Australian Surfing Olympic team are “deadly in the water”

March 23rd, 2021

By John O’Neill, Founder and Principal

What comes after change management

At the Manly Novotel launch of the Surfing Australia Olympic Games team name on Wednesdsay, March 17, 2021, were the 2021 Olympic athletes Stephanie Gilmore (third seated athlete from left, Julian Wilson on her right and Sally Fitzgibbons on his right, along with Surfing Australia Chair Layne Beachley, (standing, third from right) and Surfing NSW Chair John O‘Neill (standing, second from left).

Photo credit: Ethan Smith, Surfing NSW.

Surfing Australia this week unveiled the new name for its Olympic team – the sport makes its debut at the Tokyo Games later this year – The Irukandjis, “deadly in the water”.

The Irukandjis name was generously gifted to Surfing Australia by the local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland, driven by the efforts of Indigenous athlete and former World Tour surfer, Soli Bailey and seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmour.

The tiny Irukandji – which measures just one cubic centimetre – is a species of box jellyfish found in the northern waters of Australia. Its sting causes symptoms that may lead to death.

“Our name and identity are powerful forces,” said Surfing Australia chair and seven-time world champion Layne Beachley. “It carries deep personal, cultural and historical connections. And that’s the message we’re sending to the world today. We are fierce, we are focused and we are formidable. We’re here to win and we are deadly in the water.”

Komosion’s Founder and Principal, John O’Neill also chairs Surfing NSW, and our company has worked with both Surfing Australia and the state surfing organisations, supporting them in developing their digital ecosystem.

“We’re really proud to work with a range of social enterprises and love the fact that Surfing Australia has chosen to recognise and celebrate Australia’s unique Indigenous heritage in this way on the world sporting stage,” Mr O’Neill said.

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