The Australian yachting legend with extensive leadership experience across sports and business
As the skipper of Australia II, John Bertrand AM made history on the legendary yacht after winning the 1983 America Cup. By breaking America’s 132-year streak, the Australian team was dubbed the “greatest team performance” in Australian sport history by the Confederation of Australian Sport.
Mr Bertrand continues to demonstrate his sportsmanship as a decorated yachtsman. The world champion and Olympic Bronze medallist has represented Australia in five America’s Cups and two Olympic Games. He is also the 2010 World Etchells Class sailing champion.
Passionate about better understanding the science of sailing, Mr Bertrand studied engineering at Monash University where he completed his thesis on the aerodynamics of America's Cup yacht sails. For his insightful work, he was awarded a full blue for sailing in 1968. Not long after in 1972, he completed his Masters of Science in Ocean Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr Bertrand released his inspiring biography Born to Win in 1985, which quickly became the largest selling biography in Australian history at the time.
In the same year, Mr Bertrand was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia in 1985. He was also inducted as a life member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame and remains heavily involved with the America’s Cup. He has been the chairman of OneAustralia, as well as the Chairman of Selectors for the Australian Olympic Sailing Team.
In 2000, Mr Bertrand received an Australian Sports Medal for outstanding achievement in the America's Cup and his contribution to the sport. He also received the Centenary Medal in the following year for his service to Australia through the sport of sailing.
Currently, Mr Bertrand is the chairman of Sport Australia Hall of Fame. He remains committed to preserving the history of Australian sporting legends, as well as mentoring up-and-coming athletes across a variety of sports.
Outside of his sporting career, Mr Bertrand has developed his leadership skills to build an extensive and successful business career. He has a range of established businesses across the marine, property development and media industries. He was also the chairman of the Alannah and Madeline Children’s Foundation in 2001, where he helped the organisation become a world leader in anti-bullying and child-safety programs.