Nine new inductees were announced into Australia's most prestigious sporting club, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, on Thursday, 13 October, including Paralympic Movement pioneer Sir George Bedbrook.
A spinal injury innovator and advocate, Bedbrook led the first Australian team for athletes with a disability to the 1957 Stoke Mandeville Games, the forerunner to the Paralympic Games.
He was also one of the leading figures in helping start the Commonwealth Paraplegic Games, held for the first time in Perth in 1962, and served in various leadership roles in taking Australian teams abroad to major events including the Paralympics.
“Australia’s Paralympic history is filled with exceptional people who have made extraordinary contributions to the growth of our Movement and Sir George Bedbrook is right at the top of the list," said Paralympics Australia Chief Executive Catherine Clark.
“Through his medical and administrative expertise, his humanity and sheer determination, Sir George established Australia’s first spinal injury unit and realised the potential of using sport to aid rehabilitation. It was a revolutionary step forward in the way people with spinal injuries were perceived. It paved the way for our nation’s participation at the first Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960 in which Sir George played a key role and set in motion the journey towards the wonderfully diverse and inclusive Paralympic Movement we treasure today.
“Sir George was an inaugural inductee to the Australian Paralympic Hall of Fame and I’m so pleased and grateful he is now a member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.”
In addition to Bedbrook, the 2022 inductees into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame include former Australian netball captain and multiple Commonwealth Games medallist Catherine Cox, former Australian Rugby League captain Brad Fittler, four-time Olympic Games softball medallist Tanya Harding, triple Commonwealth Games ten-pin bowling gold medallist Cara Honeychurch, former Australian basketball coach Dr Adrian Hurley, two-time Brownlow medallist and six-time AFL All-Australian Chris Judd, winner of 41 LPGA tour titles and two-time LPGA player of the year award winner Karrie Webb, and Mark Webber, who broke the 28-year winning drought for Australian drivers in Formula One.
The new inductees will be honoured in a television special, "Sport Australia Hall of Fame - Heroes and Legends" on Thursday, 8 December on the Seven Network.
Induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame is done through nominations, which can be submitted by anyone via its official website. Each year the Selection Committee picks the newest Hall of Famers to join their fellow top echelon of Australian leaders.