Aussie Sports Stars in Politics
Politics is not for everyone but numerous Australian sports stars have made the jump from the field to Parliament with some success.
Dawn Fraser is considered one of the greatest Olympians of all time and moved into politics after retiring. In 1988, she was elected as an Independent to represent the seat of Balmain in the New South Wales Parliament. She held the seat until it was abolished in 1991.
Athletics great Ron Clarke officially set 17 world records over his career on the track before becoming the Mayor of the Gold Coast, Queensland, for two terms. He held the position from 2004 to 2012.
Kirstie Marshall had a massively successful career in aerial skiing. Representing Australia, she won 17 World Cup gold medals and attended 3 winter Olympics. In 2002 she was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Victorian Legislative Assembly for the Australian Labor Party. She was famously was ejected from the lower house chamber for breastfeeding her 11-month-old baby.
Justin Madden played for Carlton in the AFL for many years before his surprise nomination as a Labor candidate in the 1999 Victorian state election for the seat of Doutta Galla. When Labor won the election he was appointed Minister for Sport and Recreation.
Before he became a member of the Australian Liberal Party, John Alexander was a star tennis player. He was one of the longest serving Davis Cup players, representing Australia from 1968 to 1983. Jumping over to politics he won the key seat of Bennelong in 2010, taking it back for the Coalition.
Nova Peris played for the Hockeyroos at the 1996 Olympics and subsequently became the first Indigenous woman to win an Olympic gold medal. She then switched events, picking up gold in the 200m and 4x100m relay at the 1998 Commonwealth Games before competing in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. In 2013, she became Australia’s first Indigenous woman to be elected into federal parliament.
Matt Cowdrey is Australia's greatest Paralympian, swimming his way to 13 gold medals and 23 medals in total, incredibly from just three Paralympic campaigns. He also claimed numerous world records before retiring in 2015.
Cowdrey has been preselected by the South Australian Liberal Party for the seat of Colton, ahead of the state election in March 2018. Subscribe to PickStar's Off-Field podcast to hear Matt's exclusive interview as soon as it is released (coming soon).
Star athletes who transition to politics and business are available to share their insights and stories. Book now through PickStar, Australia's largest marketplace to book sports stars for any event, campaign or experience. Find out more.
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