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australian rowers profiles and history

Robert (Bob) C Hemery ASM


Bob Hemery was an energetic, innovative and entrepreneurial rowing administrator. He commenced a full life in sports administration from when he left school.

It is argued that he did his best work in his home State of WA where he was able to fund raise, introduce innovations such a regatta control board and boat race official training, and participate fully in both rowing and local Olympic affairs. His term as an administrator was not without controversy as he unafraid to express his views. 

The following extracts from Bill Coopers history of rowing in Western Australia, Home and Dry, published by Rowing WA in 2008 provides some hints of this innovative work.

His fund raising for the 1964 team was impressive organising a Miss Rowing Quest, a lavish King’s Cup Ball and a Ring and Give appeal on Radio Station 6TZ.

The 1971 annual report of ARAWA reported: The long-range plan evolved by Messrs Hemery and Saunders is progressing towards its ultimate aim. [Furthermore, crew-member] Peter Shakespear is the first Western Australia to row in an Olympic Games four-oared crew.

Bob was also heavily involved in the sport of weightlifting, including Board membership of that federation in the years following his rowing administrator career.

He passed away on Tuesday 31st October 2023.

1972 Olympic Rowing Team with Bob Hemery front row, third from the left

Some rowing highlights

1957 - Co-organiser of the Traders and Business Houses Regatta – 13 businesses participated

1957 onwards - AWAWA umpire

1958, 64, 65, 68 - Team manager, WA rowing team

1961-63 – Secretary ARAWA

1962 - Secretary of the Tickets Committee of the 1962 Commonwealth Games and a technical officer for the rowing events

1964 – Co-editor WA Rowing Yearbook

1964 – Co-founder of ARAWA Regatta Control Panel

1965-67, 72 – President ARAWA

1965 – Australian rowing umpire and later a FISA umpire

1965-73 – WA Councillor to Rowing Australia

1967 – Team manager Trans Tasman Series

1968 – Olympic Games, Rowing Section Manager 

1972 – Olympic Games, Rowing Section Manager 

1987 - Life member AWAWA

1990-98 - Chairman of the Australian Rowing Masters Commission

1992-94 – CEO Rowing Australia

2000 - Australian Sports Medal for outstanding service as an official

2001 - Centenary Medal for long service to the community through sports administration and participation

Andrew Guerin
December 2021 (updated November 2023)


1. Home and Dry by Bill Cooper published by Rowing WA in 2008
2. Author’s recollections and notes
3. Notes from Craig James OAM


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