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australian rowers profiles and history

Craig James OAM

University of Western Australia Boat Club (WA)

Craig is an excellent long serving, senior, volunteer administrator of Australian rowing. There must be something in the DNA of WA rowing administrators as once appointed, they stay the course. Craig has followed the fine example of Berry Durston AM and Bill Cooper OAM, other Western Australian rowing administrators, who provided long and diligent service to all levels of the sport. The sport would be poorer without such key people.

Rowing commenced for Craig at Aquinas College, Perth, where he learned his rowing skills. Immediately following school, he joined the University of Western Australia Boat Club (UWABC) and raced during his undergraduate days. He studied law and went on to practise as a lawyer continuously through to the date of this profile.

Also persisting through to the present day is his administrative work for his club, state association and subsequently serving as WA Councillor at Rowing Australia.

His work at the club and State Association level has been of particular importance. He has attached his name and time to many roles as the list below shows, including those beyond direct involvement in these associations. If ever there was a person who could called "Mr Rowing" in Western Australia in his era, it would be Craig.

If your author can be allowed an indulgence as a fellow umpire, his contribution to umpiring has also been important. Gaining his local umpiring licence in 1978, he then obtained his national licence in 1982 and international licence in 1996. He has umpired at nearly all National Championships from the early 1980s to 2006 and too many local WA regattas to contemplate. Also of note is that he has umpired the highest levels including at World Cups, World Championships and an Olympic Games, and also was the co-author of the revised Rules of Racing in Australia to align with FISA's Rules.

Craig back row third from the left with the 2003 National Championships jury members

His considerable work at club and state levels has resulted in life memberships being granted at both.

A great contribution to the sport of rowing, specifically in Western Australia and in umpiring.

Known rowing record

1966-68 - PSA Head of the River, Aquinas College Head of the River crews
1969-77 - competitor at ARAWA regattas and championships
1970-73 Served as committee member on UWABC Committee, Editor of Uni Oarsman and Treasurer
1972-75 Competitor at Australian Universities Championships
1974- Awarded UWA Half Blue
1974-75 UWABC Captain
1974-1978 UWABC delegate to Rowing WA (RWA) Management Committee
1978 - RWA Boat Race Official’s Licence
1979-2015 Elected member of RWA Executive Committee/Board as Public Relations Officer (2 years), Secretary (10 years), Vice president (5 years) and President (18 years)
1981- 2006 RWA delegate to WA Sports Federation
1982 - Rowing Australia Boat Race Official’s Licence
1983-89 UWABC President
1993-2000 Assisted with establishment of PLC Rowing Program, fundraising for PLC boat shed and coaching novice crews
1995-08 Chair of the WA Sports Lotteries House Management Committee
1995-08 Deputy-President of the WA Sports Federation
1996- FISA (international) Umpire’s Licence
1996 - Elected Life Member – UWABC 
1997 - present RWA delegate to the Rowing Australia Council
1997-2015 - Umpired at World Cups (Lucerne and Bled), World U23 (Strathclyde), World Junior (Trakai,Lithuania), World Masters (Adelaide, Ballarat and Duesberg) & World Championships (Japan)
2001 - Elected Life Member – Rowing WA
2001-03 Assisted with fundraising for UWA Water Sports Complex
1996 - 2005 - Opening of Champion Lakes - lobbyist, fundraiser and negotiator for the International standard rowing course at Champion Lakes
2006 - Award of Merit – WA Sports Federation
2008 - Umpire at Beijing Olympic regatta
2012-present - Member UWABC Board
2016 - Awarded an OAM for services to rowing
2021-22 Working Group delegate to establish the Rowing in Australia Advisory Group

Andrew Guerin
August 2023

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