Before she began supporting leukaemia research in honour of her late husband, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson took the world by storm with her sporting achievements, which—ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games—have now been recognised with a Commonwealth Games life membership.
Marjorie was just 17 years old when she was first introduced to the global athletics stage in 1949 when she won the 100-metre sprint at the Sydney Sports Grounds.
Since then, Marjorie—affectionately known as ‘The Lithgow Flash’—has been honoured for a number of achievements, including being:
- the first Australian woman to win Olympic gold on the running track at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games
- appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1953 ‘For Women’s athletics’ becoming the first Australian woman to receive this honour for sporting achievement
- one of the original inductees into the Sport Australia Hall for Fame in 1985, and later elevated to Legendary status 10 years later
- appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘For service to community health and to sport’ and in 2001 appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
- appointed as Governor of South Australia from 2001-2007
Now, she is proud to add Commonwealth Games Life Member to the list.
“I’m very honoured to have received Life Membership from the Commonwealth Games of Australia,” she says.
“My association with them has spanned many years and in June my daughter, Sandra, accepted the award on my behalf at a function held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.”
In recent years, Marjorie’s focus has been on establishing the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund in her husband’s memory, which is proudly administered by Cancer Council SA.
“I am very proud that over the past 45 years, with the support of a handful of volunteers and the South Australian community, we have been able to sponsor 10 researchers through the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund, in the hopes of finding a cure for leukaemia,” Marjorie says.
Currently, Dr Laura Eadie from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) is the recipient of the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund. The fellowship is supporting Dr Eadie and her team in their search for targeted treatment options with fewer side effects for sufferers of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Dr Eadie said that financial support is vital for emerging research leaders, like herself, to be able to continue their important work.
“Through the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund, I have received a continuity of funding that has enabled me to lead important work that will help all leukaemia patients,” Dr Eadie explains.
“I am proud to be a recipient of the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund and am incredibly thankful for the generous support that makes this research possible.”
To find out more about the Peter Nelson Leukaemia Research Fellowship Fund and to make a donation, click here.