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Appendix 2: ASC Award recipients

AIS Sport Performance Awards

Female Athlete of the Year

Jessica Fox—Canoeing

Jessica created history in 2018, becoming the most decorated female slalom paddler of all time. She won six straight World Cup races in 21 days in June and remained unbeaten in the C1 category. The 24-year-old then wrapped up the season with double gold in the women’s K1 and C1 at the 2018 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Male Athlete of the Year

Rohan Dennis—Cycling

Rohan became the first Australian man since Cadel Evans in 2009 to hold a world championship title on the road, taking out the Individual Time Trial at the UCI World Championships in Austria. The 28-year-old’s 2018 season included topping the podium in six more time trials including at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.

Award for Leadership

Craig Phillips—Commonwealth Games Australia

Craig has been CEO of Commonwealth Games Australia since July 2015, driving a number of key initiatives for the organisation and its stakeholders. He was a member of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation Board, which helped deliver the successful home games. He continues to contribute to the high performance system and continually works towards the best deal for athletes.

High Performance Program

Cycling Australia

A dominant performance at the Commonwealth Games, including 10 gold medals on the track, was complemented by outstanding performances on the road. A new high performance strategy helped refocus the way Cycling Australia staff and athletes work, with the Australian Cycling Team Podium Potential Track Academy helping riders transition from its high-performance network to the Australian Cycling Team podium program.

Service to Sport

Dick Telford

Dick is a Professorial Fellow at the University of Canberra’s Research Institute for Sport and Exercise (UC-RISE). He is a former Australian Rules footballer and teacher, and was the first sports scientist employed by the AIS. His team at UC-RISE is researching physical literacy through their well-published Australian Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK) Study. Dick is campaigning to get more physical education and physical activity into government schools.

Sport Australia Award

Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings—Athletics

The three Australian 10,000m runners waited at the finish line, five minutes after the race had been won, to cheer on, embrace and congratulate the last-placed athlete, Lineo Chaka of Lesotho, in what became an act of sportsmanship that defined the spirit of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The gesture was described as ‘all class’ and ‘sportsmanship at its best’.

Para Performance of the Year

Simon Patmore—Snowboard

Simon became the first Australian man to medal at Winter and Summer Paralympics. He was also Australia’s first gold medallist at a Winter Paralympics since 2002 when he took gold in the Men’s Snowboard Cross SB-UL at PyeongChang, where he also claimed bronze in the Men’s Banked Slalom SB-UL. He had previously won bronze in the men’s 200m at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Emerging Athlete of the Year

Luke Plapp—Cycling

Luke, 17, medalled in both the UCI World Junior Track and Road Championships in 2018. He also took gold in the Points Race and Madison (with partner Blake Quick) at the U19 Track World Championships and was part of Australia’s bronze-medal Teams Pursuit. On the road, he was second at the U19 World Championships in the Individual Time Trial.

Team of the Year

The Australian Kookaburras—Hockey

The Kookaburras returned to the world No. 1 ranking after winning the elite World League Final in December 2017. They won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, before winning the prestigious Champions Trophy in July, competing against the top six teams in the world. Other titles won were the International Festival of Hockey and Azlan Shah Cup.

Coach of the Year

Myriam Fox—Canoe Slalom

Myriam, a former world champion paddler, is one of the most successful canoe slalom coaches in the world and national coach of Paddle Australia’s highly successful women’s canoe slalom program. All of her athletes achieved career best results across the World Cup series and the world championships across both the women’s K1 as well as the women’s C1 in 2018.

The ABC Sports Personality of the Year Award People’s Choice

Craig Lowndes—Motorsport

A three-time V8 Supercar champion and five-time Barry Sheene Medallist, Craig added a seventh Bathurst 1000 victory to his already-bulging CV before retiring at season’s end. Craig took the lead on lap 135 of 161, and—with partner Steven Richards—eventually won by six seconds in race-record time.

Sporting Moment of the Year People’s Choice

Kurt Fearnley and Para-sport integration—Commonwealth Games

Para sports provided numerous highlights from the first Commonwealth Games to boast a fully-integrated program, yet nothing surpassed the inspiration of Kurt, when the seven‑time world champion added T54 wheelchair marathon gold to his 1500m silver. Kurt described the Commonwealth Games as ‘the most inclusive event that our nation has ever hosted’.

ASC Media Awards

The 16th annual ASC Media Awards were held in Melbourne on 7 February 2019, recognising excellence in sports journalism and broadcasting and the role of the media in connecting Australians with sport. The awards focus on analytical and insightful reporting and the presentation of sport and sporting issues, with the ultimate aim of fostering improved coverage of key issues within sport.

Fourteen awards were presented, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Table 19: ASC Media Awards recipients


2018 Winner

Lifetime achievement award for contribution to sports journalism

Dennis Cometti

Best reporting of an issue in sport

Leo Schlink, The Herald Sun

Best coverage of sport by an individual – broadcast

Lucy Zelic SBS

Best coverage of sport by an individual – print media

Andrew Webster, The Sydney Morning Herald

Best coverage of sport by an individual – digital media

Michael Chammas, NRL.com

Best coverage of a sporting event by a media organisation

Seven Network, Commonwealth Games 2018

Best coverage of sport for people with disability

Matthew Carmichael, Seven Network

Best coverage of inclusive sport

The Outer Sanctum Podcast, ABC

Best profiling of an athlete, team or coach – broadcast media

Andy Maher, SEN Afternoons

Best profiling of an athlete, team or coach – print media

Will Swanton, The Australian

Best sports journalism from rural, regional or suburban media

Mackenzie Colahan, Central and North Burnett Times

Best sports photography

Ryan Pierse, Getty Images

Best contribution to sport by an organisation through digital media


Best analysis of the business of sport

John Stensholt, Max Mason, The Australian Financial Review