Liesl Tesch, AM, Ambassador to Fairhaven
Liesl has competed in five Paralympic Games with the Australian wheelchair basketball team (1992 Barcelona, 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing) winning three medals, and was the first woman in the world to play wheelchair basketball professionally.
She took up sailing in 2010, and went on to win back-to-back gold medals for Australia at both the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Paralympics.
Liesl was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2014 Australia Day Honours in recognition of “significant service to sport as a gold medallist at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, and through the promotion and facilitation of sport for people with disabilities”.
She and her team mate, Daniel Fitzgibbon, were jointly named as Sailors of the Year with a Disability in 2011. The Tesch-Fitzgibbon team have continued to dominate the sailing world, winning many other accolades and both receiving Sailor of the Year with a Disability at the Yachting Australia Awards in 2015.
Liesl resides in Woy Woy and was a secondary school teacher.
After finishing seven Paralympic Games – with a medal tally of two golds for sailing, plus two silvers and a bronze in wheelchair basketball – Liesl Tesch has chosen to retire as sailing is not a part of the Tokyo Games in 2020.
Liesl continues to be an advocate for ability and plans to develop sailing programs that increase the opportunities for people with disabilities around the world.
In April 2017, Liesl Tesch was elected the Member for Gosford at the Gosford state by-election.