“Great Sporting Land” tours Australia’s sports-mad history



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Suhair Khan

Program Manager, Google Arts & Culture

Published Aug 20, 2019

Australians have a passion for sports—so much that it was perfectly normal for the Prime Minister to give the entire country the day off when they won a boat race back in 1983. Over generations, Australia’s favorite pastimes have shaped the country’s identity, values and culture. Along with the Melbourne Cricket Club, Australian Football League, National Portrait Gallery and the North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, Google Arts & Culture is showcasing the people, moments and places that led Australia to become the “Great Sporting Land” it is today. 

The exhibition features over 11,000 archived images and videos, and more than 100 original stories from more than 30 partners. To do so, Google’s Art Camera technology has been on a marathon between sporting institutions across the country to capture over 200 pieces of art, archival materials and artifacts in high resolution gigapixel quality.

  • Bradman Museum

    Zoom into the details of Don Bradman’s original bat (held here by Steve Waugh).

  • Fanny Durack

    Learn about the lives of Australian sporting pioneers and female icons, including Sarah “Fanny” Durack.

  • MCG

  • AFL Fans

    A Crows and a Dockers fan pose for a photograph at a Women’s AFL game.

  • Mark Warren

    See thousands of new surf  images online from North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club, the National Archives and the Australian National Surfing Museum


  • Andrew Rugby

    Australian All Stars: Tune in to interviews with sporting stars.

  • Ashes

    “Australia defeats England on home soil for the first time 1882.” This is where the term “Ashes” was first coined.

  • Blind Cricket Ball

    Sports can be an incredible vehicle for the inclusion of people with disabilities, including Blind Cricket.

Join cricket legend Steve Waugh who will take you on a tour of the archives of the world-famous Bradman Museum where you can zoom in to the hand-etched scores on the back of Don Bradman’s first bat. Or take a trip to a changing room at The Sydney Cricket Ground, where visiting players have drawn their standout batting and bowling figures on the changing room door. You can also follow Steve Waugh through a video series that offers never-before-seen insight into his work and memories of the sport. 

Then put on your cossies or your togs (swimwear) to feel the vibes of a trip into Summers Past from the National Archives of Australia —an exhibition celebrating the golden days in the Australian sunshine. The surf’s up when you Watch the Waves, a selection of photographs by the National Archives, or explore the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club in Google Street View.

For Australians, sports are a part of national identity, pride and belonging, whether played by everyday people or world known icons. To discover more moments from Australia’s sporting history by visiting, or download the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android.

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About Ronnie

Ronald Antonio O'Sullivan OBE (born 5 December 1975) is an English professional snooker player who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. He has won five World Championships, a record seven Masters titles, and a record seven UK Championships, setting a record total of 19 titles in Triple Crown tournaments. He shares the record for the most ranking titles (36) with Stephen Hendry. His career earnings of over £10 million put him in first place on snooker's all-time prize-money list. Winning the Tour Championship on 24 March 2019 made him the sport's current world number one, the fourth time in his career that he has held the top position and the first time he has been number one since May 2010. This is the longest gap between number one spells by any player in history.