CommBank Matildas receive ‘The Don Award’; Tim Cahill AO inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame

The Sport Australia Hall of Fame is recognising trailblazing women with its two biggest honours in 2023: The Don Award for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™ CommBank Matildas and The Dawn Award for the 2000 Sydney Olympics Women’s Water Polo Team.

The Don Award, named in recognition of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s inaugural Inductee, Sir Donald Bradman AC, and introduced in 1998, is considered the highest of all honours in Australian sport, awarded to an athlete or a team for providing the most inspiration to the nation through performance and example in the past year.


The CommBank Matildas earned The Don Award for their remarkable performance in becoming the first Australian team to make a senior FIFA World Cup – men’s or women’s – semi-final. The CommBank Matildas caused a seismic sporting shift: transforming women’s football, uniting the country, inspiring the next generation of hopefuls, and further elevating women’s sport with a long-deserved national profile. What the CommBank Matildas achieved in the lead-up to the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, and the tournament proper, was ground-breaking. They smashed numerous records along the way, drawing extraordinary crowds to their games: nearly two million spectators at stadiums and hundreds of thousands at live sites across the country. On TV broadcast, their semi-final against England was the highest rating program in Australia since the current television ratings system began in 2001.

Kyah Simon accepting 'The Don Award' at the MCG. (Photo: Sport Australia Hall of Fame)
Kyah Simon posing with ‘The Don Award’ at the MCG. (Photo: Hamish Blair/Sport Australia Hall of Fame)

The “Tillies”, as we called them, rode a huge wave of support to become our most talked-about and loved national team. It was fitting that Australia & New Zealand’s joint bid for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup had the slogan “As One”, for the CommBank Matildas united the nation in our consciousness and our hearts as star names like Sam Kerr, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord, Mackenzie Arnold, Mary Fowler and Cortnee Vine became instantly recognisable.

Tim Cahill one of seven new inductees in Sport Australia Hall of Fame

Tim Cahill AO is an illustrious former Socceroo who represented the nation at a remarkable four FIFA World Cup finals during an international career spanning 15 years. Cahill is the all-time leading goal-scorer for Australia, with 50 in 108 games between 2004 and 2018. He was the first Australian to score at a FIFA World Cup. Cahill scored in three World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014), making him the top Australian goal-scorer at the World Cup with a total of five. Since retiring from football, Cahill’s charitable endeavours include serving as an ambassador for UNICEF and an ambassador for Heartbeat of Football, an Australian organisation that promotes heart health through football.

Quote: “I was extremely honoured and excited when I received the call from John. To be joining such an incredible group of athletes from across the history of Australian sport makes me feel both proud and grateful to all those who helped me in my career, especially my family.”

Tim Cahill AO being inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

Tim Cahill AO being inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame. (Photo: Hamish Blair/Sport Australia Hall of Fame)

The four-time FIFA World Cup player was not only recognised for his extensive on-field accomplishments, but the indelible mark he has left on both Australian and world football at large.

Cahill’s international career spanned more than 14 years from his first match for the Socceroos in March 2004 to his last in November 2018, this in addition to more than 200 games for EFL Championship side, Millwall FC and 226 appearances for Everton FC in the English Premier League.

Cahill joins illustrious company with the likes of Sir Donald Bradman, Cathy Freeman OAM, Ian Thorpe AM, Greg Norman AO and Rod Laver AC MBE all members of one of Australia’s most prestigious sporting organisations.

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