Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Jackson-Nelson, Marjorie (1931 - )

AC, CVO, MBE

Born
13 September 1931
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medalist, Governor, Track and Field Athlete and Olympian

Summary

Sprinter Marjorie Jackson-Nelson was commonly known as 'The Lithgow Flash', after the New South Wales town in which she was brought up. Jackson-Nelson became the Governor of South Australia on 3 November 2001. She won two Olympic gold medals (Helsinki 1952) and seven Commonwealth Games gold medals for athletics. Jackson-Nelson also founded the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship, for which she has fund-raised since 1977.

Details

The daughter of William Alfred and Mary (née Robinson) Jackson, Marjorie Jackson was the first Australian woman to win an Olympic gold medal for track and field and the first Australian (male or female) to win an Olympic gold medal on the running track since 1896. During her athletic career Jackson broke world sprint records on ten occasions. In 1953 Jackson married Peter Nelson, an Olympic cyclist. Following his death from leukaemia in 1977 she launched the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship and has since dedicated herself to raising funds to sponsor research into fighting this disease.

In 1988, Jackson was nominated by the Governor-General and the Prime Minister as one of 20 living members of the '200 Great Australians' recognised by the Australian Bi-Centenary Committee. In 2001, Jackson-Nelson was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia and, as Governor, was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty The Queen on the occasion of the Royal Visit to Adelaide in February 2002.

Events

1950
Gold Medalist at Auckland Empire Games - Athletics - 100y; 220y; 440y Medley Relay; 660y Medley Relay
1952
Outstanding Athlete award from the Helms Foundation United States of America
1952
Recipient of the Australian Sportsman of the Year
1952
Gold Medalist at the Helsinki Olympic Games - Athletics - 100m and 200m (world record) at the Olympic Games, Helsinki
1953
Married Peter Nelson (deceased 1977)
1 June 1953
Appointed Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to women's athletics
1954
Gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games, Vancouver
1954
Gold Medalist at Vancouver Empire and Commonwealth Games - Athletics - 100y, 220y and 4 x 110y relay
1977
Founder of the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship
1982
Women's Section Manager for the Australian Commonwealth Games Team
1985
Admitted into the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame
1986
Women's Section Manager for the Australian Commonwealth Games Team
1986
Outstanding Athlete award from the International Amateur Athletics Association
1990 - 1992
Deputy Chairperson of the Adelaide's bid to host 1998 Commonwealth Games
1994
General Team Manager for the Commonwealth Games Victoria (Canada)
1995
Paul Harris Fellow Rotary
1995
Legend for Australian Sport
1997
Member of the South Australian Olympic Council
1998
Nominated by Governor-General and Prime Minister as one of the 200 Great Australians
1998
Athletes Liaison Officer for the Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur
1998
Honoured by Australia Post on a postage stamp titled 'Olympic Legends'
1998 - 2000
Member Sydney Organising Committee of the Olympic Games
1999
Voted as one of the Australians of the Century Herald Sun
2000
Bearer of the Olympic Flame at the Opening Ceremony Olympic Games, Sydney
2001
Appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
3 November 2001
Governor of South Australia
1 March 2002
Appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO)

Sources used to compile this entry: Herd, Margaret (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 2002, 38 edn, Crown Content, Melbourne, 2002, 2020 pp; http://www.governor.sa.gov.au/html/governor.html#bio accessed 2002-03-27.

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124