Edwin FlackPrint Page Print this page

21-April-2019 (John Huth)
21-April-2019 (John Huth)

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders / John Huth

The sculpture of Edwin Flack was erected in 1996 by the citizens of Berwick to mark the centenary of Flack’s achievements in the 1896 Athens Olympic Games.

On the second day at the games, Flack won Australia`s first gold medal in the 1500 metres run. On the fourth day he also won gold in the 800 metres run (although silver medals were actually awarded to first place getters at these Games). He also unsuccessfully competed in two tennis events and the Marathon.

The local population took to the young Australian and he was soon dubbed "the Lion of Athens" for his indomitable spirit and inspiring ability. He returned to a distinguished accountancy career in Melbourne in 1898 before retiring to a cattle property in Berwick.

Due to his efforts in Athens, Australia is one of only a handful of countries to have been represented at every modern Olympic Games. He has previously been honoured with the release of a $10 coin and a postage stamp and a street running alongside Olympic Stadium in Sydney is named after him.


Address:High Street, Median Strip, Berwick, 3806
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.031038
Long: 145.344434
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1896
Approx. Event End Date:1896
Artist:Smiley Williams


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1996
Front Inscription

Edwin H Flack
Australia`s first Olympic Gold Medallist

Edwin Flack was the sole Australian to compete in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 at Athens Greece.  Flack took part in five events 800m, 1500m, and marathon (athletics) and in the Tennis (singles & doubles).  Flack was successful in winning the 800m and 1500m events.

Edwin Flack was an accountant and lived in Melbourne.  Berwick however was Flack`s second home as he owned the farming property "Burnbank" located between Beaumont and Buchanan Roads.  On this property with his partners Sir Sydney Sewell and later William Gamble, Flack established a most successful Fresian dairy herd from which he produced milk and cheese.

Edwin Flack was born in England in 1873, immigrated with his family to Australia in 1878, and following an eventful life died in 1935.  Flack never married.  Many charitable and welfare organizations, hospitals and research funds have benefited from his estate.  He was buried at the Berwick Cemetery.

This statue of Edwin Flack by `Smiley Williams` was erected in 1996 by the citizens of Berwick to mark the centenary of Flack`s achievements in Athens.

Back Inscription

The generosity of the following people and organisations has made the erection of this statue possible -
State of Victoria,
the Marion & E H Flack Trust,
Caserta Nominees,
Mr Charles Gamble,
Mrs Ray Kemp,
he Lucas Family,
Mr Ellis Loveridge,
Mr & Mrs W H Hudson,
Mr & Mrs C A Molyneux,
Safeway Supermarkets,
Roche Bros P/L,
Rotary Clubs of Berwick & Narre Warren,
Akoonah Park Committee of Management,
Berwick Village Chamber of Commerce. 

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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