Liesl Tesch – Recipient of the 2014 Sir Roden Cutler Award

liesl3The Primary Club Of Australia is proud to announce that the recipient of this year’s Sir Roden Cutler Award is Liesl Tesch AM. 

[Photos courtesy of Bada Bing Photography –]

Liesl has dominated the international disability sports scene since 1990 when she was the first woman in the world to play wheelchair basketball professionally. More recently she completed at the London 2012 Paralympics winning gold sailing in the two person Keelboat – SKUD 18 Event.

When Liesl was 19 years of age she had a bicycle accident, being projected over the handlebars and falling two metres onto cement. The accident left Liesl as an incomplete paraplegic but has in no way hindered her passion for life.

Liesl has competed at six Paralympic Games including Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney (Silver Medal), Athens (Silver Medal) and Beijing (Bronze Medal) all in Wheelchair Basketball, and then London (Gold Medal) in Sailing.


In 2009, Liesl competed in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in The Sailors with Disabilities yacht, to finish 2nd in their division. In late 2010, Liesl paired with Beijing silver medallist Daniel Fitzgibbon. Sailing the two-person SKUD 18 class with Fitzgibbon, the team had immediate success, winning Gold at the ISAF Gold Cup in January 2011 and Bronze at the IFDS World Championships in July of that year. Determined, they continued on to compete at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, winning Gold.

In 2014, Liesl was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Australia Day Honours “for significant service to sport as a Gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and through the promotion and facilitation of sport for people with disabilities”.

Liesl believes that all people with disabilities should have the opportunity to play sport and has combined her passion for travel and love of sport to take her far afield to create sporting opportunities for people with disabilities.

In Australia, she is passionate about raising awareness of and promoting wheelchair sport for young athletes with disabilities and volunteers to mentor, coach and inspire juniors in numerous regional venues and at the WS NSW Junior Wheelies Christmas Camp each year. Never one to focus on the negative, Liesl believes she has been given the opportunity to promote and encourage others to take an interest in wheelchair sports.

liesl1 She has an enviable reputation for being a positive and generous team player, one to motivate and demonstrate great leadership amongst her peers and is heavily committed to giving back to the community – both in Australia and overseas.

The Primary Club are proud to present Liesl with the Sir Roden Cutler Award which is presented for outstanding sporting achievement by a person with a disability. The award includes a grant for sporting and recreational equipment up to the value of $20k to the organisation nominated by the recipient.

We congratulate Liesl on her award and will be presenting it to her at a Primary Club of Australia event in the near future.