Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame



2019 Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame Nominations have closed

For any further enquiries please contact the Hunter Academy of Sport office on 02 4926 4892



Guidelines for Selection Criteria


Compulsory Requirements (Nominees must meet ALL of the following):

  • Persons nominated must have represented Australia as an athlete or served as an appointed official at a national/international event
  • Performances must be authorised events, ie. contests endorsed by the Australian and International organisations controlling that particular sport.
  • Nominees must have been born in the Hunter Region, have competed for a Hunter team/association or served as an official in a Hunter event before gaining honours elsewhere.
    • Hunter Region includes the following town councils:
      • Cessnock
      • Dungog
      • Mid Coast
      • Lake Macquarie
      • Maitland
      • Muswellbrook
      • Newcastle
      • Port Stephens
      • Singleton
      • Upper Hunter
  • Nominees shall have completed their active participation and retired from top level competition.



Paul Trisley Administrator of the Year


To nominate for the 2019 Paul Trisley Award click HERE


During the beginning of the 1990’s, The Society of Sports Administrators (ASSA) Hunter Branch was established in Newcastle with Paul Trisley, a prominent Sports Lawyer, becoming Chairman.


ASSA was established to support local administrators attain ongoing education opportunities for those who held voluntary roles within community sport. HAS and DSR provided administrative support during the early years of the Branch.


A series of sports award categories were introduced by the Branch in 1992 which were targeted to Administrators as well as Coaches and officials. The awards were reduced to the one major award following the death of Paul Trisley and this award was called the Paul Trisley Award in recognition of his contribution to sporting administrators in the Hunter Region as well as his service to Sports Law


Nominees must reside or administer their sport within the Greater Hunter region

  • Cessnock
  • Dungog
  • Mid Coast
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Maitland
  • Muswellbrook
  • Newcastle
  • Port Stephens
  • Singleton
  • Upper Hunter


Nominees must have given no less than five (5) years service (either continuous or cumulative) to the sport for which they are being nominated.


Nominees must have held appropriately senior positions within the organisation / sport for which they are being nominated.


Nominations must be able to demonstrate outstanding service / contribution to sport in the Hunter region. Such evidence may include performing multiple roles within the organisation, representing the organisation on governing body committees, significant developments related to the sport for which the nominee was responsible, etc.


2018 Inductees




Benn Harradine

DOB: 14th October 1982


Place of Birth: Newcastle, NSW


Sport: Athletics (Discus Throw)


Bio: Born and raised in Newcastle, spending his childhood in Lake Macquarie, Benn made his first International debut at the 2006 Commonwealth Games at the age of 23; at his next Commonwealth Games, appearance in 2010 he won gold in discus and won silver at the World Cup in the same year. Benn is a three time Olympian, four-time Commonwealth Games athlete and competed in seven World Championships / Cups from 2009 – 2017. He broke the Australian record three times in his career, and his final appearance was in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where he finished 6th.





Brendan Sexton

DOB: 6th August 1985


Place of Birth: Maitland, NSW


Sport: Triathlon


Bio: Brendan began competing in triathlon when he was 15 years old in his home town of Maitland. He began to have success in 2007 where he placed 2nd in the Under 23 World Championships and then in 2011 where he placed 4th in the World Championships, won the Monterrey World Cup and was runner up in the Mooloolaba World Cup and Oceania Cup. Brendan represented Australia at the 2012 Olympics in London, placing 35th in the triathlon. Brendan placed 1st in the Liverpool, England triathlon in 2013 and was the runner up in the same triathlon in 2015. Brendan has competed at the European cup, the World Cup, Oceania Championships, triathlon Pan American cup, with many more races under his belt.    



Danny Buderus

DOB: 6th February 1978


Place of Birth: Taree, NSW


Sport: Rugby League


Bio: Danny was born in Taree and played junior football for Taree Red Rovers and the Australian Schoolboys Team. He made his debut in 1997 for the Newcastle Knights, with his first try scored in 1998. In 2001, Danny was selected for the NSW Country team, made his first International debut for Australia, and was a part of the NRL Grand Final Newcastle Knights winning team. Danny made his State of Origin debut in 2002, a year where he was awarded Dally M hooker of the Year and the Dally M Representative Player of the Year. Again, in 2004, he also received Dally M Medal for Player of the Year. Danny represented Australia from 2001 to 2006, NSW Country from 2001 – 2008 and NSW State of Origin from 2001 – 2006.




Kurt Fearnley

DOB: 23rd March 1981


Place of Birth: Cowra, NSW


Sport: Marathon


Bio: Kurt began wheelchair racing at the age of 14 years old. His career started with two Silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games, before making his winning breakthrough at the 2004 Athens Paralympics with Gold in the 5000m and marathon races. Following the 2004 Games, he went on to win seven world championships and more than 20 marathons around the globe including New York, London and Chicago multiple times. Kurt is a three-time gold, seven silver and three bronze medalist across five Paralympic Games.




