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Rowing Australia Inc History

History of Rowing Australia

The Original Men’s Council

Members of the original Men's Council:

  • TAS: Erskine C Watchorn, President
  • VIC: Edward Kenny, Hon Sec-Treasurer
  • NSW: S A Maxwell
  • SA: J P Marcus
  • WA: R S Jeffreys
  • QLD: Joined the Council in 1926
  • ACT: Joined the Council in 1995

For most of the Council's early years, its business was mostly the conduct of the Interstate Championships. The activity of the organisation grew in the 1950s and 1960s with greater international competition and the commencement of national championships in 1962. However even in 1964, the activity was low by modern standards. The financial report of the 1963-64 year shows income of £150 of affiliation fees and £18 of interest. Expenditure was £126 comprising affiliation fees to FISA and AOF, typing expenses and trophies for the Interstate events. The Council was run of course solely by volunteers at that stage.

It was not until the mid to late 1970s that the activity of the Council grew enormously. The work of the President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer was extensive. This arose with the responsibility for national teams, to the AOF, to FISA, to government arising from funding flowing to sport and the employment of a coaching director. Eventually the activity was too much for volunteers to handle and the Council sought professional administrative support. Today the business of Rowing Australia is large and has an extensive staff to manage it.

The structure of the Council was forced to change to meet the demands of the sport. No longer did the Council meet once or twice a year and let the President, Secretary and Treasurer run the operation between meetings. An executive board of volunteers was created in 1990 to better manage the sport and spread the workload. Only once in 1995 did the transition to professional administration falter when financial issues almost left the association in liquidation. However the strength of the sport and of those involved overcame the issues and within months in 1996, we were the most successful rowing nation in the world.

Whilst there can be some criticism of the administration from time to time, it is clear that this sport has been well served by its administrators and has been well ahead of its peers both locally and internationally. In the past 25 years, the results speak for themselves. The sport has excelled internationally, it has developed and kept quality administrators such as John Coates and John Boultbee, it has imported key people such as Reinhold Batschi to develop training techniques, professionalism, coaches and coaching education, it has created some of the world's best rowing courses, it has created many rowing courses, it has gained access to the AIS and State Institutes, it has made the difficult transition to professional administration, it has gained the confidence of federal Government and the Australian Olympic Committee, it has high quality coaches throughout the land and it has consistently maintained a pool of high quality athletes throughout the land.

John Coates as Honourary Secretary of AARC

John Coates in 1978

Reinhold Batschi

Reinhold Batschi in 1979

Office Bearers and Councillors for the Men's then the Combined Association

(Unfortunately we have been unable to locate sufficient Women's Association records to record all their office bearers. The available details are listed separately.)

Prior to 1975, the Councillor of the host State of the Men’s Interstate Championships was the AARC President for that year. From 1975 an elected Chairman position was created and the position of President continued. In 1984 the Chairman and Presidency merged into the one position.
Robert R Aitken, MBE (1975-1979) Victoria
Berry H Durston (1979-1983) Western Australia
John D Coates AM (1983-1988) New South Wales
Reginald N McKay (1989-1994) Victoria
Islay R Lee (1994-1996) New South Wales
Stephen Hinchy (1996-2000) Queensland
Patrick McNamara (2000-……) Victoria

Robert Aitken

R R Aitken
President 1975-79

Berry Durston

Berry Durston
President 1979-83

Honorary Secretaries *
Edward Kenny (1925-1956) Victoria
Norman W Cairnes (1956-1959) Victoria
Reginald G Blundstone, OBE (1959-1974) Tasmania
Jack Pritchard (1974-1978) Queensland
John D Coates AO (1978-1982) New South Wales
John F Boultbee AM (1982-1989) New South Wales
Margot E Foster (1989-1991) Victoria
* Position abolished 1991

Edward Kenny

Edward Kenny
Secretary 1925-56

John Boultbee

John Boultbee
Secretary 1982-89


Chief Executive Officers *
Colin Rawson (1984-1986)
Robin Poke (1987-1992)
Robert Hemery (1992-1994)
David Schier OAM (1994-1996)
Darren Peters (1997-2002)
Andrew Dee (2003-……)
* Position created 1991. Similar previous positions were held by the named incumbents prior to that date.


Members - Executive Board
Reginald McKay (Chairman 1991-1994)
Islay Lee (Chairman 1994-1996)
Stephen Hinchy (Chairman 1996-2000)
Patrick McNamara (Chairman 2000-…)
Bryan Draper OAM (1990-1992)
Ray Hammon (1992-1994)
Roger Moore (1992-1994)
Robert Bleakley (1993-1996)
Jon Lanning (1994-1996)
Jeff Sykes (1996-1998)
David Sollom (1996-1998)
Keith Jameson (1996-1998)
Robert Pennington (1996-1999)
James Galloway (1996-1997)
Sam Patten (1996-1997)
Peter Murphy (1998)
Stephen Mill (1998-2000)
Wil Liley (1998-2000)
Colin Smith (1998-2000)
Charles Barlett (1999-2000)
David Williams (1999-2002)
Patrick McNamara (2000-……)
Richard Paterson (2000-2002)
Peter Crawford (2000-……)
Shirley Stokes (2000-2002)
Colin Smith (2002-……)
David Pincus (2002-……)
John Boultbee AM (2002-……)
Stephen Loader (2002)
Kate Allen (nee Slatter) (2002-……)


Honorary Treasurers *
Edward Kenny (1925-1956) Victoria
C E James (1956-1959) Victoria
Reginald G Blundstone, OBE (1959-1971) Tasmania
Laurie E Stepto, OAM (1971-1977) New South Wales
Noel F Wilkinson, OAM, BEM (1977-1990) Victoria
Jon V Lanning (1990-1991) New South Wales
* Treasurer renamed Director of Finance 1991

Laurie Stepto

Laurie Stepto
Treasurer 1971-77

Noel Wilkinson

Noel Wilkinson
Treasurer 1977-90


Directors of Finance
Jon V Lanning (1991)
Ray F Hammon (1991-1994)
H James Lowe (1994-1995)
Keith Jameson (1996-1998)
Stephen Mill (1998-2000)
Peter Crawford (2002-……)


High Performance Directors
Simon M Gillett (1994-1995)
Reinhold Batschi, OAM (1995-1996)
Brian Richardson (1997-2000)
(Men’s) Noel Donaldson (2001-2004)
(Women’s) Harald Jahrling (2001-2004)*
Noel Donaldson (2004- )
*Position became High Performance Director in 2004. Prior to that time the position was Head Coach.


