Australian Institute of Sport Awards

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) was opened in 1981. AIS Sports Star of the Year (later named AIS Athlete of the Year) was first established in 1983/84 with the first winner being swimmer Karen Phillips.[1] In 1995, AIS Junior Athlete of the Year was established. Other major awards include AIS Team of The Year, AIS Coach of the Year and AIS Program of the Year.[2] Other awards included: Sport Achievement Awards, Vocation Awards and Education Awards. There were several memorial scholarship awards that recognise the contribution of deceased AIS athletes, coaches and administrators - Brent Harding Memorial Award for Swimming, Nathan Meade Memorial Award for Diving, Gary Knoke Memorial Award for Athletics, Darren Smith Memorial Award for Road Cycling, Ben Mitchell Medal for AFL and Bob Staunton Memorial Award for Basketball.[2]

The awards were broadened in 2013 to include Direct Athlete Assistance recipients as well as AIS scholarship holders as part of the AIS Winning Edge Strategy.[3] The awards were renamed the AIS Sport Performance Awards (ASPAs) in 2014 with several new awards - Sport Personality of the Year, Para Performance of the Year, Community Club Award and Volunteer/Administrator Award.[4] In 2019, two awards - Sport Personality of the Year and Sporting Moment of the Year are decided by public vote.[4] [5]

AIS Best of the Best

In 2002 as part of the AIS 21st birthday celebrations, 21 athletes were inducted into the AIS 'Best of the Best' hall of Fame. In 2006, four athletes were added and in 2011 another five athletes.

Year Athletes
2002 Alisa Camplin (Freestyle skiing), Robert De Castella (Athletics), John Eales (Rugby Union), Simon Fairweather (Archery), Neil Fuller (Paralympic Athletics), Bridgette Gusterson (Water Polo), Rechelle Hawkes (Hockey), Shane Kelly (Cycling), Luc Longley (Basketball), Michelle Martin (Squash), Glenn McGrath (Cricket), Michael Klim (Swimming), Michael Milton (Paralympic Skiing), Clint Robinson (Canoeing), Louise Sauvage (Paralympic Athletics), Kate Slatter (Rowing), Zali Steggall (Alpine skiing), Petria Thomas (Swimming), Mark Viduka (Soccer), Vicki Wilson (Netball), Todd Woodbridge (Tennis)
2006 Kerry Saxby-Junna (Athletics), Lauren Jackson (Basketball), Chantelle Newbery (Diving)
2011 Jamie Dwyer (Hockey), Anna Meares (Cycling), Malcolm Page (Sailing), Ricky Ponting (Cricket) and Matthew Cowdrey (Paralympic Swimming)[6][7]
  • Stuart O'Grady was inducted in 2006 but this was indefinely suspended on 31 July 2013 due to an admission of doping.[8]

AIS Male Athlete of The Year

Year Athlete
2015 Jason Day (Golf)[9]
2016 Kyle Chalmers (Swimming)[10]
2017 Scotty James (Snowboarding)[11]
2018 Rohan Dennis (Cycling)
2019 Scotty James (Snowboarding)

AIS Female Athlete of the Year

Year Athlete
2015 Emily Seebohm (Swimming)[9]
2016 Kim Brennan (Rowing)[10]
2017 Sally Pearson (Athletics)[11]
2018 Jessica Fox (Slalom canoeing)
2019 Ash Barty (Tennis)

AIS Emerging Athlete of the Year

This award recognises a talented junior athletes performances during the year. Previously AIS Junior Athlete of the Year.

Year Athlete
1995 World Junior Men's Basketball Silver Medallists -
Frank Drimic, Scott McGregor, Phil Doherty, Brad McKinnon
1996 Victoria Roberts (Netball)
1997 Michael Rogers (Cycling)
1998 Lauren Jackson (Basketball)
1999 Lauren Jackson (Basketball)
Ben Kersten (Track Cycling)
Jobie Dajka (Track Cycling)
2000 Siobhan Paton (Paralympic Swimming)
2001 Luke Schenscher (Basketball)
2002 Todd Reid (Tennis)
2003 David Barnes (Archery)
2004 Tim Cuddihy (Archery)
2005 Renae Camino (Basketball)
2006 Robert Crowther (Athletics)
2007 Gemma Beadsworth (Water Polo)
2008 Evan O'Hanlon (Paralympic Athletics)
2009 Jack Bobridge (Track Cycling)
Amy Steel (Netball)
2010 Lauren Mitchell (Gymnastics)
2011 Luke Durbridge (Track Cycling)
2012 Sam Willoughby (BMX Cycling)[12]
2013 Dante Exum (Basketball)[13]
2014 Amy Cure (Track cycling)[4]
2015 Ben Simmons (Basketball)[9]
2016 Curtis Luck (Golf)[10]
2017 Kelland O'Brien (Cycling)[11]
2018 Luke Plapp (Cycling)
2019 Amy Lawton (Hockey)


