The SESF is incredibly fortunate to have the support of its ambassadors, all who bring not only a long list of accolades, but so too a commitment to provide mentoring and guidance to scholarship recipients. All stars in their own right, and all having passed through the School Sport Victoria pathway, SESF’s ambassadors are enabling us to reach new audiences but more importantly, are providing insight and guidance on goal setting, the importance of defining your values and pathways to success, via one on one mentoring to our scholarship recipients.

School Sport Victoria is proud to welcome Mack Horton OAM to our exclusive group of ambassadors. Horton is a perfect fit for many reasons. Nick Mooney Interim CEO of School Sport Victoria, says “Mack is an inspirational athlete and a passionate advocate for school sport and students in schools across our nation.” Horton cherishes his school sport memories. “Team Vic and School Sport Victoria has been a major part of my swimming journey. Going away with the Team Vic team was the start of my swimming pathway and gave me the understanding that I could take my sport further.”

Mack Horton is one of Australia’s most successful elite athletes. The Olympic and Commonwealth Gold medalist started his illustrious swimming career while in school, making his first international debut as a 13 year old, breaking the first of many Australian records as a school boy. From this it was clear that Mack was destined for greatness, but he has always had a grounded perspective when it comes to his international success, stating that he felt a similar sense of achievement from winning his school championships as he did an Olympic Gold.

Horton overcame a fear of water at age 11, and less than two years later he broke his first of many Swimming World Records. These aspects of his story will inspire the next generation of emerging athletes. “Meeting my swimming hero Grant Hacket at the 2006 Commonwealth Games provoked me into wanting to be just like him. Now I want to inspire other athletes to not only be their best, but to be the best.” Most elite athletes begin their journey in school and Horton is no different. School Sport Victoria is proud to have played a part in Mack’s sporting journey.

Gabrielle Newton, or as she would prefer to be called Gabby, graduated from Greensborough College in 2019. Little did she know how much her life would change after being the AFLW number one draft pick for the 2020 season. Gabby is a talented dual athlete, in demand for both elite level Australian Football and elite level Basketball being selected in the AFLW Western Bulldogs, and in the for the Southern Basketball Association NBL1 series, averaging 2.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.

Gabby commenced her sporting journey within school sport. Gabby was successfully selected in the Team Vic Basketball State Team in 2017, 2018, 2019, and the Team Vic Australian Football State Team three times, 2012, 2015, 2016.

These sporting achievements are incredible but don’t stop there, in 2018 Gabby was awarded arguably her highest career accolade when she received a Victorian School Sports Awards for Basketball.

Gabby was awarded a Sports Excellence Scholarship in 2016 for 15 Years and Under Girls Australian Football.

We are so pleased to have Gabby Newton on board as an SESF Ambassador.

Dual sport athlete

Team Vic member

AFLW Premiership Player

WNBL Player

Australian basketball representative

Sports Excellence Scholarship Winner

Playing Honours:

FIBA U17 World Team 2016

U17 Australian Representative 2016

  • WNBL Rookie of the Year 2017
  • AFL Womens Academy 2017
  • AFLW Premiership 2018
  • Runner Up AFLW Rising Star 2018
  • AFLW Grand Final Best on Ground 2018
  • Western Bulldogs Best Young Player 2018 & 19
  • AFLW All Australian 2019
  • Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest 2019

A highly talented athlete, Monique Conti has achieved so much in her sporting career to date. 

Combining her two favourite sports, Football and Basketball, Monique excelled at both throughout her junior years representing Australia for Basketball at the U17 World Championships, taking home Gold and winning selection in the World Team. Before returning the following year in 2017 to represent Australia in the U/19 World Championships. In addition to this Monique was selected as part of the inaugural AFL Womens Academy, highlighting her talent across both sports.

After a terrific 2016/17 Basketball season culminating in Monique winning the WNBL Rookie of the Year, Melbourne Boomers signed Monique to a four year contract, showing just how critical the Year 12 student was to the team. At the conclusion of the Basketball season and immediately following her return from the U19 World Basketball Championships, Monique played a handful of games for Melbourne Uni in the VFL Womens competition highlighting her resilience. On the back of Monique’s strong finish to the VFL Womens season, Monique was taken with the third pick in the 2017 Victorian AFLW Draft by the Western Bulldogs resulting in her playing at the elite level in both Basketball and Football.