Life Members
Noel Wilkinson, OAM, BEM (1992) Deceased
Robert R Aitken, MBE (1993) Deceased
John D Coates, AO (1993)
Berry H Durston, AM (1993)
Stephen Hinchy, OAM (2000)
John Boultbee, AM (2001)


New South Wales Councillors
S A Maxwell (1925-1926)
Sir Harold Alderson. Kt., MBE (1927-1972)
Laurie E Stepto, OAM (1972-1979)
Ian B Mitchell (1979-1984)
Don G Croot (1984-1988)
Jon V Lanning (1989-1990)
Anthony J Brown (1990-1995)
Charles Watson (1995-1996)
Stewart Derwin (1996-2002)
William Webb (2002-2004)


Western Australia Councillors
R S Jeffreys (1925-1962)
J F Howson, OBE (1962-1965)
Robert C Hemery (1965-1973)
Joe Saunders (1973-1974)
Berry H Durston (1974-1979)
William S Cooper (1979-1989)
Berry H Durston (1990-2002)
Craig James (2002-……)


Tasmania Councillors
Erskine C Watchorn (1925-1935)
E T Bessell (1935-1948)
Jack R Berkery (1948-1964)
S C Hammond (1964-1967)
Douglas F Clark (1968-1969)
A S Hay (1969-1976)
Douglas F Clark (1979-1979)
M J Williams (1979-1982)
David E Rattray (1982-1984)
David Schier, OAM (1984-1994)
David Williams (1994-1999)
Jack Ellings (1999-2003)
Rod Dolbell (2003-……)


Queensland Councillors
GR Howard Gill, OBE (1926-1930)
D T Beatson (1930-1932)
R T Delaney (1932-1934)
F K Poulgrain (1934-1946)
James J Delahunty (1946-1951)
Robert G Longmore (1951-1963)
G R Howard Gill, OBE (1964-1972)
Jack Pritchard (1972-1974)
John Dowrie (1974-1978)
Jack Pritchard (1978-1986)
Stephen Hinchy, OAM (1987-1993)
Ray Ebert (1993-1994)
Bruce Greenland (1994-1997)
Peter Huggett (1997-1998)
Chris Grummitt (1998-……)


Victoria Councillors
Edward Kenny (1925-1956)
Michael S Williams (1956-1959)
Robert R Aitken, MBE (1959-1964)
Norman W Cairnes (1964-1970)
Alec McLeish (1970-1976)
G Harvey Nicholson (1976-1982)
Reginald N McKay (1982-1989)
Graeme McCall (1989-1991)
Ray Hammon (1991)
Andrew Guerin (1991-1996)
Charles Bartlett (1996-1998)
David Pincus (1999-2002)
Sam Golding (2002-2003)
David Deeble (2003- )


South Australia Councillors
J P Marcus (1925-1934)
Frank R Forgan (1934-1935)
F J Button (1935-1937)
Rex H Wallman (1937-1958)
Keith B Forwood (1958-1962)
Alan Southcott (1962-1973)
Graham Coldwell (1973-1974)
Dean E Clayton (1974-1979)
Colin T Williams (1979-1986)
Ian W Russell (1987-1989)
Bryan Draper, OAM (1989-1991)
Michael P Eastaughffe (1991)
Roger Moore (1991-1992)
Michael Eastaughffe (1992-……)


Australian Capital Territory Councillors
David Butt (1995-1996)
Ron Dempsey (1996-1998)
Adair Ferguson (1998-1999)
Ron Dempsey (1999-2000)
Peter Macartney (2001-2002)
Brendan Prout (2002-……)


Principal Medical Officers
Dr William Webb (1982-2004)
Dr Dennis Burke 2004- )
Robert Aitken (men) (1963-72)
Edward Curtain (men) (1963-64)
J F Howson (men) (1963-64)
Phillip Cayzer (men) (1965-66)
William Wallace (men) (1965-69)
Maurice Grace (men) (1967-76)
Lindsay Southcott (men) (1970-72)
Joe Saunders (men) (1973-76)
Jim Howden (men) (1973-80)
R Goldie (women) (1976)
R Morrison (women) (1976)
L Renouf (women) (1976)
Alan Callaway (men) (1977)
Bruce Evans (men & women) (1978-81)
Roger Moore (men & women) (1978-80)
Reinhold Batschi (men & women) (1981-88)
Don Croot (men & women) (1981-88)
William Hay (men & women) (1981-88)
Islay Lee (men & women) (1981-82)
Simon Gillett (men & women) (1983-88, 1994-95)
David Yates (men & women) (1989-93, 1996- )
Dennis Hatcher (men & women) (1989-93
David Poulson (men & women) (1989-93)
Graeme Jones (men & women) (1996-20)
Charles Bartlett (men) (2001- )
Noel Donaldson (men) (2001- )
Barbara Fenner (women) (2001- )
Harald Jahrling (women) (2001-04)

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