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Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic Movement in Australia launches on Olympic Day 2020

Author imageAOC23 Jun 2020
Amy Jones, John Coates and Matt Carroll at Optus Studios

With Olympic Day being celebrated around the world today, June 23rd, our Federal Parliament has marked the occasion with the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic Movement in Australia.

The Parliamentary Friendship Group (PFG) is a bi-partisan forum open to all Senators and Members which will promote the values of Olympism in Australia.

The objectives of the Group are:
•    to promote, raise awareness of and encourage participation in sport for benefits of health, longevity, fitness, skill, achievement, social interaction, wellbeing and other benefits of exercise for all individuals in Australia;
•    to promote the fundamental principles and values of Olympism in Australia, particularly in the fields of sport, health and education, by promoting Olympic sporting, health and educational programmes in all levels of schools, sports and physical education institutions and universities; and;
•    to recognise the heritage, culture and contribution of our nation’s first people, and to give practical support to the issue of indigenous reconciliation through sport.

The Co-chairs of the group are Bert van Manen MP (Liberal National Party), Federal Member for Forde and Graham Perrett MP (Labor), Federal Member for Moreton. The formation of the Group has been approved by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate.

AOC President John Coates AC welcomed the group, thanking them for their enthusiasm for the important role Olympic sports can play in the Australian community.

“This is a wonderful initiative and we look forward to this group growing into some very special in our Australian Parliament. Sport is such a unifying force for good – through improving the health and wellbeing of Australians, to inspiring our young people to be the very best they can be. 

“With around nine million Australians participating in Olympic sports and the exciting prospect of Australia once again hosting an Olympic Games in 2032, the formation of this Parliamentary Friendship Group tells us that we have much to look forward to, particularly as we emerge from the coronavirus.”

Bert van Manen says the Olympics is the ultimate dream for so many Australian athletes.
“We want to help them realise that dream right here in Australia. Sport unites all Australians and helps to build long lasting relationships and stronger communities which is why I’m such a big supporter of sports in my community of Forde.

“From grassroots community sport to the very elite levels, we are well positioned to do well and compete with the world,” he said. 

Graham Perrett says the Olympic Games send a message to all Australians.

“My top five moments by Australians at the Olympics are: Cathy Freeman lighting the Olympic cauldron then going on to win Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000; Keiren Perkins winning gold in 1996 against all odds; Debbie Flintoff-King winning gold in Seoul in 1988; and, fittingly last but not least, Steven Bradbury, winning  at the Winter Olympics in 2002 - Steven trained at Acacia Ridge in my electorate and his win is what the Olympics is really all about – never giving up.” 

The Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic Movement in Australia was launched via a digital hook-up. Initially, some 30 MPs have joined the group, representing a broad cross-section of the Parliamentary landscape.

Olympic Day is celebrated globally, marking the founding of the modern Olympic Games on this date in 1894, ahead of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896.

Members of the Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic Movement in Australia
Co-ChairMr Bert van Manen MPMember for Forde
Co-ChairMr Graham Perrett MPMember for Morton
Committee MemberSenator Andrew BraggSenator for New South Wales
Committee MemberThe Honourable Don FarrellSenator for South Australia
Committee MemberThe Honourable James McGrathSenator for Queensland
Committee MemberSenator Paul ScarrSenator for Queensland
Committee MemberSenator Amanda StokerSenator for Queensland
Committee MemberSenator David VanSenator for Victoria
Committee MemberSenator Murray WattSenator for Queensland
Committee MemberMr Steve Georganas MPMember for Adelaide
Committee MemberThe Honourable Dr Andrew Leigh MPMember for Fenner
Committee MemberMr David Smith MPMember for Bean
Committee MemberMrs Melissa McIntosh MPMember for Lindsay
Committee MemberDr Katie Allen MPMember for Higgins
Committee MemberMr Luke Gosling OAM MPMember for Solomon
Committee MemberMr Ted O'Brien MPMember for Fairfax
Committee MemberThe Honourable Trevor Evans MPAssistant Minister for Waste Reduction & Environmental Mangement
Committee MemberMr Andrew Wallace MPMember for Fisher
Committee MemberThe Honourable Kevin Andrews MPMember for Menzies
Committee MemberThe Honourable Darren Chester MPDeputy Leader of the House, Minister for Defence Personnel & Veterans' Affairs
Committee MemberMs Angie Bell MPMember for Moncrieff
Committee MemberThe Honourable Julie Collins MPMember for Franklin
Committee MemberMs Maria Vamvakinou MPMember for Calwell
Committee MemberThe Honourable Steve Irons MPAssistant Minister for Vocational Education, Training and Apprenticeships
Committee MemberMr Andrew Laming MPMember for Bowman
Committee MemberMr Terry Young MPMember for Longman
Committee MemberThe Honourable Scott Buchholz MPAssistant Minister for Road Safety & Freight Transport
Committee MemberThe Honourable Shayne Neumann MPMember for Blair
Committee MemberMr Milton Dick MPMember for Oxley
Committee MemberMs Zali Steggall OAM MP OLYMember for Warringah
Committee MemberThe Honourable Richard ColbeckMinister for Youth and Sport, Minister for Aged Care & Senior Australians