In what has been a tremendous sporting year, Monique played off in the WNBL Grand Final Series for the Melbourne Boomers where they eventually went down in the third a final game of the series to Townsville. However, not allowing that to inhibit her ambitions, Monique went straight into the AFLW season where she instantly made her mark with her skill, speed, and agility, continually breaking the lines for the Bulldogs and sending them into attack. As the season went on, Monique continued to grow in confidence resulting in her taking home the Best on Ground Medal in the Bulldogs first AFLW Premiership in what was a game defining performance. As the celebrations continued on from the Premiership win, Monique was awarded Runners Up of the AFLW Rising Star Award and won the Western Bulldogs Best First Year Player.

In Season 2019, Monique again made a very quick transition from Basketball to Football, where here Basketball season finished with a finals loss in Adelaide on the Thursday, before flying back to Melbourne the following day, to only return to Adelaide to play the season opener against the Crows on the Saturday night. Monique started her season well, continuing her strong form throughout the season to win the Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest. At the conclusion of the season, Monique made the tough decision to leave the Bulldogs and join Richmond for there inaugural season in 2020.

Born September 26, 1962 at Ballarat, Victoria​​

Married to Tanya and we have four children, Emma, Laura, Matthew and Olivia

I am 176 centimetres tall and weigh 60 kilograms

Degree in Civil Engineering, Graduate Diploma in Education (Maths \ Science)

Honorary Doctorate from University if Ballarat (2001)

Chair of the State Review into Physical and Sport Education in Victorian Schools (1993 – 1996)

Chair of the Board of Victorian Institute of Sport (2001 – 2010)

National selector for Athletics Australia (2009 – 2012)

Athlete Liaison Officer – 2002 Commonwealth Games

Mayor of Athlete’s Village for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

Race Director Run for the Kids Fun Run (2006 -)

Ambassador for Nike Australia (1986 – )

Chef de Mission 2010, 2014 and 2018 Australian Commonwealth Games Team

Awarded an AM for significant service to athletics as a marathon runner, administrator and mentor to young athletes in 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours  

Australian Sports Commission Board Member (2015 – )

Director – Moneghetti Consulting Group Pty Ltd.

Life Member of Athletics Victoria & Ballarat YCW

Began athletics in 1976 at age 14.​

Career Highlights:

-1986 Commonwealth Games Marathon – Bronze medal

-1990 Commonwealth Games Marathon – Silver medal

-1994 Commonwealth Games Marathon – Gold medal

-1998 Commonwealth Games 10 km track – Bronze medal

Attended 1987, ’91,’93,’95,’97,’99 World Athletic Championships winning the Bronze Medal in the Marathon in Athens in 1997.

Attended 1988, ’92 ’96 and 2000 Olympic Games finishing in the top ten on 3 occasions

Winner of 1990 Berlin Marathon and 1994 Tokyo International Marathon

Previous holder of 3 World Bests for the Half Marathon (1990, 92, 93)

Winner of 4 City to Surf races (1989 – 1992) and current race record holder.

Winner of 4 Zatopek 10km Track races (1989 – 1992) only person ever to win 4 in a row.

I have run 22 international marathons and finished in 11th place or higher in 20 of them. Retired after Sydney 2000 Olympic Games but still heavily involved in running within Australia.

I trained twice a day, covering 180 – 200 per week and roughly 8500km a year under the guidance of dual Olympian and Sydney 2000 Athletics Head Coach Chris Wardlaw.

Still running everyday covering over 100km a week. Recently won the Oceania Masters Athletics 50+ Cross Country title and in 2009 ran a world age record for a forty six year old of 29.59mins for 10km on the road making me the oldest person to run under the 30minute barrier.

Aussie pole vault sensation and Olympic Gold Medallist Steve Hooker shares SSV’s passion and commitment to providing inspiring sporting and educational opportunities for all school-aged students in Victoria. Steve is the first Australian man to ever hold both the Olympic and World Titles concurrently. As one of the stars of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Steve became the first Australian field athlete to win Olympic gold in 60 years, the first Australian male track or field gold medallist since 1968 and the first Australian athletics Olympic champion since Cathy Freeman in 2000.

