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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Brett Cameron Thurley

Brett Cameron Thurley

Member 1998

b. 26 April 1964

Many Tasmanian sporting champions unfortunately have to leave the state to advance their careers and Brett Thurley is no exception. Starting with the local Nomads Water Ski Club as an 8 year old, his natural talent soon distinguished him from his peers. This complete domination of the sport in Tasmania saw him set state records in all age divisions and then in senior competition in every discipline of the sport. All of these state records still stand today. The first of many national titles was won when Brett was just 14 when he won the gold medal in the Australian Junior Boys slalom championship - a style of skiing in which he was to eventually become a world champion.

In 1986 Brett won the prestigious Moomba Masters world wide most cherished men's slalom event - the youngest Australian ever to do so.

Turning professional in 1989 Thurley then entered the really tough arena of international water skiing and in that year became the first Australian to win a men's slalom title on the world professional tour.

In the same year, he won both the French and Spanish Open slalom events. Every year from 1988 until 1994 he was ranked in the world's top 10 professional skiers and voted by his peers as the number 4 skier in the world in 1989 on the professional tour.

The pinnacle of Thurley’s career was winning the the World Mens Slalom gold medal at the 1993 World Waterski Championships in Singapore. Brett held this title for two years and was the first Australian male to win this event. He continued winning international events right through until 1995 when he retired after an illustrious career.

Brett always returned to Tasmania when he could and he represented Australia at world ski titles with great success, outstanding sportsmanship and tremendous dignity from 1984 onwards.