On 30 April 1979, at a special meeting of representatives primarily from interested sporting organisations and government agencies, a steering committee was formed to investigate the creation of an Olympic body to represent the Australian Capital Territory.
As a result of the findings of the steering committee, chaired by Robert Foot, the ACT Olympic Sports Association (ACTOSA) was formed on 4 December 1979 at a meeting chaired by Phil Coles representing the NSW Olympic Council (NSWOC). At that meeting Robert Foot, from the Australian Volleyball Federation, was elected the inaugural president of the ACTOSA, Denis Wilson the vice president and Joan Cross the secretary/treasurer. The ACTOSA was not “independent” but under the aegis of the NSWOC to which Mr Foot and Mrs Cross became delegates.
The ACT Olympic Council (ACTOC) was formed from the ACTOSA in 1989 and as such claimed a position on the board of the Australian Olympic Federation (AOF) along with representatives from the other state Olympic councils. David Dickson who was president of the ACTOSA at the time became the first president of the new ACTOC and was then elected to the board of the AOF.
Prior to admission to the AOF, the ACT took part in fundraising for the 1988 Olympics. A number of functions were held including the hosting of the Canberra premiere of Paul Hogan’s highly successful Crocodile Dundee. It is believed that per head of population the ACT raised more funds to send the Australian team to Seoul than any states or territory.
In May 1990 the AOF became the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC). The AOC adopted a new constitution which placed the board positions principally into the hands of the national sports organisations. The transition to the new executive structure occurred in 1993 and hence David Dickson retained his AOF/AOC executive position until then.
Nineteen ninety-three saw Denis Wilson succeed David Dickson as president of the ACTOC and since then the following people have served terms as president, Brian Gleeson, Sue Richardson (acting), David Dickson (again), Steve Doszpot and Robin Poke (currently).
In 2004, the ACTOC was involved in fundraising to send the Australian team to Athens by comfortably reaching it target of $150,000 as well as introducing fundraising initiatives that resulted in at least a further $250,000 being raised towards the targets of the other State Olympic Councils.
Find out more about upcoming Olympics and review Australia's rich Olympic history at the Games of the past.