AIS Team of the Year

Year Team
2000 Australian Women's Water Polo Team (Stingers)
2001 Women's Coxless Four (Rowing)-
Victoria Roberts, Jane Robinson, Jo Lutz & Julia Wilson
2002 Darren Bundock & John Forbes (Sailing)
2003 Australian Women's Quad Scull (Rowing)-
Amber Bradley, Dana Faletic, Kerry Hore, Jane Robinson
2004 Australian Men's Hockey Team (Kookaburras)
2005 Malcolm Page & Nathan Wilmot (Sailing)
2006 Australian Women's Water Polo Team (Stingers)
2007 Malcolm Page & Nathan Wilmot (Sailing)
2008 Nathan Wilmot & Malcolm Page (Sailing)
Elise Rechichi & Tessa Parkinson (Sailing)
2009 Nathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen (Sailing)
2010 Australian Men's Hockey Team (Kookaburras)
2011 Women's Team Sprint Team - Anna Meares & Kaarle McCulloch
2012 Men's K4 1000 (Flatwater Canoeing) -
Jacob Clear, David Smith, Tate Smith, Murray Stewart[12]
2013 Mathew Belcher & Will Ryan (Sailing)[13]
2014 Australian Men's Hockey Team (Kookaburras)[4]
2015 Australian Diamonds (Netball) and Women's Team Pursuit (Cycling)[9]
2016 Australian Women's Sevens Rugby[10]
2017 Australian Freestyle Skiing and Snowboard (Winter Sport)[11]
2018 Australian Men's Hockey Team (Kookaburras)
2019 Mathew Belcher & Will Ryan (Sailing)


AIS Coach of the Year

Year coach
2002 Martin Barras (Track Cycling)
2003 Lyall McCarthy (Rowing)
2004 Martin Barras (Track Cycling)
2005 Lyall McCarthy (Rowing)
2006 Greg McFadden (Women's Water Polo)
2007 Craig Hilliard (Athletics)
2008 Victor Kovalenko (Sailing)
2009 Craig Walton (Triathlon)
2010 Richard Charlesworth (Hockey)
2011 Ben Wordsworth (Snowboarding)
2012 Australian Sailing Team Coaching Group[12]
2013 Simon Cusack (Swimming)[13]
2014 Lisa Alexander (Netball)[4]
2015 Michael Bohl (Swimming)[9]
2016 Michael Blackburn (Sailing)[10]
2017 Alen Stajcic (Soccer)[11]
2018 Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi (Slalom canoeing)
2019 Michael Blackburn (Sailing)


ABC Sport Personality of the Year

Voted for by the general public.

Year Athlete
2014 Kurt Fearnley (Paralympic athletics)[4]
2015 David Pocock (Rugby union)[9]
2016 Chloe Esposito (Modern Pentathlon)[10]
2017 Sam Kerr (Soccer)[11]
2018 Craig Lowndes (Motor sport)
2019 Ash Barty (Tennis)

Team of the Year

Voted for by the general public.

Year Athlete
2015 Australian Diamonds (Netball)[9]
2016 Western Bulldogs (Australian rules football)
2017 Matildas (Soccer)[11]
2018 No award
2019 No award

ABC Best Sporting Moment of The Year

Voted for by the media. Previously called Sport Performance of the Year Award.

Year Athlete
2013 Alex Pullin (Snowboarding)[13]
2014 South Sydney Rabbitohs (Rugby league)[4]
2015 Michelle Payne (Horse racing)[9]
2016 Kyle Chalmers (Swimming)[10]
2017 Jeff Horn (Boxing)[11]
2018 Kurt Fearnley (Para athletics) and para-sport integration
at 2018 Commonwealth Games
2019 Ash Barty (Tennis) winning 2019 French Open

AIS Para Performance of the Year

Year Athlete
2014 Australian Para Rugby Team (Steelers)[4]
2015 Alistair Donohue (Cycling)[9]
2016 Australian Steelers (Wheelchair rugby)[10]
2017 Mitchell Gourley (Alpine skiing)[11]
2018 Simon Patmore (Snowboarding)

Discontinued and replaced by Male and Famle Para-athlete of ther Year

Male Para-athlete of the Year

Year Athlete
2019 Curtis McGrath (Para- canoe)

Female Para-athlete of the Year

Year Athlete
2019 Melissa Perrine (Para-skiing)

High Performance Program of the Year

Year Athlete
2018 Australian Cycling Program
2019 Rowing Australia High Performance Program

AIS Leadership Award

Year Person
2013 Geoff Lipshut Olympic Winter Institute of Australia[13]
2014 Damien Marangon (Shooting) and Kate Palmer (Netball Australia)[4]
2015 Mark Anderson (Swimming Australia)[9]
2016 Kate McLoughlin (Australian Paralympic Committee)[10]
2017 Susan Alberti (Australian rules football)[11]
2018 Craig Phillips (Commonwealth Games Australia)
2019 Lynne Anderson (Paralympics Australia)

Sport Australia Award

Award highlighting integrity and sportsmanship in Australian sport.

Year Person
2018 Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills, Eloise Wellings who waited at the finish to cheer on the last-placed athlete, Lineo Chaka in the 10000m at 2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Queensland
2019 Hockeyroos in match against Belgium

Athlete Community Engagement Award

Year Person
2019 Jenna O'Hea involved in creating WNBL’s “Lifeline Round”

AIS World's Best Award

This award may not be awarded annually.

