Tony Gawne

Life Membership Awarded - 2012/2013

Tony was born in Shepparton in 1950 and is one of 5 children (2 brothers and 2 sisters). After a childhood in the local district Tony moved to Melbourne in 1969 to attend La Trobe University on a teaching scholarship. On completion of his studies Tony realised that teaching was probably not for him and he started work at the Supreme Court of Victoria in December 1970. In 1973 Tony had a life changing experience when he met Maree at her sister's wedding and in April 1975 they married. Three children and three grandchildren later Tony and Maree are still together and continue to be heavily involved in local sport. Tony went on to serve in the Australian Public Service (Family Court of Australia and then the Federal Administrative Appeals Tribunal) for 35 years until retirement beckoned in 2005.

Cricket became part of Tony’s life in 1962 at St. Colman's Shepparton after which he graduated to senior cricket with St. Brendan's Cricket Club in 1965 and then Central Park Cricket Club in 1967. A move to Champagnat College in Wangaratta followed in 1968 and meant a move to playing cricket in that locality prior to the move to Melbourne.

St. Faith's Cricket Club in the South Suburban Churches Cricket Association was Tony's first Melbourne club before moving to Clayton United Cricket Club in 1976 after St. Faiths went into recess. After these two clubs amalgamated in 1979 Tony served as club President for 4 years and Secretary for another 5 years. He was fortunate enough to play in five A Grade premierships and in three losing grand final teams. Tony was awarded Life membership in recognition of his fine service to both clubs.

The 1991/1992 season saw Tony join the Wantirna South Cricket Club where he remains an active and valued member at the time of writing (July 2013). He played senior and veterans cricket until retiring at the end of the 2007/2008 season. Tony has been actively involved in the Wantirna South administration since joining the club. Junior coaching, Junior Co-Ordinator (5 years), club committee person, club Secretary (past 13 years) have all been part of Tony's involvement and he has always enjoyed the support of Maree and their family in his endeavours. Tony was awarded Life Membership of the club in 2001 and Maree had the same honour bestowed upon her in 2009 – both richly deserved.

Besides his considerable involvement in cricket Tony has also had a long period in Australian Rules Football. Tony was involved with Burwood United Football Club from 1970 until 1986 and whilst there he played all his senior football, he coached, spent 15 years on the committee and served a term as President in 1985/1986. Tony was awarded Life membership of the club in 1971. When Tony's two sons were ready to play football, Tony moved to Wantirna Junior Football Club in 1989 and spent 6 years on the committee and was involved in coaching and team management. Tony and Maree were both elected Life Members of the club in 1995.

Continuing his involvement in local football, Tony and his family joined the Wantirna South Football Club in 1996 when the boys moved on to Under 16 and Under 18 age groups. Tony joined the senior club committee in 1998 and served as club Secretary (4 years) and president (6 years). Again, Tony and Maree were awarded Life Membership of the club in 2009.

Back to cricket. Tony's involvement with the RDCA goes back until around 1993 when he volunteered his services as Registration Secretary on the Junior Committee. This kept Tony busy for 5 years however he also found time to jointly coach the RDCA Under 16 team. Tony then spent 3 years on the then Senior Operations Committee whilst at the same time completing a number of ex-officio tasks for both Junior and Senior RDCA Committees. Tony later moved on to the new Senior Committee in 2009 and has continued to serve on that body until the time of writing (July 2013).

Tony has somehow found more time in which to extend his RDCA service. He has been the Association's Member Protection Officer since 2009 and in 2011 he became Secretary of the RDCA Umpires Association after becoming an RDCA umpire in 2008. Tony continues to be a member of the RDCA's Trollope Shield umpiring panel.

Tony was rewarded for his contribution to the RDCA by being elected as an Association Life Member at the 2012 Annual General Meeting. No doubt Tony's passion for both his club and the Association will continue for many years to come.

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