Laura Dunn

DOB:  10th November 1987


Place of Birth: Belmont, NSW


Sport: Rowing


Bio: Born in Belmont and growing up in Mount Hutton, Laura began rowing when she was 14 years old joining Hunter Rowing Club before moving to Newcastle Rowing Club and then UTS Rowing Club. Laura claimed a silver medal at the 2014 World Championships in the women’s lightweight quad - her first Senior A international competition. Before making the Australian team, Dunn won the open lightweight single scull at the 2012 NSW State Championships. Laura competed in the Australian Championships and over the years collected some significant results such as 2 gold’s in the U/23 lightweight quad sculls. Laura took a short break to then come back and collect 4 gold, 6 silver and a bronze in the open division at the Australian rowing championships. Laura was awarded NSW Rowing’s Oarswoman of the year for 2015.




Lauren Colthorpe

DOB: 25th October 1985


Place of Birth: Newcastle, NSW


Sport: Football


Bio: Lauren began her football career as a junior at the Warners Bay Panthers and Macquarie Reps moving through to selection in Northern NSW team for National Championships. In 2004, she joined the Under 20’s Australian team that competed in the Women’s Championships; she then joined the Westfield W-League in 2008 until 2011 with the Brisbane Roar. She was a part of the Matilda’s squad from 2005 – 2011; in 2005 Lauren made her debut for the Matilda’s, where they defeated China 3-1 in a friendly match. In 2007, Lauren was a part of Matildas when they progressed to the quarterfinals in the women’s world cup. During a quarter final match against Brazil, Lauren scored a header, which evened out the score to be 2-2, although Brazil eventually caught up to be 3-2. In 2010, she helped Australia win their first silverware in the Asian Cup, mainly playing out of right fullback for most of the campaign.




Matthew O’Callaghan

DOB: 19th August 1976


Place of Birth: Sydney, NSW


Sport: Rowing


Bio: Although Mathew was born in Sydney, he moved to Newcastle in the first year of his life. Matthew went to primary school in Newcastle before moving to High school in Sydney. He represented Australia at the World Championships in 1997, 1988 and 1999, placing 5th three times and fourth in 1998. Mathew has also competed at the Henley Royal Regatta (UK) in the Queen’s Cup and placed 1st, as well as placing 1st in the Commonwealth Regatta in 1999.





Ray Baxter

DOB: 24/04/1959


Place of Birth: Newcastle, NSW


Sport: Canoe / Kayaking


Bio: The Speers Point native is one of Hunter Valley PaddleSports Club's longest-standing and most decorated members. Ray joined the club (of which he is now president) when he was 10, and at the age of 16 made his international debut at the New Zealand Open, winning his age division. This was just the start of Baxter's long and successful kayaking career. In 1977 and 1983 he was in the Australian team that competed in the World Championships. Ray won the Australian championships in 1978 by the biggest margin to date in a slalom canoe race - 26 seconds. However, Baxter's most memorable competition came in 1980 when he represented Australia in the Europa Cup where he finished 12th. Unfortunately, Ray did not have the opportunity to qualifying for the Olympics between 1972 and 1992, as slalom canoeing was removed from the program.





Tim O’Callaghan

DOB: 30th May 1980


Place of Birth: Newcastle, NSW


Sport: Rowing


Bio: Tim joined the Newcastle Rowing Club in 1994 and competed for 4 years under the club. During Tim’s world championship endeavours, he finished within the top 10 every time with placings between 2nd – 7th. In 2004, Tim won the lightweight pair, four and quad at the Australian Championships, as well as in 2006 where he won the lightweight four at the Australian Championships. Tim represented Australia at the World Championships in 1999 - 2004 and 2006 where in 2004 finished 4th in the Lightweight Pair. In 2006 he finished 2nd in the Lightweight pair and four at the World Cup and 4th in Lightweight four at World Championships.




Ty Swadling

DOB: 26th September 1988


Place of Birth: Charlestown, NSW


Sport: Trampolining


Bio: Charlestown bred Ty began gymnastics when he was 12 years old training at Eastlake Trampoline Sports in Belmont. Ty has represented Australia at the World Championships 7 times between the years of 2007 and 2015. At the 2014 World Championships, Ty placed 6th in the final of the synchronised trampoline event alongside his brother Shaun Swadling. In 2006, he competed at the Indo Pacific Championships and placed 1st in the 17+-age division in the synchronised trampoline event and 1st in TRP as well as DMT.  Ty has competed at many other events such as the World Cup, Australian Youth Olympic Festival, Australian International Challenge and the Australian Championships, where he has placed exceptionally high over many years of competition.