Members of the Basketball Community Recognised

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Basketball Australia would like to congratulate all members of its community who received honours on Thursday from the Governor-General including Tim Duggan OAM, Ashley Donaldson OAM, Sally Duncan OAM and Stephen Cornelissen AM.

All passionate and dedicated members of the basketball family, each deserving recipient has made outstanding contributions in the community, with this recognition a testament to their hard work.

Tim Duggan – Warramungu and Nyikina man –  received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to youth and sport. He became the first player from the Northern Territory to play in the NBL in 1996 and went on to establish the Hoops 4 Health Program in 2002. This program has been positively contributing to First Nations communities across Northern Australia ever since.

“I feel humbled, I thought of who nominated me, and then the thought of my Grandparents who were a part of the Stolen Generation, and how proud they would be, but they are still with me on my journey, guiding us and leading and dreaming in the spirit of the game,” Duggan said.

“I want to use this achievement as a catapult to highlight the issues that are going on in the North, because a lot of the hurdles that First Nation people are faced with is a product of inter-generational trauma that has impacted our people since colonisation.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work since the inception of Health 4 Hoops, and with a network of people including Peter Lonergan, Paddy Stephensen, Billy Johnstone and former Minister for Sport in the Northern Territory, Mr. Matthew Bonson, we’ve all had input along the way to generate beneficial change within the wider community.”

Focusing on trauma-informed coaching as a point of difference, Hoops 4 Health is an organisation of First Nations excellence and strives to make an impact on the well-being of First Nations people using basketball as a vehicle to ignite positive change.

“It’s also not just young people, there is a spectrum that stems from kids through to adults, and we use basketball as a tool to drive our purpose and have a chance to impact the course of someone’s life, and if just one person that believes in you – that’s all you need.

“Steve McGugan and Doug Garvie were two coaches that believed in me, as well as my father who built me four basketball rings from scratch, and with their support, I was able to see the world and create a living through playing basketball and servicing the community.”

Sport plays an integral role in not just physical health, but as a pillar to bring communities together and promote social interaction and inclusion. With roughly seven million Australians living remotely, they are faced with geographical barriers that Hoops 4 Health is striving to address.

“We want to continue to branch out far and wide to un-earth all of the amazing talent that is out there, because there is so much untapped potential in the remote communities and if we invest in those places, then we can reach the talent.”

Former team-mate and The First Indigenous Australian to play in the National Basketball Association, Nathan Jawai added:

“To be recognised with the Medal for the Order of Australia (OAM) is a testament to Timmy’s work and time over the past 30 plus years. Timmy has been a trailblazer for the sport and his achievements on and off the basketball court through promoting cultural safety has been fantastic.

“He played in an era in the 1990s where a young man from Darwin made it at the highest level of the sport in Australia despite the barriers he had to face in his journey. He then took that to another level creating a program (Hoops 4 Health) that gives hope and inspiration to our youth. I am proud to have shared the journey as a former teammate and now as a coach of Hoops 4 Health.”

Meanwhile, Basketball Victoria Life Member, Ashley Donaldson has been making an impact in Bendigo for the best part of 60 years.

Since he started treading the boards with some team-mates from the Golden Square Football Club in 1960, Donaldson has become one of basketball’s greatest contributors. Whether it be with Bendigo or Eaglehawk associations, Victorian squads or at a Basketball Victoria Jamboree, he has shown remarkable commitment to the game.

Ashley Donaldson. Picture: Brendan McCarthy

For more information on Donaldson’s achievements, visit the Basketball Victoria website.

Sally Duncan has also been making her presence felt in the basketball community for more than two decades. As the manager of the Australia Pearls since 1999 and manager of the Ivor Burge (Men’s and Women’s teams) from 1997-2077, her accolades and achievements over the years include:

Awards and Recognition
• Allan Ashe Award, Basketball Victoria, 2019
• Volunteer Administrator of the Year, VicSport, 2014
• Inductee, Basketball Australia Hall of Fame, 2007
• Volunteer of the Year, Confederation of Australian Sport, 2006
• VIRTUS International Unsung Hero, 2022

Basketball Australia once again congratulates all 2023 recipients and thanks them for the dedicate service and passion for our sport:

Mr Timothy Duggan OAM (NT)

Medal of the Order of Australia for service to youth, and to sport.

Mr Ashley Donaldson OAM (VIC)

Medal of the Order of Australia for service to basketball.

Ms Sally Duncan OAM (VIC)

Medal of the Order of Australia for service to basketball and to people with a disability.

Mr Stephen Cornelissen AM (VIC)

Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health, and to basketball.