On 23 June, Rowing Australia (RA) was delighted to see the launch of the Parliamentary Friends of the Olympic Movement.

Announced on the auspicious Olympic Day, the Parliamentary Friendship Group (PFG) is a bi-partisan forum open to all Senators and Members to promote the values of Olympism in Australia with the underlying objective of raising awareness around the healthy and many other benefits of sport at all levels.

“It’s fantastic to see the work that the Australian Olympic Committee, along with AOC President, and RA Life Member, John Coates, have done in driving the establishment of the PFG. It is also wonderful to see all sides of politics coming together to support the group and its joint ambitions,” said RA CEO, Ian Robson.

“We’re lucky enough to be one of the few Olympic sports to be based in Canberra, so look forward to, when the time is appropriate, engaging with the members of the PFG and further enhance rowing’s cause across the membership and highlighting specifically the benefits our sport brings to communities across our great country.”

Of the some 30 MPs who have joined the group, it is particularly pleasing to see those with rowing venues in their electorate joining the PFG.

Alongside active supporters of rowing, in the form of Sports Minister, Senator Richard Colbeck, and Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester MP, members also include Melissa McIntosh MP (Member for Lindsay – the electorate that the Sydney International Regatta Centre sits within), Steve Georganas MP (Member for Adelaide – the electorate that West Lakes sits within) and Scott Buchholz MP (Member for Wright – the electorate that Wyaralong Dam sits within).

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.


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