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australian rowers profiles and history

Wayne Young

Colleagues Rowing Club and University of New South Wales Boat Club (NSW)

The following is an extract from an April 2009 publication written by crew member Ian Stewart on the 50th anniversary of their Head of the River win in 1959.

Wayne began his Sydney High career in 1955. His name first appeared in sporting reports during 1956 when he  was stroke of the Junior Eight and as  a member of the School’s Fifth XV. During the latter part of that year Wayne continued in rowing and became a member of Dick White’s first Second Four squad. Wayne went on to stroke that crew to a Penrith victory in 1957, using the revolutionary Canadian style which Dick had observed at the Melbourne Olympics. This crew won every race it rowed in the Sydney season but one and capped the year off with a win in the Head of the Northern Rivers race in Grafton. In rugby 1957 saw Wayne advance to the Fourth XV. 

Rowing in 1958 was another successful year for Wayne. Unfortunate injury to the stroke of the Eight, Peter Phillips, led Wayne to move from six to stroke. The crew registered a creditable third at Penrith. In football Wayne advanced to the Third XV, CHS runners-up for 1958.

1959 was Wayne’s year as far as his time at SHS was concerned. Elected School Captain at the beginning of the year, he went on to become Captain of Boats, stroke of the Head of the River VIII and a member of the school’s First XV. At the end of the year he was awarded the Sydney Girls’ High Cup for Sportsmanship and gained a Commonwealth Scholarship at the Leaving Certificate.

After leaving SHS Wayne enrolled in Commerce at UNSW. During his university time he rowed with Colleagues RC and UNSW, under the coaching of Alan Callaway at both venues. He won a University Blue for rowing and rowed in a State representative crew.

After graduation Wayne joined the Australian Diplomatic Corps. After training in Canberra and London he was sent to the Australian Embassy in Vienna where he spent four years as the Assistant Trade Commissioner. There followed a year in Germany at the Australian Embassy.

At this point Wayne sought a major directional change in his life. He left the Department and went to India where he spent time in contemplation and spiritual learning. This sojourn was cut short when he became dangerously ill with hepatitis and was repatriated to Australia where he slowly recovered.

Another directional change occurred when, in 1969, he linked with Peter Shenstone in a venture called Spectrum Research, a psychological research and creative advertising company, with offices in Australia and South-east Asia.. Their organization was instrumental in driving the “It’s Time!” campaign for Gough Whitlam and, arguably, may have tipped the balance in favour of the Labor Party’s election to government in 1972. Advertising work for the Whitlam Government continued but came to an abrupt end with the change to a Coalition Government under Malcolm Fraser.

Since then Wayne, working out of an Australian base in the Byron Bay hinterland, has gone on to be involved, via his company, ’Youngheart Entertainment’, with movie production, starting with “Crocodile Dundee” in 1986. In 1992 an animated feature, “Fern Gully, The Last Rainforest”, won a number of awards There has followed a number of environmentally oriented productions. More recently he has been involved with the Julian Lennon film “Whaledreamers” and John Pilger’s biting documentary “The War on Democracy”.

Ian Stewart
April 2009

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