Appendix 2: Sport Australia award recipients

AIS Sport Performance Awards

Female Athlete of the Year

Sally Pearson — Athletics

Sally completed a remarkable comeback from two seasons of injury when she claimed her second world title at the IAAF World Championships in London, defeating world record holder, American Kendra Harrison. In addition to reclaiming her world title, Sally produced her best time of four seasons with 12.48 seconds at the London Anniversary Games and won the IAAF Diamond League Final in Zurich.

Male Athlete of the Year

Scott James — Winter Sport

Scott was the world’s leading snowboard halfpipe athlete in 2016–17, taking out all major titles, including a successful defence of his world championship gold medal. Scott also won the X-Games in Aspen, the Olympic test event in PyeongChang and the World Cup Halfpipe title. Scott has mentored Australia’s next generation of snowboarders, judging the Dreamer Slopestyle Event at Falls Creek.

Team of the Year

Australian Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard (Winter Sport)

The Australian Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard team claimed a record 35 World Cup medals, 10 more than their previous record in 2012–13. The team claimed five medals at the world championships in Spain, including gold to Britt Cox and Scott James; silver to Danielle Scott; and bronze to David Morris and Alex Pullin. Australia was fifth on the medal tally, ahead of winter-dominant nations including Canada, Sweden and China.

Emerging Athlete of the Year

Kelland O’Brien — Cycling

Kelland made a superb transition to the senior ranks, including a gold and bronze medal at the World Track Cycling Championships in Hong Kong. Only 18 at the time, Kelland was a major contributor to Australia’s win in the Men’s Team Pursuit and proved it by finishing third in the Individual Pursuit. Kelland also won two golds at the 2017 UCI Oceania Championships and is developing towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Para Performance of the Year

Mitchell Gourley — Winter Sport

A two-time Paralympian, it took more than a decade for Mitchell to reach the top of the mountain in his sport, but in 2017 he certainly arrived at the summit. Mitchell took out the Super Combined Slalom at the Para World Championships and also claimed the World Cup series with an outstanding seven medals. Mitchell competed at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Paralympics and was the captain of the Australian Paralympic Team in South Korea in 2018.

Coach of the Year

Alen Stajcic — Soccer

Alen has overseen the growth of the Matildas from underdogs to world powerhouse. Having made the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2015 and the Olympics in 2016, the Matildas continued their development in 2017 with some of their greatest results. The Matildas beat the world number one United States team for the first time on their way to taking out the Tournament of Nations, also involving Japan and Brazil. The Matildas finished the year ranked fifth in the world.

Award for Leadership

Susan Alberti — Australian Football

Susan was the inaugural ambassador for the Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) competition in 2017. The appointment recognised Susan’s efforts over many years to break new ground for women’s sport and drive the realisation of the AFLW. Susan’s vision came to life in 2017 with 176 women representing eight clubs in the inaugural AFLW. Almost 200,000 spectators attended 29 matches in this year’s debut season.

AIS Service Award

Glenn Tasker — Swimming/Paralympic Sport

Glenn is the President of the Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) and has almost three decades of experience in sports administration. Glenn was Executive Director of Swimming NSW from 1990 to 1998 and during that time was instrumental in introducing events for swimmers with disabilities into the NSW Age Swimming Championships. Glenn went on to become the Swimming Competition Manager at the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, before serving as CEO of Swimming Australia from 2001 to 2008, where he assisted with establishing the swimming Paralympic Preparation Program. Glenn was CEO of Tennis NSW from 2008 to 2013, has served on the APC Board since 2008, and is the vice-Chair of the IPC’s Sport Technical Committee for Swimming.

Sporting Moment of the Year — media vote

Jeff Horn — Boxing

Boxing great Manny Pacquiao admitted he didn’t know who Jeff Horn was when they were scheduled to fight in Brisbane in July. However, in a boxing underdog story, Jeff claimed a unanimous points decision to win the WBO world welterweight championship.

Team of the Year — public vote

Australian women’s team — Football (Matildas)

The Matildas proved their world-class status with a clean sweep of the Tournament of Nations in the United States in July and August 2017. The tournament included Australia’s first-ever win in women’s football in 27 meetings against world No. 1 United States and emphatic victories over Japan and Brazil.

The ABC Sports Personality of the Year — public vote

Sam Kerr — Football

Known for her back-flipping goal celebrations, Sam had a breakthrough year. She made the top 10 shortlist for FIFA player of the year, set a season goal-scoring record (17 goals) for her American club Sky Blues FC, was W-League player of the year for Perth Glory and has been a driving force for the Australian Matildas.

Sport Australia Participation Awards

Sport Australia recognised leadership in community sport by presenting the Participation Awards during the closing session of the Our Sporting Future conference, held on the Gold Coast from 15 to 17 November 2017.

Excellence in Participation

Ski and Snowboard Australia won the Excellence in Participation award for their Snowracer initiative, a centralised platform for information, resources and engagement for snow sports competitions across all levels. It has introduced a range of initiatives such as SnowID that allows users to

track their own performances, access a unique information portal, and keep track of live timing, scoring and events.

Excellence in Innovation

Tennis Australia won the award for Excellence in Innovation for its Book a Court online system. It enables players to book and pay for access to courts quickly via a central system, giving the community improved access to courts, increasing revenue for clubs, reducing administration costs and providing local government with venue stability and visibility of usage patterns.

Play by the Rules Award

The Play by the Rules Award went to Gymnastics Victoria for its inclusive work providing pathway opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Its partnership with Special Olympics Australia helped create systemic inclusive change within gymnastics.

Media Awards

The 15th annual Media Awards were held in Sydney on 1 February 2018, recognising excellence in sports journalism and broadcasting and the role of the media in connecting Australians with sport. Attended by the Minister for Sport, the Honourable Bridget McKenzie MP, 15 awards were presented including the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Table 18: Media Awards recipients
Award2017 Winner
Lifetime achievement award for contribution to sports journalismDebbie Spillane AM
Best reporting of an issue in sportAfter the Game, Four Corners, ABC, Louise Milligan, Lisa McGregor, Trish Drum
Best coverage of sport by an individual – broadcastKelli Underwood, Fox Sports and ABC
Best coverage of sport by an individual – print mediaKonrad Marshall, Good Weekend, Fairfax Media
Best coverage of sport by an individual – digital mediaNathan Ryan, ‘Beyond the Game: Inside the NRL World’, Fox Sports
Best coverage of a sporting event by a media organisationFox Sports, ‘Horn v Pacquiao – World Title’
Best coverage of sport for people with disabilityJim Callinan, ‘Oz Day 10k Wheelchair Road Race’, Sky News
Best coverage of women in sportFox Footy, ‘AFL Women’s coverage’, Fox Sports
Best profiling of an athlete, team or coach – broadcast mediaAdrian Brown, ‘Outsiders’, Whooshka Media
Best profiling of an athlete, team or coach – print mediaGrantlee Kieza, ‘Prized Fighter – Jeff Horn’, The Courier-Mail
Best sports journalism from rural, regional or suburban mediaGrant Edwards, ‘Multisport Mecca’, Sunshine Coast Daily
Best sports photographyMichael Dodge, ‘Cyril Magic’, Getty Images
Best depiction of the value of sport to Australians in a community settingAllyson Horn, ‘Afghan AFL’, ABC
Best contribution to sport by an organisation through digital mediaSeven Network, ‘Summer of 7Tennis 2017’
Best analysis of the business of sportJack Kerr, ‘Sports Betting Industry Analysis’, Freelance