Graham Arnold and Cheryl Salisbury among 12 Sydney Cricket Ground Life Member inductees

The Sydney Cricket Ground inducted 12 new life members tonight, including the first representatives from football and the Sydney Swans. 

At a special function held on the SCG field of play and in front of the heritage Members and Ladies pavilions, the ranks of life members grew from 33 to 45.

Cheryl Salisbury
Cheryl Salisbury and Belinda Clark.
Graham Arnold
Graham Arnold and Steve Waugh.

The new life members are:

• Graham Arnold (football)

• Ken Arthurson (rugby league)

• David Campese (rugby union)

• Belinda Clark (cricket)

• Richard Colless (Australian Rules)

• Glenn McGrath (cricket)

• Michael O’Loughlin (Australian Rules)

• Nick Politis (rugby league)

• Cheryl Salisbury (football)

• Basil Sellers (philanthropy)

• Mark Taylor (cricket)

• Steve Waugh (cricket)

SCG Life Members

All 12 inductees attended and were presented their life membership badges by existing life members including sprint legend Marlene Mathews, rugby league great Ron Coote and triple international Michael Cleary. Earlier in the night, they were greeted by NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper and Venues NSW chairman David Gallop and CEO Kerrie Mather.

Matildas icon Cheryl Salisbury and current Socceroos coach Graham Arnold are the first football Life Members, while long-serving Sydney Swans chairman Richard Colless and premiership winner Michael O’Loughlin are the first Swans honoured.

Three of Australia’s greatest cricket captains in Belinda Clark, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh were recognised for feats on the field and significant ongoing contributions off it. Fast bowler Glenn McGrath was also honoured as much for his career as for the McGrath Foundation’s partnership with Sydney’s New Year’s Test that continues to help families all around Australia. Australian sport’s most generous man, Basil Sellers, was recognised for his support of sport and the arts, particularly cricket, the Sydney Swans and the sculpture project that carries his name in the SCG precinct.

The most exciting rugby union player of his era, David Campese, was inducted and now joins fellow Wallabies all-time greats Trevor Allan, Ken Catchpole, Sir Nicholas Shehadie and Col Windon.

Two of rugby league’s most influential administrators were elevated to life membership, Ken Arthurson for his leadership of the game as the long-time chairman of the Australian Rugby League and New South Wales Rugby League, and Roosters chairman Nick Politis who has been a part of the club since 1976 and its chairman for three decades and counting.

“When I look at these names, we are talking about the best of the best,” NSW Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said. “The players and athletes who captured our imaginations. The champions that forged a new path. The stalwarts that built clubs and codes into the powerhouses they are today. As well as those whose generosity and philanthropy has given so much to our wider community.”

Mr Kamper said each of the 12 new life members thoroughly deserved their place in one of Australian sport’s most exclusive clubs.

“The calibre of current life members is the best indication of how high the bar is. Life membership is only bestowed on the best of us,” Venues NSW chairman David Gallop said.

“This is the first induction in 15 years and the 12 new life members are the worthiest of additions. I look forward to the ranks growing in the years ahead.”

The 2023 group induction is the third, following those in 2000 and in 2008. In 2000, some of Australian sport’s greatest ever were inducted including Sir Donald Bradman, rugby league Immortal Reg Gasnier, cricketers Richie Benaud, Doug Walters and Neil Harvey, and athletics legends Betty Cuthbert and Marjorie Jackson-Nelson. In 2008, the rugby league Team of the Century was inducted prior to the Centenary Test when Australia played New Zealand, seeing NRL Hall of Fame members Arthur Beetson, Ron Coote, Bob Fulton, Noel Kelly, Graeme Langlands, Bob McCarthy, Norm Provan and Arthur Summons joining Gasnier as Life Members.

Existing life members

• Patrick Hills AO

• Sir Roden Cutler VC AK KCMG KCVO CBE

• Arthur Morris MBE

• Betty Cuthbert AC MBE

• Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC CVO MBE DStJ

• Marlene Mathews AO

• Richie Benaud OBE

• Sir Donald Bradman AC

• Bill Brown OAM

• Alan Davidson AM MBE

• Neil Harvey MBE

• Keith Miller MBE

• Norman O’Neill OAM

• Bob Simpson AM

• Doug Walters MBE

• Reg Gasnier AM

• Keith Holman MBE

• Trevor Allan OAM

• Colin Windon

• Sir Nicholas Shehadie AC OBE

• Arthur Beetson OAM

• Ron Coote AM

• Bob Fulton AM

• Noel Kelly OAM

• Graeme Langlands MBE

• Bob McCarthy MBE

• Norm Provan

• John Raper MBE

• Arthur Summons

• Hon. Michael Cleary AO

• Rodney Cavalier AO

• Ken Catchpole OAM

• Anthony Shepherd AO

More information

What is the criteria for life membership of the SCG?

Life membership is the highest individual honour at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It can be awarded sportspeople, administrators, officials or other contributors to the SCG precinct, and for outstanding career achievement.

What is the process for life membership?

The process starts with full and thorough consultation with home teams, codes and other stakeholders. The former SCG Trust began the current process in September 2020 in preparation for the opening of the new Allianz Stadium.

Who is eligible for life membership of the SCG?

Players, administrators, officials and other contributors to the SCG precinct. Nominations may come from sporting and other partners, with the process managed by the SCG Heritage Trust, which makes a recommendation to the board of Venues NSW. People who have been nominated previously remain eligible for future consideration.

When is the next induction of life members?

The next group induction of life members is likely to be in 2028.