Year Person
2014 Ric Charlesworth, Australian Hockey Coach[15]
2016 Gary West, Australian Track Cycling Coach[10]

AIS Service Award

This award may not be awarded annually.

Year Person
2016 Danielle Woodward (Canoeing)[10]
2017 Glenn Tasker (Swimming/Paralympic sport)[11]
2018 Dick Telford (Sports science / Athletics)
2019 Tim Oberg (parkrun Australia) and Robyn Smith (Sport Inclusion Australia)

Discontinued Awards

AIS Athlete of the Year

Replaced in 2015 by Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

Year Athlete
1983/84 Karen Phillips (Swimming)
1984/85 Michele Pearson (Swimming)
1985/86 James Galloway (Rowing)
1986/87 Kerry Saxby (Athletics)
1988/89 Kerry Saxby (Athletics)
1989 Kerry Saxby (Athletics)
1990 Steve McGlede (Track Cycling)
1991 Linley Frame (Swimming)
1992 Clint Robinson (Flatwater Canoeing)
1993 World Junior Female Basketball Team
Men's Track Cycling Pursuit Team
1994 Australian Women's Hockey Team
1995 Shane Kelly (Track cycling)
1996 Megan Still & Kate Slatter (Rowing)
1997 Louise Sauvage (Paralympic Athletics)
1998 Michael Klim (Swimming)
1999 Michael Klim (Swimming)
2000 Simon Fairweather (Archery)
2001 Petria Thomas (Swimming) & Philippe Rizzo (Gymnastics)
2002 Petria Thomas (Swimming)
2003 Nathan Baggaley (Canoeing)
2004 Petria Thomas (Swimming) & Ryan Bayley (Track Cycling)
2005 Peter Robinson (Triathlon) & Robin Bell (Slalom Canoeing)
2006 Philippe Rizzo (Gymnastics)
2007 Nathan Deakes (Athletics) & Anna Meares (Track Cycling)
2008 Ken Wallace (Flatwater canoeing) & Heath Francis (Paralympic Athletics)
2009 Brenton Rickard (Swimming) & Emma Moffatt (Triathlon)
2010 Lydia Lassila (Freestyle Skiing)
2011 Anna Meares (Track cycling)
2012 Alicia Coutts (Swimming) & Tom Slingsby (Sailing)[12]
2013 Caroline Buchanan (Cycling) and Kim Crow (Rowing)[13]
2014 Jessica Fox (Slalom canoeing)[4]


AIS Program of the Year

Discontinued as AIS no longer operates sports scholarship programs.

Year coach
2003 AIS Diving
2004 AIS Diving
2005 AIS Triathlon
2006 AIS/South Men's U23 Road Cycling
2007 AIS Sailing
2008 Australian/AIS Sailing Team
2009 AIS Under-23 Track Endurance/Road Cycling
2010 AIS Sailing
2011 AIS Track Cycling
2012 Australian Sailing Team Coaching Group[12]

AIS Volunteer/Administrator Award

Year Person
2014 Bridie Galea[4]

AIS Community Club Award

Year Person
2014 Wynyard Yacht Club[4]


AIS Award - ACT Sports Star of the Year

From 1984 to 2013, ACTSPORT included an AIS Athlete of the Year for athletes on scholarship at the AIS Canberra campus.

See also


  1. Daly, John (1991). Quest for Excellence : the Australian Institute of Sport. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. pp. 231–234. ISBN 0644136723.
  2. "Australian Institute of Sport Awards". Australian Sports Commission website. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  3. "Buchanan and Crow share athlete of the year honours". AIS News, 14 November 2013. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  4. "Rabbitohs, Fearnley, Fox win top ASPAS". Australian Sports Commission News, 11 February 2015. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  5. "Barty Party continues at the AIS Awards". Sport Australia. 10 December 2019. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  6. "Minister announces Australian Institute of Sport's 'Best of the Best' athletes". Australian Sports Commission News, 4 November 2011. Archived from the original on 27 June 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  7. Nihill, Grant (2006). Australian Institute of Sport : Celebrating Excellence. Sydney: Focus Publishing. ISBN 1921156163.
  8. "O'Grady suspended from AIS 'Best of the Best,". Australian Sports Commission News, 31 July 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-08-05. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. "Diamonds shine and Pocock popular as AIS award winners revealed". Australian Spoirts Commission website. Retrieved 1 March 2016.
  10. "Chalmers claims two AIS awards to complete fairy tale year". Australian Sports Commission website. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  11. "Matildas and Kerr Australia's fan favourites at AIS awards". Australian Sports Commission website. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  12. Dutton, Chris (17 November 2012). "Slingsby shares top gong with Coutts". Canberra Times. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  13. Gaskin, Lee (15 November 2013). "Caroline Buchanan and Kim Crow dominate AIS awards". Canberra Times. Archived from the original on 16 November 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  14. "AIS Awards 2008". Australian Sports Commission Website - Pandora Archive. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  15. Polkinghorne, David (12 November 2014). "Charlesworth to help build road to Rio". Canberra Times. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
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