John Bertrand is a businessman, international sportsman, and philanthropist.
In his business career, he successfully built companies in the marine industry, property development and digital media industries in Silicon Valley.
In 1996, he was co-founder and chairman of Quokka Sports, a pioneering digital sports broadcast company based in San Francisco. Quokka Sports was the official digital broadcaster of Motor GP, Le Mans, America’s Cup, and in partnership with NBC, NBCOlympics.com for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Over his 25-year international sporting career,he was involved in five America’s Cup campaigns, both sailing, management, skipper of Australia 11 and chairman of oneAustralia. Hecompeted in two Olympic Games, ‘72 Munich and ‘76 Montreal (Bronze medal).
He skippered the winged keel Australia 11 to victory over the US Defender Liberty to win the 1983 America's Cup, ending 132 years of American domination and in the process, breaking the longest-running record in the history of modern sport.
When Australia 11 finally crossed the finishing line (after coming from 3 races to 1 down), the nation celebrated as never before.
Prime Minister Bob Hawke summed it up…”any boss who sacks anyone today for not turning up is a bum!”
The Confederation of Australian Sport voted the Australia 11 victory as the ‘greatest team performance in 200 years of Australian sport’.
America’s Cup winner, Olympic bronze medalist and multiple world Etchell class sailing champion, John is a Legend of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
John is currently president and chairman of Swimming Australia, representing over 4.5 million participants and responsible for the country’s most successful Olympic team.
He is also chairman of The Sport Australia Hall Fame and formerly chair of the Alannah and Madeline children’s foundation.
He has an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University and is a Vice Chancellor Professorial Fellow at Monash University with particular focus on high end leadership.
He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Monash University and a Master of Science from MIT in Boston.
In 2016, his Order of Australia AM award was upgraded to AO…in recognition for sporting administration, in particular swimming and sailing, children’s welfare, higher education and mentoring of young people.
He continues to mentor young aspiring Olympians.