Cathy Freeman

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Olympic Legend, Founder of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, Keynote Speaker

Cathy Freeman is an Australian Indigenous Olympic champion and holds Legend Status in The Sport Australia Hall of Fame.  A proud Kuku Yalanji woman, the many firsts she has achieved for Australia have made her a household name.

Cathy was Australia’s first Aboriginal woman to win a gold medal at an international athletics event and the first Australian Aboriginal to compete at the Olympics. Additionally, Cathy was also the first person to win both the Young Australian of the Year (1991) and the Australian of the Year (1998).

Now retired from sports, Cathy Freeman devotes her time to causes she is passionate about, most notably Aboriginal issues and is the founder of the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

More about Cathy Freeman:

Cathy Freeman was born in Mackay, Queensland in 1973. From the time she was a child she dreamed of wining an Olympic gold medal. She ran her first race when she was five and realised that she loved the way racing made her feel. She won her first gold medal at a School Athletics Championships when she was eight years old.

Cathy Freeman has achieved much more than her dream of Olympic Gold. She won a scholarship to two Queensland schools, Fairholme College and Kooralbyn International School. At Kooralbyn in 1989 she was professionally coached for the first time.

Cathy Freeman was a member of the gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games, and in so doing became the first female Australian Aboriginal to win a gold medal at an international athletics event. She was awarded Young Australian of the Year in 1991 and a year later in Barcelona became the first Australian Aboriginal to represent Australia at an Olympic Games. Two years later, Cathy won gold in both the 200m and 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada. At the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, she won silver with a personal best time of 48.63s in the 400m. She was crowned World Champion in the same event at the World Athletic Championships the following year, was awarded Australian of the year in 1998, and was again World Champion in the 400m in 1999. She is the first person to receive both awards.

Cathy Freeman’s image was beamed into millions of homes around the world, when she was given the honour and became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. At those Olympics with the hopes of the nation running with her she fulfilled her childhood dream winning gold for the 400 metres. After the race she sat on the track emotionally and physically exhausted. The crowd wildly cheered her on her victory lap as she proudly carried the Australian and Aboriginal flags as she had first done at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

Cathy Freeman has now retired from professional running and devotes much of her time and energy to important causes, particularly Aboriginal issues. She now concentrates her time on making a difference with others through the Cathy Freeman Foundation, where the focus is on supporting Indigenous children experience their potential in school and beyond. The Cathy Freeman Foundation delivers five educational programs designed to inspire 1,600 children to realise their own gold medal journey. Since 2007, the Cathy Freeman Foundation has partnered with remote Indigenous communities and schools to help build education pathways that work. The Foundation currently works with seven schools in four remote Indigenous communities in Palm Island and Woorabinda (Queensland) and Galiwin’ku and Wurrumiyanga (Northern Territory).

Cathy Freeman

Olympic Legend, Founder of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, Keynote Speaker

Quick Contact

Cathy Freeman

Olympic Legend, Founder of the Cathy Freeman Foundation, Keynote Speaker

Cathy Freeman is an Australian Indigenous Olympic champion and holds Legend Status in The Sport Australia Hall of Fame.  A proud Kuku Yalanji woman, the many firsts she has achieved for Australia have made her a household name.

Cathy was Australia’s first Aboriginal woman to win a gold medal at an international athletics event and the first Australian Aboriginal to compete at the Olympics. Additionally, Cathy was also the first person to win both the Young Australian of the Year (1991) and the Australian of the Year (1998).

Now retired from sports, Cathy Freeman devotes her time to causes she is passionate about, most notably Aboriginal issues and is the founder of the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

More about Cathy Freeman:

Cathy Freeman was born in Mackay, Queensland in 1973. From the time she was a child she dreamed of wining an Olympic gold medal. She ran her first race when she was five and realised that she loved the way racing made her feel. She won her first gold medal at a School Athletics Championships when she was eight years old.

Cathy Freeman has achieved much more than her dream of Olympic Gold. She won a scholarship to two Queensland schools, Fairholme College and Kooralbyn International School. At Kooralbyn in 1989 she was professionally coached for the first time.

Cathy Freeman was a member of the gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team at the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games, and in so doing became the first female Australian Aboriginal to win a gold medal at an international athletics event. She was awarded Young Australian of the Year in 1991 and a year later in Barcelona became the first Australian Aboriginal to represent Australia at an Olympic Games. Two years later, Cathy won gold in both the 200m and 400m at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada. At the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, she won silver with a personal best time of 48.63s in the 400m. She was crowned World Champion in the same event at the World Athletic Championships the following year, was awarded Australian of the year in 1998, and was again World Champion in the 400m in 1999. She is the first person to receive both awards.

Cathy Freeman’s image was beamed into millions of homes around the world, when she was given the honour and became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. At those Olympics with the hopes of the nation running with her she fulfilled her childhood dream winning gold for the 400 metres. After the race she sat on the track emotionally and physically exhausted. The crowd wildly cheered her on her victory lap as she proudly carried the Australian and Aboriginal flags as she had first done at the 1994 Commonwealth Games.

Cathy Freeman has now retired from professional running and devotes much of her time and energy to important causes, particularly Aboriginal issues. She now concentrates her time on making a difference with others through the Cathy Freeman Foundation, where the focus is on supporting Indigenous children experience their potential in school and beyond. The Cathy Freeman Foundation delivers five educational programs designed to inspire 1,600 children to realise their own gold medal journey. Since 2007, the Cathy Freeman Foundation has partnered with remote Indigenous communities and schools to help build education pathways that work. The Foundation currently works with seven schools in four remote Indigenous communities in Palm Island and Woorabinda (Queensland) and Galiwin’ku and Wurrumiyanga (Northern Territory).

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