Patron’s Gala for Australia’s Swimmers

Gold medal winners, and with President of the Australian Olympic Committee Ian Chesterman, Lord Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner, President of Swimming Queensland Jeff Winnington and other special guests, including Guy Sebastian.

Swimmer’s Patron Mrs.Gina Rinehart opened up her home on the evening of November 18th to celebrate Australia’s swimmers after such a successful swimming year which saw them ranked as number one swimming nation in the world!

Distinguished guests, swimmers, their families, coaches and friends dressed to the nines with a French touch, all looking forward to the upcoming Paris Olympic Games.

The evening was a wonderful success, which saw beautiful performances from the Queensland Ballet, the wonderful Brisbane Fashion Festival and Guy Sebastian, and speeches from both the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Brisbane, the Mayor of Noosa, Queensland Swim and Mrs Gina Rinehart. Their speeches follow.

Brisbane Fashion Festival Director, Lindsay Bennett said of the night: “To have sport and fashion come together in such a way that empowers and highlights the incredible achievements of our country’s top swimmers and Paralympians is wonderful.

To stand on (the) balcony at the end of the evening and look down at your guests dancing away as Guy Sebastian sang ‘We Are the Champions’ with PARIS24 sign illuminating the night, was such a special moment and one that I will remember fondly.”

Patrons Trophies were awarded to the Olympic World Championships Men’s 4x100m freestyle relay team, the Women’s 4x100m freestyle world record relay team, and to Rowan Crothers and Alexa Leary from the Paralympic team.

The winners expresed they were the best trophies they had received, and each gave thanks to Mrs Rinehart, saying without her support they could not have done the training and competitions they needed to become world best. There just wasn’t time in their days to hold down a good job after training. Some, such as multi gold medalists, Cam McEvoy and Emma McKeon, mentioned that they have had Rinehart’s support since they’ve been swimming competitively, and others said without Mrs Rinehart’s support, they would have left swimming. This included Mollie, who without her multiple gold medals, Australia would now not be the top swimming nation. Special mention awards were also gifted to Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown, Brianna Throssell, Cam McEvoy, Sam Short, Paralympians Rachel Watson and 4x100m medley world record relay team, Ben Hance, Jake Michel, Paige Leonhardt and Madeline McTiernan.

As Paris 2024 fast approaches, Hancock Prospecting and Patron Mrs. Gina Rinehart wish all our country’s dedicated swimmers the very best for their upcoming training and competitions, and look forward to supporting them all in Paris…and beyond!

Good evening distinguished guests, swimmers, special guests and friends, Warmest welcome to the annual swimmers gala awards dinner.

Thank goodness for the wonderful people I’ve had helping to put our night together, including many swimmers themselves, be they hostesses in sparkles , tails, or our fantastic models. And I’ve really hit the jackpot with our fashion director, Lindsay. He’s contacted his favourite hairdressers and lured them up from Melbourne and Sydney, plus some superb make up artists too. And our International award receiving Chef Raf, who’s been preparing our very delicious 2GR Wagyu since 3am this morning, 2GR ribs too, and Queensland Chef and caterer, Jerome. And all the background, electricians, lighting experts , sound technicians, and everyone carting chairs, balloons, decorations, gardeners and Florist. And my own exhausted team,  Dave, Matt and Punky.

Let’s give them all a pool shaking round of applause.

And there’s someone else I want to call out for very special mention, Jeff Winnington, a director of Queensland swim, supported by the Queensland swim board and CEO, who when I chose to depart Sal bravely took on the assistance that let me continue to support our swimmers and hold our annual award nights. Without their braveness I wouldn’t have been able to continue my financial support so that you could focus on training and competition , maybe I wouldn’t have been able to be over in Japan watching you become the best swimming team in the world, and we wouldn’t be here celebrating our anniversary annual awards tonight. And I do mean brave, I’d tried some other organizations who didn’t want to take this on, fortunately we’d been with Queensland swim for over 10 years. A great relationship.

