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Queen’s Birthday Honours 2019: Leanne Barnes blazes a trail for women in sport (Australia)

Leanne Barnes OAM is receiving a Queen’s Birthday Honour for her service to water polo.

Years of dedication and international lobbying regarding women in sport has resulted in a Queen’s Birthday honour for Merimbula’s Leanne Barnes.

While the Bega Valley knows her best as the council’s general manager, Ms Barnes is receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to water polo.

Ms Barnes was a state rep and national team water polo player in the late 1970s, progressed through state and national coaching and managing roles, and then as a director of Water Polo Australia as well as chairwoman of the organisation’s gender equity committee from 2004-2010.

In 2011 she was inducted into the Water Polo Australia Hall of Fame and currently serves as the chairwoman of the hall of fame induction committee.

Her current involvement with the sport also includes assisting with the implementation of a new cultural program within the high-performance sector of Water Polo Australia.

“I’m so excited – it came right out of the blue,” Ms Barnes said of her OAM announcement.


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