Mr Harvey will receive Life Membership – the highest honour the AOC bestows – for ‘outstanding service to the Olympic Movement and Sport’.
Mr Ryan will receive the Order of Merit for ‘remarkable merit in the sporting world, through his personal achievement and contribution to the development of sport.’
A former President of Basketball Australia and National Basketball League Chairman, Harvey played, coached and administered basketball at the highest level.
Upon receiving the news of his impending award, Mr Harvey said he felt privileged to be nominated by Basketball Australia.
“Basketball has been part of my life for over sixty years – it’s one of the two great participation sports in the world today and is established in more countries than any other sport,” Mr Harvey said.
“The performance and international standing of Australian basketball at both the senior and junior levels, men and women, able-bodied and disabled is of great pride to me.
“Australian basketball is one of the most outstanding success stories of Australian sport.”
Owner of Jayco Corporation, Gerry Ryan has been a significant personal and financial supporter of women’s basketball for more than 16 years with both the Jayco Dandenong Rangers in the Women’s National Basketball League and the Jayco Australian Opals.
Mr Ryan said he felt enormous pride and satisfaction to think that his contribution had assisted the sport, and was humbled at the recognition.
“I am so honoured that the AOC have chosen me because I know they don’t hand these awards out lightly – so to receive one is very special,” he said.
“When we first became involved with women’s basketball at Dandenong some fifteen years ago, it was going to be maybe a one or two year association as a sponsor, but it has become so much more than that.
“To see the girls turn into national champions and then to follow the national team has been so exciting, and we’re so proud to be involved.
“It’s always been personal for me as a vocal supporter of women’s sport – I was so excited to be in London watching the Opals last year and to have seen them crowned world champions a few years before.
“I just hope the rest of the Australian public recognise what they have done and are as proud of their achievements as I am.”
Chair of the Basketball Australia Board Scott Derwin congratulated Mr Harvey and Mr Ryan on their awards, acknowledging the significant contribution they have both made to the sport.
“Both Ron Harvey and Gerry Ryan have done so much for basketball in Australia for so many years, both personally and professionally,” Mr Derwin said.
“To see them recognised publicly with such esteemed awards from the AOC is a major source of pride for everyone associated with the sport.
“What both gentlemen have done for basketball has been fuelled by their passion for the game and a drive to help others, and we have benefitted from their expertise and generosity in countless ways.
“On behalf of the broader basketball community, I’d like to congratulate Ron and Gerry on a wonderful moment for both of them and acknowledge how appreciative we are for what they have done for our sport and its athletes.”
The 2013 Life Membership and Order of Merit Awards will be presented by The President of the Australian OIympic Committee, Mr John Coates AC at the 2013 AOC Annual General Meeting, Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on Saturday 4 May 2013.
Ronald Harvey AM CVO
Ron Harvey has led a long, distinguished and highly successful sporting career spanning more than 50 years. He has been a member of the AOC Executive Committee since 1993, with an ongoing nomination from Basketball Australia. He has also served as AOC Vice President since 2001 and is a Board Member of the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF).
His association with basketball began in 1969 when he moved to Canberra and became involved in playing, coaching and administration. In 1967, he played a major role in the Australian Capital Territory breaking away from New South Wales basketball. In 1979, he was involved with the establishment of the Canberra Cannons and between 1981-1986 acted as the club's Chairman and General Manager. He was the National Basketball League (NBL) Chairman from 1983 to 1987. He left this position in 1987, when appointed the third Director of the Australian Institute of Sport, which later merged with the Australian Sports Commission, with the latter organisation taking responsibility for federal governance of sport.
Ron became CEO of the Gold Goast Cougars NBL team in 1989, staying until 1991. In 1993, he was appointed a member of the AOC board and since 2001 has been its Vice President. In 1997, he was President of Basketball Australia. From 2004 to 2007, he was a Director of the Football Federation of Australia. He organised the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay leg in Australia.
In 1999, Ron was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to the promotion of basketball in Australia. In 2009, he was the first Australian to be awarded the International Olympic Committee's Pierre de Coubertin medal in recognition to his contribution to the promotion of the Olympic spirit. Also in 2009, he was appointed one of the chief envoys of Australia's FIFA 2018-2022 World Cup bid.
Gerry Ryan OAM
Over the past three decades, Gerry Ryan, both personally and professionally and through his company Jayco Corporation, has been involved in and sponsored numerous community and sporting initiatives which have benefitted the lives of many Australians.
Gerry has been a significant financial supporter of basketball in Australia for more than 16 years, in particular to women’s basketball. Jayco has been the naming rights partner of the Australian national women’s basketball team – the Jayco Australian Opals – since 2010. This is in addition to being the naming rights sponsor for the Jayco Dandenong Rangers in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) since 1997.
Over the past 16 years Gerry has provided substantial personal support to many Olympic basketballers through employment, personal development and education support. He has also provided access to and funded sports science support for the team.
Gerry is well known in Australia’s sporting circles as a passionate and generous supporter of a wide range of sports including Australian Rules Football, Horse Racing, Rugby League and the Olympic sports of basketball and cycling.
In 1999, Gerry was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his contribution to the nation’s manufacturing, leisure and tourism industries and to the wider Australian community and sport.