At Athens 2004, Alice Mills, Libby Lenton (now Trickett), Petria Thomas and Jodie Henry won the 4 x 100 metres freestyle relay for Australia for the first time since the Dawn Fraser-led team won at Melbourne 1956. Mills also swam in the 200 metres individual medley, the 4 x 200 metres relay and the freestyle leg in the heat of the gold medal-winning medley relay. In winning the medley relay, Australia became the only nation other than the United States and East Germany to collect the gold medal in the event.
Four years later at Beijing 2008, Mills and Trickett, from Athens, joined with Cate Campbell and Melanie Schlanger to claim the bronze medal, behind Holland and the United States, in the 4 x 100 metres relay. Dara Torres, for the United States, was swimming in her fifth Olympic final in the event with her first being at Los Angeles 1984, eight years before Cate Campbell was born. At the 2003 world championships, Mills won silver medals in the 50 metres freestyle, the 200 metres individual medley and the 4 x 200 metres relay as well as a bronze medal in the shorter freestyle relay.