Any discussion on rowing in Australia inevitably comes back to the arrival of the First Fleet in Australia, and to the fact that nearly all early settlements were established on the coast on suitable harbours.  The venue for rowing was the harbours or rivers and the gigs and lifeboats of the Fleet would have been the best maintained gear available.

The first recorded boatrace was held on Sydney Harbour in 1805 in four oared gigs from English ships and the first regatta was rowed by the whale boaters of Tasmania at Hobart in 1827, and the second at Sydney in the same year.

Brisbane was first established as a penal settlement in 1824 and Queensland became a separate colony on December 10, 1859.  According to W.B. Carmichael in his book "Amateur Rowing" published in 1900, the first annual Anniversary Regatta was held on December 10, 1860 and continued annually as one of Brisbane's most popular sporting fixtures of the year.

It was natural that rowing became a popular sport very early in the history of Brisbane and the later northern settlements.  All were founded on large rivers which were not bridged for many years and a large fleet of boatmen plied their craft in transporting people, merchandise and cattle across the streams. Goods were also transported with the tide to Ipswich and the return journey on an outgoing tide. The age of steamers was still to come and rowing was the only means of progress on the water for many years.

Rowing has produced many outstanding athletes. The following have represented Australia at the Olympic Games.

1972 Munich Olympic Games
Peter Shakespear (M4+)

1976 Montreal Olympic Games
Tim Conrad (M8+)
Gary Uebergang (M8+)
Peter Shakespear (M8+)

1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games
Duncan Fisher (M4-)
Ian Edmunds (M8+)

1988 Seoul Olympic Games
Richard Powell (M4x)
Malcolm Batten (M8+)

1992 Barcelona Olympic Games
Richard Powell (M4x)
Robin Bakker (M4x)
Wayne Diplock (M8+)
Bo Hansen (M8+)

1996 Atlanta Olympic Games
Duncan Free (M4x)
Bo Hansen (M4x)
David Weightman (M2-)
Hamish Karrasch (ML4-)
Gary Lynagh (ML4-)
Bruce Hick (ML2x)
Marina Hatzakis (W2x/W4x)

2000 Sydney Olympic Games
Duncan Free (M4x)
Bo Hansen (M4-)
Hamish Karrasch (ML2x)
Bruce Hick (ML2x)
Marina Hatzakis (W2x)

2004 Athens Olympic Games
Duncan Free (M4x)
Shaun Coulton (M4x)
Bo Hansen (M8+)
Michael Toon (M8+)

2008 Beijing Olympic & Paralympic Games
Duncan Free (M2-)
Sam Conrad (M8+)
Sally Kehoe (W8+)
Pippa Savage (W1x)
Marguerite Houston (WL2x)

2012 London Olympic & Paralympic Games

Olympic Games
Hannah Every-Hall (LWT2x)
Sally Kehoe (W8+)

Paralympic Games
Erik Horrie Adaptive Arms Only (M1x)

2016 Rio De Janerio Olympic Games

Alexander Belonogoff (M4x)
Sally Kehoe (W2x)
Jessica Hall (W4x)
Madeleine Edmunds (W4x)
Tom Westgarth (Coach W4x)
Fiona Albert (W8+)
Ray Ebert (Team Manager)