Julie McDonald OAM

Julie McDonald held the Commonwealth record for the 800m Freestyle for 21 years, and is still holds the 4th top time Australia has ever produced.

Julie is a dual Olympian competing in 1988 and 1992, a dual Commonwealth Games representative in 1986 and 1990, a dual Pan Pacific Championship representative in 1987 and 1989 and a dual World Championship participant in 1986 and 1991.

Julie represented Australia in swimming in every Australian Team from 1986 until 1992, captaining two of these teams.

Julie was the only Australian female to win an Olympic Medal in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, winning a Bronze medal in the 800 metres freestyle.

Julie’s achievements are as follows: –

1986

  • First Australian Team for the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, Scotland, winning a Silver medal in the 800 metres freestyle.
  • Selected in the Australian Team for the World Championships in Madrid, Spain.

Highest placed Australian at the Championships coming 4th in the 800 metres freestyle, beating the recent Commonwealth Champion.

  • Named Swimmer of the Meet at the Canada Cup Invitational Meet, Vancouver, Canada.

1987

  • Julie was selected in the Australian Team for the Pan Pacific Championships held in Brisbane.
  • Won Gold in the 800 metres Freestyle, beating World Record Holder Janet Evans.
  • Broke Tracey Wickham’s former World Record mark and broke her Commonwealth Record, that Tracey had held for 9 years.  Julie missed the new World Record by 0.74 seconds.
  • Won Silver medal in 400 metres Freestyle.
  • Won Silver medal in the 4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay.
  • Named Female Swimmer of the Meet.
  • Named Queensland Sportswoman of the Year.
  • Australian Sportswoman of the Year.
  • Australian Female Swimmer of the Year.
  • Named Swimmer of the Meet at the Invitational Meet in Monte Carlo, France.

1988

  • Selected in the Australian Team for the Seoul Olympic Games.
  • First Olympic Games to be attended by all countries after the boycott of the 1980 and 1984 Olympics.
  • Won Bronze Medal in 800 metres Freestyle.
  • Only female to win a medal for Australia.
  • Set new Commonwealth, Australian and Queensland Records.

1989

  • Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan – Julie was bedridden with migraines.

1990

  • Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Gold 800 metres Freestyle.
  • Gold 4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay.
  • Silver 400 metres Freestyle.

1991

  • Captained Australian Team in World Championships in Perth, Australia.

1992

  • Selected for Olympic Team in Barcelona, Spain, Captaining Team.
  • Julie had septicemia (blood poisoning) and didn’t make finals.
  • Ranked Second in the World for 800 metres Freestyle.

1995

  • After a three year break from swimming, Julie recommenced training in an effort to make her third Olympic Team.  At the selection trials Julie swam the automatic qualifying time but was placed third. Only the first two are selected.

 

  • In total Julie represented Australia 13 times including Invitational Swim Meets.
  • Julie was the first Australian to break 16 minutes for the 1500 metres Freestyle for women.
  • World Ranked in All Time Top 10 from 1986 – 1995
  • Still ranked 5th fastest time in History for 800 metres Freestyle.
  • Has held Commonwealth Record for 800 metres Freestyle since 1987, being the only Australian to break Tracey Wickham’s World Record Time, being the second longest standing Commonwealth Record.
  • The only swimmer to beat Janet Evans in the 800m freestyle during her Outstanding Career.
  • The fastest 800 metre Freestyler Australia has ever produced.
  • Brisbane Swimming Association has named a swimming carnival in Julie’s honour – The Julie McDonald Cup – held annually.
  • Julie was an active committee member of the Justin Cameron Cancer Care Foundation, fundraising for cancer research at the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane for a number of years and still assists.
  • Continues to do voluntary work for several charity organisations.
  • Has worked with the Queensland Olympic Council as a fundraising consultant.
  • Presenter for the Australian Olympic Committee in their Drug Education Program.
  • Running her own successful business, Mightymac Promotions, with Motivational and after Dinner Keynote presentations and being Master of Ceremonies.
  • MightyMac also has a division in Natural Medicine, helping people overcome health problems.
  • Volunteer at McHappy Day since 1991.
  • Helped raise funds for various charities/organizations such as : Nyngan Flood Relief, Queensland Cerebral Palsy Association, Qld Paralympic Committee, Buderim Mountain State School, Arthritis Foundation of Qld, NSW Cancer Council, Red Shield Appeal, Brisbane Swimming Association, Mater Children’s Hospital, Life Education Centres, Australian Kidney Foundation, Bluey Day, Australian Koala Foundation
  • In June 2006 Julie was honoured to receive a Queens Birthday Award, an OAM for her services to Swimming, The Olympic Movement and Charities.
  • In 2008 Julie took up a position as board member of Melanoma Patients Australia, raising much needed funds to host support meetings for sufferers of melanoma. Julie had a melanoma removed in 1997.
  • Julie is a member of the QLD Olympic Council Board as well as being the President of the Qld Olympians club.

Currently

  • Julie is currently on the Legacy Advisory Committee for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, who’s key role is to create lasting legacies from the Event.
  • Working with athletes on their recovery and athletic performance.
  • Working with people who have health issues helping them increase their cellular renewal rates and empowering the body to heal itself.

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Julie McDonald

People changing lives, are life changing people.
~ Julie McDonald OAM