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australian rowers profiles and history

David A Bean OAM

University of Western Australia Boat Club (WA)

David has made a significant contribution to the sport of rowing through his club, his school, state association and national association.

His work as editor of the Australian Rowing Magazine 1982-87 is memorable for the volume and quality of journalism produced. It is still a reference today some 40 years after publication.

David is a teacher by profession and rose to be Deputy Head Master at Hale School. Quite apart from a distinguished career in education, he coached rowing at that school for 37 years.

The following extract from Come Forward, Uni, the Centenary History of the University of Western Australia Boat Club 1919-2019 by James Wieland provided some further insights into David's services to his Club and the sport:

David Bean, one of the many Scotch College former Captains of Boats to go on to contribute significantly to UWABC, was back from Oxford, where he had been Captain of the OUBC Lightweights, rowed at Henley and stroked the New College First Eight. Now back at UBC, he stroked the junior coxless fours as they came from behind in the final 100m to pip the pre-race favourites, Bunbury, by 1.08 secs, giving him his second championship for the day. It was clear that Bean was back, for while he may have been ploughing his way through Langland's dream visions as a member of UWA's English Department, he was deeply ensconced in the realities of rowing as his coaching load increased at club and state level, and he began to take on responsibilities as publicity officer for the ARAWA. In 1981, he was asked by Berry Durston and John Coates to take on the editorship of Australian Rowing Magazine which he did with distinction until 1987. During his editorship circulation rose from a few hundred to 2000 and, importantly, he injected Western Australian and UWABC rowing into the national discussion. By the late '80s, however, he had been recruited by Dr Ken Tregonning to Hale School and we see him variously as Head of Rowing and a coach for more than 30 years, Director of Curriculum, and distinguished Deputy Headmaster, while continuing to serve the UWABC and rowing in Western Australia in a range of capacities including Vice President of Rowing WA, WAIS' first Rowing Coordinator, and a State coach. A Life Member of the Club, David is a current member of the Boat Club Board.

In January 2024, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to secondary education and to rowing.

The following details come from his award extract:

Hale School 

Deputy Headmaster, until 2023.

Teacher, Literature and English, 1985-2023.

Co-Founder, Indigenous Scholarship Program.

Head of Rowing, 1988-1994, and Coach, 37 years.


Board Member, St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, since 2018.

Board Member, Teach Learn Grow, 2012-2016.

Former Secretary, Western Australian Rhodes Scholar Association and Member on Rotation, Selection Committee, 1988-1996.

Member, Literature Syllabus and Assessment and Grading Committees, Curriculum Council, 1988-1995.

Research Associate / Senior Tutor, English Department, University of Western Australia, 1970s.

Co-Author, The Early Imprints at New Norcia, Western Australian Institute of Technology, 1986.

 University of Western Australia Boat Club

Board Member, since 2010s.

Club Captain, 1975-1976.

Men's Vice Captain, 1972-1975.

Life Member, 2016.

Member, since 1972.

Rowing Western Australia 

Co-Patron, since 2023.

Chair, History and Heritage Committee, current.

Former Director of Coach Development.

Former Publicity Officer.

Board Member, 1980s.

Rowing Australia

Editor, Australian Rowing Magazine, 1982-1987.

Awards and Recognition include:

Excellence in Teaching Award, Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2014.

Andrew Guerin
January 2024


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