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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Ernest William Barwick MBE

Ernest William Barwick MBE (Member 1987)

26 May 1905 - 16 June 1997

Bill Barwick is among Tasmania's greatest athletes. He was the first Tasmanian to represent Australia in athletics at an Olympic Games (Los Angeles, 1932), and has a formidable record both on and off the track.

Barwick was a champion middle distance runner of the late 1920's and early 1930s. He held every Tasmanian distance record from 800 yards to 15 miles in 1933. He specialised in the mile, and in 1932 set the record at 4:14:04, which won him selection in the Australian team for the Los Angeles Olympics later that year. But after arriving in Los Angeles, Barwick injured his achilles tendon. With only four days training under his belt, he finished a creditable sixth in his heat of the 1500m.

After returning from Los Angeles, Barwick competed in the British versus the United States Games, and toured New Zealand with Metcalfe and Hampson in mile challenge races before retiring from the track in 1934.

In 1985, Barwick was awarded an MBE for his contribution to the community.