Graham Wells MiddletonPrint Page Print this page

Plaque: 18-December-2016
Plaque: 18-December-2016

Photographs supplied by Neil Follett
The monument commemorates Rotarian Graham Wells Middleton, the first person to swim the length of the Murray River. He swam the 2366 kilometres over 138 consecutive days in 1992.

Graham Middleton conquered the Murray River as no other human had. On November 30, 1991 he dived from a boat into the cold, clear waters of the Murray River where it is joined by the Swampy Plains river.

The next year, after 138 days of incredible endurance and commitment, he climbed from the wave-lashed water of Lake Alexandrina at Wellington in South Australia. He had become the first person in history to swim the length of Australia’s greatest river.

In the process he raised $100,000 for cancer research and that feat made Graham Middleton the first individual in Australia to raise $100,000 for the cause. In the weeks and months after his swim ended, donations continued to roll in, with the final total topping $200,000.

Mr Middleton was a semi-retired motor dealer and bus proprietor at Corryong when he embarked on his epic journey of 2365km. His motivation was to raise money to help children with cancer. He started his swim on Saturday, November 30, just upstream of the Bring-enbrong bridge. Hundreds of Corryong and district residents were there to see the start. Even world boxing champion Jeff Fenech arrived, via helicopter, to wish him well. Fenech, who was a supporter of the Anti-Cancer Council, said the swim would make boxing look easy.

Mr Middleton made the most of the fast flowing upper reaches of the river, making it to Noreuil Park about 3.15pm on December 9, 1991. The further he swam, the harder it got, with little or no current in the lower reaches, combined with headwinds, slowing his progress. In all, he swam every day for 138 days, averaging 17km a day.

Graham Middleton died suddenly on October 27, 1995. He was at Lakes Entrance in his role as a commissioner with Towong Council. He will always be remembered as the swimmer who conquered the Mighty Murray.
Border Mail, (Peter Wilson), 17 December 2008.


Address:Jardine Street, near corner Murray Valley Highway , Corryong, 3707
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.195584
Long: 147.904341
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event Start Date:30-November-1991
Actual Event End Date:14-April-1992


Front Inscription

Graham Wells Middleton

1935 - 1995

Mighty Murray Marathon swimmer

This plaque is dedicated to the memory of Rotarian Graham Middleton, the first person to swim the length of the Murray River. 

Beginning at Bringenbong, near Corryong, on November 30 th. 1991, Graham swam 2366 kilometres over 138 consecutive days to finish in Lake Alexandrina, South Australia on April 14 th. 1992.

This feat is recognised in The Guiness Book of Records and was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Corryong, with the proceeds going to " Kids 'n' Cancer" and the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design