A doyenne of Australian swimming, Jan Cameron has posthumously been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (OAM) in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.
The Olympian and beloved national swimming coach received the coveted accolade on Monday morning for her service to swimming, particularly as a coach.
With more than 40 years of coaching nous and high-performance sport to her name, Cameron was not only an inspirational mentor to Australia’s para swimmers, but also a highly successful athlete and coach.
Swimming Australia President John Bertrand AO said Cameron thoroughly deserved this esteemed honour.
“Jan made an enormous contribution to the swimming community as an athlete, coach, mentor and administrator, and we’re thrilled she has received a Member of the Order of Australia – it’s truly deserved,” Bertrand said.
“Throughout her illustrious career Jan instilled wisdom upon others, exuded passion for our sport and inspired everyone she met, especially our para athletes who she worked so closely with as our Para Sport National Mentor Coach. I have no doubt her legacy will live on as they build towards Tokyo 2020.
“Her friends and family, including her son Scott and husband Kevin, should be very proud – she truly was a treasure of our swimming community and has been missed since her sudden passing last year.”
Born in Sydney and the eldest of three children, Cameron’s love of swimming stemmed from an early age. She represented Australia at the 1964 Olympics – where she won a silver medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay alongside Dawn Fraser – and the 1966 Commonwealth Games. Two years later, Cameron began her coaching career at a small New South Wales club in Port Kembla.
After her first Games experience in 1972, where she was selected as the Paralympic team coach, Cameron went on to coach Australia at the 2014 Para Pan Pacific Championships, the 2014 Brazil Open, the 2015 Berlin Open, the 2015 IPC World Championships and the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
In a testament to her talent, dedication and passion, Cameron also travelled with the New Zealand team to the Sydney 2000 Games as an Olympic coach and held the position of Head Coach at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Games.
Following the 2015 IPC World Championships in Glasgow she became only the third Australian woman to gain the highest level of coaching accreditation, after her squad of six swimmers amassed an impressive 10 medals.
Sadly in 2018, after a short battle with illness, Cameron died suddenly on the Sunshine Coast – she was 71.