For their significant service to basketball, icons involved in the sport around Australia have been acknowledged in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday honours.
The honours have been handed out in Australia since 1975 and this year, Richard Butler and Avis Scullin were awarded for their services to basketball while the late Charles Woodward was honoured for his service to the tourism industry in North Queensland which included his role as Director of the Cairns Taipans from 1997-2002.
MEMBER (AM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
Richard (Dick) Butler began his career with the Forestville Eagles in South Australia as a junior coordinator through the 1970’s as well as a member of the management committee from 1972-82.
He also served as team manager for numerous South Australian teams at national Junior Championships before going on to be named the Chair of the SA Junior Committee from 1980-89 and Chairman and Director for the Eagles when they competed in the NBL during two of the league’s first three years of operation.
His time with Forestville led Butler to become the founding Chairman of the Adelaide 36ers when they joined the NBL in 1982 and he has since been awarded Life Membership of the club.
Butler then took up roles within the NBL as Executive Member (1984-86) and Director (1980-1997) as well as with Basketball South Australia where he was promoted from Vice President to President in the late 1980’s before also earning Life Membership with Basketball SA.
At the same time as serving as President of Basketball SA, Butler was named President of Basketball Australia, a position he held for a decade.
He was also President of the Australian Junior Basketball Council from 1981-1986, team leader for 12 junior and senior World Championships between 1983-1999, Director International in 1999 and 2000 as well as holding the role of Chief Executive Officer from 1997-99.
Outside of Australia, Butler was an Executive Member and Executive Vice President of the Oceania Basketball Federation in the 1980’s and 1990’s while also working within FIBA as a member of the junior commission, competition commission, central board and as a delegate to the World Congress.
Earning Life Membership of Basketball Australia as well, Butler was honoured for significant service to basketball as a senior executive and administrator and as an advocate for gender equality in development and competition.
MEDAL (OAM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
Avis Scullin has been a key part of the Victorian basketball landscape since joining the Diamond Valley Basketball Association as a referee in 1974 before going on to hold positions as Secretary from 1976 and as President for over ten years.
She is a member of the Victorian Basketball Referees Association and is a Life Member of Victorian Spartans Basketball while being involved with the Australia Games in 1985, the 1986 and 1998 Gold Cups in Melbourne and Sydney, the 1997 FIBA Under 23 Men’s Championship in Melbourne and Scullin was also was a technical official at the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney.
Her work on the sidelines has contributed greatly to technological advancements in score-keeping as Scullin was a founding member of the Victorian Basketball Scoretable Association in 1989.
There, she led an initiative to develop a National Score Table Committee which was successfully established a year later and she worked for them as Secretary for many years while she is still involved as Head Educator.
Serving as Commissioner of the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) from 1982-1998, Scullin was inducted into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 and earned Queen’s Birthday honours over the long weekend for her services to basketball.