Marg Woodlock-McLean


Marg Woodlock-McLean during her time as Manager of Mt Martha Community House (Photo: Yanni Dellaportas)

This statement was prepared and presented by Marg Woodlock-McLean, former Australian Champion, 1956 Olympian, Vic Health Masters Games Gold medallist and World Masters Games Silver Medallist for the Mornington Peninsula Peace Vigil, October 2001.

Thank you very much indeed.

The ancient Olympic Games, held in Greece every four years, was a festival celebrating sport and human endeavour. There was a strictly observed tradition that a truce or peace was declared for the duration of the Games.

When Pierre de Cubitan founded the modern Olympic Games in 1896, the ancient Greek tradition of peace was fundamental to the principals of staging the games.

He stated that the Olympic Games was the forum for the youth of the world to gather for the glory of sport and international friendship. To provide a basis for world peace, now and in the future.

Peace would come from individual friendships, slowly, over the years. Sadly, there are those who see this sporting festival as a vehicle for violence. There are the obvious incidents, such as the massacre at Munich, and the not-so-obvious.

I, with other Australian Olympians, were the hosts of the International Olympians’ Reunion Center in Sydney last year. We hosted over 5,000 Olympians from all over the world during that time. One morning, we, and 50 guests, were instructed to vacate the building. It was done quietly, and efficiently. The building was searched and checked. Three quarters of an hour later, we were given the all clear. It was a bomb scare.

Despite this, the Center continued to operate throughout the Games according to the Olympic ideals.

Jessie Owens is one of the most famous Olympians in the world. As a black American, he competed in the 1936 Berlin Games.

[goes on to tell a story about Jesse Owens, which Marg has requested we not reproduce here, due to the personal nature of the story.]

Jesse’s story is typical of the strong, international friendships behind the scenes between Olympians across the world annd forged over many decades. Despite conflict and the dangers this may bring, the Olympic Games continue to be held. For international friendship between individuals and the peace that results is stronger than the threats.

These thoughts from His Holiness the Dalai Lama are among some of my favourites:

“Never Give up. No matter what is going on, never give up. Develop the heart. Too much energy in your country is spent developing the mind, instead of the heart. Be compassionate. Not just to your friends, but to everyone. Be compassionate. Work for peace in your heart and in the world. Work for peace. And I say again – Never give up. No matter what is happening, no matter what is going on around you. Never give up.”



A classically trained musician, with a strong interest in the Arts, 1956 Olympian Marg Woodlock-McLean has held many voluntary and paid positions in the Arts, Sports & Community fields including Creative Director of The Strolling Players (a youth performing arts touring troupe, who toured Australia, the U.K and Europe), Box Office Manager and Manager for the Playhouse Theatre, Toronto, Canada, Leader and Trainer for the Girl Guide movement in Australia and the UK and Manager of the National Water Sports Centre, Australia as well as being an active member of Red Cross Victoria (first aid units), GWS Sports Medicine First Aid and the Australian American Association, among other, varied roles.  She ran her own special events company, organizing and managing large-scale events at venues such as The Royal Exhibition Buildings, going on to win the Minister for Sport and Recreation Award for the Most Outstanding Community Event of 2000 for her flagship event for the Over 50’s Making The Most Of Life. Marg has also produced several large-scale televised concerts at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the Victorian Arts Centre with various television personalities and youth groups to raise money for charities such as The Royal Children’s Hospital.  Marg continues her involvement with the Olympic movement, serving for many years as a member of the Victorian Olympic Club Executive Committee, and working as a volunteer at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, as well as running with the Olympic torch in Frankston. She has received several awards, most recently MECWA’s Remarkable Person Award for her outstanding career and commitment to Older Persons, the Arts and Sport & Recreation.