John Bertrand AO – Chair
John Bertrand is a businessman, international sportsman, and philanthropist.
He skippered the winged keel Australia II to victory over the US Defender Liberty to win the 1983 America’s Cup, breaking 132 years of American domination and in the process, breaking the longest-running record in the history of modern sport. The Confederation of Australian Sport voted the Australia II victory as the: Greatest team performance in 200 years of Australian sport.
When Australia II crossed the finishing line (after coming from 3 races to 1 down), the nation celebrated as never before.
The late Prime Minister Bob Hawke summed it up – ”any boss who sacks anyone today for not turning up is a bum!”
A World champion and Olympic bronze medalist (Finn class, Montreal), John represented Australia in five America’s Cups and two Olympic Games.
In his business career, he successfully built companies in the marine industry, property development and digital media industries.
He was co-founder and Chairman of Quokka Sports, a pioneering digital sports broadcast company based in Silicon Valley, San Francisco.
John was President of Swimming Australia from 2013 until 2020.
America’s Cup winner, Olympic bronze medalist and multiple world Etchell class sailing champion, John was inducted to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985. In 2013 he was elevated to Legend of Australian Sport. He has also been Chair of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Board since since 2005.
John has an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University and is a Vice Chancellor Professorial Fellow at Monash University.
He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Monash University and a Master of Science from MIT in Boston.
In 2016, Bertrand’s Order of Australia (AM) award was upgraded to Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition for sporting administration, in particular swimming and sailing, children’s welfare, higher education and mentoring of young people.
He continues to mentor young aspiring Olympians.