Swimming champion Dawn Fraser is an icon to many Australians. Known for her 'larrikin character' Dawn Fraser's sporting accomplishments are never likely to be repeated.
At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics she became an Australian national hero and a world swimming star, winning the 100-metre Freestyle gold medal in world record time, as well as taking gold in the 100-metres Freestyle relay and silver in the 400-metres Freestyle. Dawn won two more gold medals at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales, and the 100 metres Freestyle gold at the Rome Olympics in 1960. After winning four gold medals at the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, Dawn finished her international swimming career at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964 silencing her critics by winning a gold medal in the 100-metres Freestyle at the age of 27.
In 1998 Dawn was included as one of Australia’s National Living Treasures. In 1999, she was awarded Athlete of the Century at the World Sport Awards and awarded Athlete of the Century by the Sporting Hall of Fame. In the same year she received an Order of Australia for ‘service to the community, particularly as a sports consultant and administrator, and through organisations for people with disabilities, and to the environment.’ She was a torchbearer in the Opening Ceremony at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and she remains one of Australia's best-loved identities.
Dawn has since maintained an active role in the sporting and wider community as a member of the Cerebral Palsy Sports Association, a Patron of the Wheelchair Sports Association of Victoria and Vice President of the World Association of Olympic Winners, while continuing to support sporting clubs across the country. She is a member of the NSW Sports Advisory Board and the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and is a Director of the Wests Tigers Football Club and Balmain Leagues Club.
Dawn was one of the contestants in the 2005 season of the Seven Network's Dancing with the Stars and her profile has once again been raised, as a competitor on the 2013 season of Australia's Celebrity Apprentice.