Swimming’s Australia’s very own national sporting legend Dawn Fraser was yesterday appointed the title of a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the 2018 Queens Birthday honours list for her service to sport and the community.
In the Australian honours system appointments to the Order of Australia confer the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service. The Companion of the Order of Australia is awarded for eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or humanity at large.
Fraser, Australian Swimmer number 86, had a remarkable career, representing Australia on the world stage at three consecutive Olympic Games and winning the same event at all three, the women’s 100m freestyle in Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964.
Her achievements helped to etch her name in the history books and bring swimming to the forefront of the nation’s mind. She is a proud Australian and has played a part in some of the biggest sporting moments in our country’s rich history.
Speaking about her incredible career and the opportunity to wear the green and gold Fraser said, “It’s nice to be able to say I swam for my country.”
“I am an Australian. I’m not a New South Welshman or a Queenslander or a Tasmanian. I’m an Australian and I love being in Australia. That’s the reason why I have always lived here,” Fraser said.
In total the freestyle queen won eight Olympic and eight Commonwealth medals plus set a whopping 39 world records; becoming the first woman to swim the 100m freestyle in less than one-minute.
On the day Fraser described what the honour meant to her; “I rate this as highly as winning my first gold medal,’’ she said.
Dawn Fraser AC was among 1007 Australians to be recognised yesterday for their achievements and service to the community.