Steve brings a wealth of experience to the SSV team, not only through his career as an Olympian, but also through his own school sport journey. As a former Team Vic member himself, Steve is passionate about his role as an SSV ambassador, speaking at key functions and forums and presenting medals at annual state track and field events. His inspirational messages to schools, teachers and students centre on the benefits that school sport brings to an individual.

”Being part of SSV team is one way I can help as many athletes as possible, on and off the track, to be successful in life.”

Richard was born in 1984 with Spina Bifida. He took to sport at a young age and was involved in many sports before the love of athletics took his full attention. 
Richard first competed at the SSV Primary Schools State Championships in 1995, while in Year 4, and then made his first SSV team in 1996 for the Pacific School Games in Perth. Since then he has competed in many national and international competitions.
Richard says: ”I am very passionate about School Sport Victoria because this is where my sporting life began 20 years ago. And without that opportunity, I would never have achieved what I have in that time or been able to be an athlete and had the experiences I have around the world. I am now coaching and helping the next generation of athletes and hopefully future Australian stars. Being part of SSV team is one way I can help as many athletes as possible, on and off the track, to be successful in life.”
Richard first competed for Australia at the 2002 IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon, France, where he came away with a Bronze medal in the T53 400m. Two years later, at his first Paralympic Games in Athens, Richard won Gold in the T53 800m and Silver in the 4x100m.
In 2006 Richard won a Bronze medal in the T53 800m at the IPC World Athletics Championships in Assen, The Netherlands, followed in 2008 by Silver in the T53 200m and Bronze in the T53 400m at the Beijing Paralympic Games. 
In 2010 Richard competed at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India, in the T54 1500m, winning a silver medal. Then in 2011 he won his first IPC World Athletics Championship gold medal, in the T53 800m, and silver in the T53 400m. In the same year Richard also won the T53 400m Gold medal at the IAAF World Championships in Deagu, South Korea. 

You can view highlights of Richard’s career achievements on this short video (0:55).

Richard is a keen traveller and has now visited 60 countries with the aim of competing in 100. He continues to play wheelchair basketball in the local Geelong league and regularly swims as part of his cross training.

We are pleased to have Richard on the on the SSV coaching team and as a School Sport Victoria Ambassador.


Brooke is a 24 year old Long Jumper based in Melbourne, Australia, training under the guidance of her coach Russell Stratton.

Brooke began the sport of athletics at a young age of 5, at the Nunawading Little Athletics Centre, where she found her passion for long jump after winning her first state gold medal in U9. Brooke won many State and National titles through her younger years, and has also represented Australia at both a World Youth and junior level. Beyond these achievements, Brooke has progressed to be the current Australian Open Long Jump Champion, a Rio Olympic Finalist, a World Indoor finalist and a World Championships finalist . 

Brooke attended Caulfield Grammar School and graduated year 12 in 2011. Brooke is currently studying a bachelor of health Sciences – Majoring in exercise science and sports coaching at Deakin University. ​


2009 World Youth Championships Long Jump Finalist – 10th Place
2010 World Junior Championships Long Jump Finalist – 6th Place
2011 Mannheim International Gala, Germany – Gold Medal
2012 World Junior Championships Long Jump Finalist – 7th Place
2013 Taiwan Open Championships Long jump Finalist – Silver Medal
Under 20 Australian Record Holder – 6.60m 
2014 Australian Long Jump Champion – 6.70m (Commonwealth Games A Qualifying Standard) 
2015 IAAF Seiko Golden Grand Prix, Kawasaki Japan – 3rd, 6.46m
2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships – 14th, 6.64m
2016 Canberra Track Classic – 6.94m  – Gold Medal

2016 Perth Track Classic – 7.05m -> AUSTRALIAN/ OCEANIA/ VICTORIAN Open Record – Gold Medal

2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships – 6.75m – 5th place

2016 Australian Athletics Championships and Olympic Selection Trials – Gold Medal
2016 Stockholm Diamond League – 4th place
2016 Finalist at the RIO Olympic Games – 7th Place 
2017 London Diamond League – 6.79m – Bronze Medal
2017  IAAF World Athletics Championships – 6.67m ​- 6th Place 

2018 Commonwealth Games (Gold Coast) 6.77m – Silver Medal

“I’m loving the opportunity of giving back to my sport and helping these terrific young Victorian athletes on their sporting journey.”