming Australia in 2020. He was also recognised as both a Platinum and Master Coach by the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association.

Commonwealth Games Australia extends its condolences to Harry Gallagher’s family and friends.

Harry Gallagher working with Dawn Fraser in the lead-up to the Cardiff 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games.


With thanks Swimming Australia and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.



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