Australia Day honour for Karen Murphy

by Aidan Davis

Former BCiB Australian Jackaroo vice-captain Karen Murphy headlines the list of bowlers to receive Australia Day honours, with appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

The Order of Australia recognises Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement, with AM being the third highest level of award bestowed by Australia’s Governor-General.

Murphy, the nation’s most capped international competitor, was recognised for her significant service to bowls as an elite player at international level.

Murphy’s deserving accolade comes only 13 months after bowing out of international representation, following a glittering career that include representing the nation at five Commonwealth Games and five World Championships, where she amassed a record-breaking 668 appearances across 23-years of service.

While immensely proud of her career and being a pioneer for women’s bowls, Murphy said the accolade still came as a shock.

“It’s a bit of a shock, it’s a huge honour to have bestowed on you,” Murphy told the Illawarra Mercury.

“You win things and achieve things but you don’t really associate those sort of achievements with this type of thing; I don’t really feel like it’s mine, I feel like it’s for everyone who’s been part of my journey, my family, my friends, my sponsors, my club.

“Any sporting career has its highs and its lows, I retired just over 12 months ago after 23 years of playing bowls for Australia, and it’s just been an awesome journey.

“I feel like I’ve been a bit of a trailblazer, certainly in women’s bowls; I really hope that in some way I did break down some barriers and that some young girls did take up the sport because they saw someone like me playing.

“While it’s a sport that the older generation can play, it’s very inclusive now in that there’s a lot of young players, people with disabilities; that’s been pleasing for me to see that change and people can see that bowls is a great sport for all.”

After learning of her AM accolade, Murphy said the first two people she told were her mum and dad, Lorraine and Frank.

“They had tears in their eyes when I told them, they were so happy,” Murphy told the Australian Associated Press.

“It’s a lovely thing for them; my dad coached me and encouraged me and it was something that father and daughter could do together.

“Mum and dad have been along with me for the ride for all these years, they’ve seen the highs and lows, but this is definitely one of the highs.”

Three other individuals were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), the fourth level of recognition, for their service to the sport of bowls during today’s honours.

Kenneth Broughton, from Sutherland NSW, Barbara Forrest, from Robina Queensland, and Stanley Woodley, from Dianella Western Australia, were also formally bestowed Medals to celebrate their service to the sport of bowls.

Anyone can nominate any Australian within the general division of the Order of Australia, at, and all eligible nominations are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia, which recommends awards for the Governor-General’s approval.

During today’s ceremonies, 159 Australians were appointed Member of the Order (AM), while 371 individuals were awarded the Medal of the Order (OAM).

Bowls Australia congratulate Karen Murphy on her AM recognition, and Kenneth Broughton, Barbara Forrest and Stanley Woodley on their OAM acknowledgement.

Full biographies of each individual can be found below.

Karen Murphy AM
For significant service to lawn bowls as an elite player at the international level.
• Vice-Captain, Australian Jackaroos, 2011-2017.
• Australian Jackaroo 1997- 2019.
• Played 668 Tests for Australia over 23 years.
• Commonwealth Games 2018, 2014, 2006, 2002, and 1998.
• 5x World Championships.
• World Champion Triples Champion 2012.
• Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Pairs 2006.
• World Ladies Singles Champion, 2016 and 2012.
• World Indoor Champion, 2012.
• Professional Bowler, Cabramatta Bowls Club, Sydney.
• 4x Gold Medalist, Asia Pacific Championships.
• World Champion of Champion Singles, 2013.
• World Fours Champion, 2012.
• 3x Commonwealth Games Silver Medals 1998, 2002 and 2014.
– Awards and Recognition include:
• Director, World Bowls, 2014-2018.
• Inaugural inductee, Bowls NSW Hall of Fame, 2016.
• Bowler of the Year, Bowls Australia, 2013 and 2014.
• Inaugural inductee, Bowls Australia Hall of Fame, 2011.
• Australian Sports Medal, 2000.
• 2018 Commonwealth Games Athlete Oath Reader Opening Ceremony.
• High Performance Coach, Karen Murphy Bowls Clinics.

Kenneth Broughton OAM
For service to lawn bowls.
– Port Hacking District Bowling Association (now Zone 13 Bowling Association), Bowls NSW
• Club Delegate (Engadine Bowling Club), 1995-2017.
– Engadine Bowling Club
• Bowls Secretary, since 1994.
• Side Manager, Grade 1 Pennant Side, since 2015.
• Selector, 2000-2014.
• Annual Taren Point/Engadine Grade 1 Pennants Competition trophy named in his honour.
• Life Member.
• Member, since 1992.
– Sutherland Waratah Bowling Club (formerly NSW RSL Bowls Club)
• President, 1979-1991.
• Committee Member, 1974-1991.
• Member, 1970-1991.

Barbara Forrest OAM
For service to lawn bowls.
– Robina Bowls Club
• Board Secretary, since 2007.
• Life Member, 2015.
– Ladies Section
• Games Director, since 2018.
• Former President, 2015-2017, 2002-2003.
• Former Secretary.
– Tweed District Ladies Bowls Association
• Patroness, since 2019.
• President, 2012.
• Secretary, 2007-2011.
– Ladies Section, Bowls Queensland
• President, 2013-2014.
• Vice-President, 2011-2012.
• Committee Member, 2009-2010.

Stanley Woodley OAM
For service to lawn bowls.
– Yokine District Bowling Club (YDBC)
• President, 1992-1994.
• Vice-President, 1988.
• Committee Member, 1980-1988.
• Member, since 1969.
• Life Member, 2003.
– Awards and recognition include:
• Volunteer of the Year, Bowls Western Australia, 2014.
• Club Person of the Year, Yokine District Bowling Club, 2006.Australia Day honour for Karen Murphy