Thank you is inadequate, but let’s give Queensland swim, a wave making round of applause .

What a year our swimmers have had! Hard training, thank you coaches, lots of successful competitions, thank you volunteers and swimmers families, now the Best swimmers in the world, extra wow.

Let’s hear the applause for you all right across Queensland!

Please have a wonderful evening.

Well, thank you so much, Mrs Rinehart. Nina and I are absolutely delighted to join you all here. I want to acknowledge Jeff, I want to acknowledge Ian Chesterman, the President of the AOC. Also, I understand Clare Stewart, the Mayor of Noosa, is here, the board and CEO of Swimming Queensland. All of our amazing athletes and their support network
It’s getting exciting now. 

We are literally a stone’s throw away from Paris 2024 and I’m delighted to be on the Brisbane Organizing Committee for 2032 and it’s even more meaningful for me just the excitement and the build up to Paris, because I know that all of this is coming here in the not too distant future. 

It’s just over eight years until everything will be happening here.

We’re about to go into summer, and summer in Queensland means one thing, well it means many things. It means mangoes. But most importantly, it means tens of thousands of kids across Queensland will be jumping in the pools and spending most of their time or as much time as possible in the pools across Brisbane, in Queensland. And I know that this summer so many of these kids will be inspired by what they see and the people in this gathering today.

The world’s best swimming team and a swimming team that comes in a large number from here in Queensland. And that is something that not only makes us all proud as adults, but I know is genuinely inspiring the next generation that will come through. Now, I hope all of you, all of our Olympians and Paralympians that are going to Paris next year will also be around in 2032.

Now, you might have different plans than that, but it’s certainly my ambition and my hope. But we also know that to put on the best possible show to the world, we need the best possible team, not just in Paris, not just in LA, but also in 2032. And whether you’re going to be swimming in 2032 or not, you need to be inspiring that next generation.

And I know you are doing that. That inspiration, though, is something that I know you put so much blood, sweat and tears in for years and years and years from your childhood all the way through. And it’s something that you cannot calculate the effort that goes into it. But a lot of people don’t realize that all of that effort, it’s not only the effort of yourselves, your family that is absolutely critical, but particularly at your level.

It’s something that requires significant financial support. It always amazes me when I talk to people about our amazing Olympians, and there’s this perception out in the community that success at the Olympics brings fame and fortune. And I know that occasionally it does, but most often it doesn’t. Most often it’s tough. And the financial support that Mrs Rinehart provides is absolutely critical.

It is the lifeblood of swimming in Queensland and is the lifeblood of the world’s most successful swimming team. And so I want to say thank you on behalf of the City of Brisbane for all of your efforts, for the wonderful effort that you’re going to put in in Paris 2024. 

And I particularly want to say thank you to Mr. Rinehart for helping to make all of this possible, to make dreams come alive and to inspire the next generation.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in giving Mrs Rinehart a round of applause and thanks for her support.


Good Evening. Firstly thank you very much Mrs R for your generosity in hosting this evening. And more significantly your support in championing Australian swimming. It is greatly valued and appreciated.

Also acknowledge my colleague and friend, Lord Mayor Schrinner and the Lady Mayoress, Ian Chesterman President of the Australian Olympic Committee and fellow Brisbane 2032 Board Member, Board Directors of Swimming Qld and Kevin Hasemann CEO of Swimming Qld.

And of course especially tonight our Olympians and Paralympians.

We gather tonight to celebrate and recognise the year that was, and to anticipate the year that will be. To our Paralympian heroes, your impact is significant. When watch you, we witness unbelievable feats and awe-inspiring moments. We are lifted up by all of you. We cannot teach our children what you so powerfully undertake. You can’t explain what overcoming obstacles really means. Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. You inspire and provide hope for generations to come and as a community we say thank you.

As we turn our minds to Paris 2024 there is much to do but even more to look forward to. We wish you every success not only in the competition but in the journey that awaits.

I join with all here present this evening in wishing you all the very best. We are incredibly proud of you.

Back to top