RWA Life Members

Over the 50 year life of the Australian Federation of Race Walking Clubs, a total of 11 Life Memberships have been awarded. The list reads as follows

1970 Norm Goble (dec.)
1970 Alf Robinson (dec.)
1981 John McDougall
1981 Charles Jacobson (dec.)
1982 Llewellyn (Peter) Waddell (dec.)
1994 Jill Huxley
1996 Ian Fletcher
1998 Deanna Rahill
2001 Robin Whyte
2006 Andrew Mitchell
2008 Mark Donahoo
2010 Tim Erickson

The contributions of the various Life Members are discussed below

1970 – Norm Goble (dec.)
Norm Goble was nominated by VAWC for Federation Life Membership in 1970. In 1974, the Goble Trophy was instituted for the Boys Under 14 3 km event in the Second Federation Carnival.Norm was the Secretary/Treasurer of the Federation for 9 years from 1958 to 1967 and was also a giant in Victorian racewalking circles, holding the post of Secretary/Treasurer of VAWC from 1952 to 1971. Before that, he was a competitive racewalker who represented Victoria for many years in interstate competition. When he died in 1979, he had accumulated nearly 50 years in the Australian racewalking community.

1970 – Alf Robinson (dec.)
Alf Robinson was nominated for Federation Life Membership by VAWC in 1970. Alf was the inaugural Federation President and held the position from 1958 until his death in March 1977. He was in his 19th year as President when he died. He was a towering figure in Australian athletics and in Australian racewalking and was President of VAWC for 38 years from 1937 until 1973. The Robinson Shield is contested by Under 20 Men in the Canberra Carnival each year. 

1981 – John McDougall
John McDougall was nominated for Federation Life Membership by VAWC in 1981. John was Secretary/Treasurer from 1969-1976 and again from 1978-1980 for a total of 9 years. John was also an active member of the Federation during his non-Executive years and it was felt that by 1981, he had well and truly earned his Life Membership. One of the many examples of his ‘big picture’ activities was the national magazine, ‘The Australian Race Walker’ which he started at the beginning of the 1967/68 track season. This was the official magazine of the Federation of Australian Race Walking Clubs and was issued monthly, starting with a November 1967 edition. In all, 13 editions of this magazine were issued, with John as editor, with the final issue dated February 1969. John had previously been publishing the NSW Walking Club magazine ‘The Walker’ and the national magazine contained contributions from the NSW, Victorian, Canberra, Queensland and South Australian walking clubs. When John was forced to stand down due to family and study pressures, with no replacement editor forthcoming, the concept petered out.

1981 – Charles Jacobson (dec.)
Charlie Jacobson was postumously nominated by VAWC after his death in 1980. He was the inaugural Vice President of Racewalking Australia in 1958 and worked alongside the President Alf Robinson for many years on the Executive. His career in racewalking extended from the early 1930’s until his death in 1980 and, during this time, he was a tireless worker at all levels. The Jacobson Trophy for the Under 18 Girls 5000m walk in the Second Federation Carnival is named in his honour.

1982 – Llewellyn (Peter) Waddell (dec.)
Peter Waddell was nominated for Federation Life Membership by John McDougall (seconded Jill Huxley) in 1982.. When Peter was nominated, he was in his sixth year as Federation President and had already spent many years furthering the sport of walking in Australia. He went on to serve a record 28 years in this post until his death in 2002 and is arguably the single most influential racewalking representative in Australia since Alf Robinson.

1994 – Jill Huxley
Jill was nominated for Federation Life Membership by VRWC in 1994, in recognition of her many years of service as a judge, an official, as a NSWRWC Federation representative and a past Secretary of the Federation. At the time of nomination, she had already served 9 years as Federation Secretary/Treasurer from 1980-1989. She went on to serve a further 8 years as Secretary from 2000-2008 and is still actively involved in our sport.

1996 – Ian Fletcher
Ian Fletcher was nominated for Federation Life Membership by VRWC in 1996. Ian was secretary for 4 years from 1991 to 1995 and an official at Federation events for 15 years. During his time as secretary, he did a lot of the ground work to move AFORWC to become a Company Limited by Guarantee and oversaw what was a difficult period in the life of the Federation.

1998 – Deanna Rahill
Deanna Rahill was nominated for Federation Life Membership by NSWRWC in 1998. At the time of nomination, Deanna had been involved in the Federation for over 30 years. She had been the awards officer for all Federation carnivals held in Canberra during that time, buying trophies, carting them to Canberra, chasing up and collecting the Perpetual Trophies and helping with the presentations. She had also represented NSWRWC at the RWA Conference for over 20 years.

2001 – Robin Whyte
Robin Whyte was nominated for Federation Life Membership by ACTR&FWC in 2001. The general feeling was that Robin should have received this recognition years before as he was a foundation member of the Canberra Federation carnival which was at that time in its 35th year of life. For the entire life of the carnival (it is now in its 43rd year), he has been deeply involved as one of the key organisers as well as finding the time to compete in the 20 mile event without missing one scheduling.

2006 – Andrew Mitchell
Andrew Mitchell was nominated for Federation Life Membership by NSWRWC in 2006. At the time of nomination, he had been Federation Treasurer for 11 years. At that stage, he had been a member of N.S.W. Race Walking Club for 29 years and had been their treasurer for 14 years. He still continues as the treasurer of both organisations and continues to provide his valuable expertise to both organisations.

2008 – Mark Donahoo
Mark Donahoo was nominated for Federation Life Membership by VRWC in 2008. Mark had an exemplary competitive record extending some 30 years, at Club, Federation, National, International and International Masters level. He had also spent two years as Federation Secretary/Treasurer from 1989-1991 and three years as Federation Secretary from 1995-1998 as well as many years as one of the VRWC delegates at Federation level. For the past 5 years, he has spearheaded the annual RWA Postal Challenge and continues to contribute to Australian racewalking on many levels.

2010 – Tim Erickson
Tim Erickson was nominated for Federation Life Membership by VRWC in 2010. A member of the Federation since 1966 and a 25 year Merit Award holder, Tim is the current RWA Vice President, RWA website administrator, RWA results website administrator and has spearheaded many new RWA initiatives over past years. He has been the Centurions delegate since 1996 and a VRWC delegate since 2000 and his administrative career follows a fine career as an international walker.