Graeme was born on the 2nd January 1944 at Cremorne, Sydney. He started swimming with the Narrogin Swimming Club when he was 9 or 10 years old.
Graeme inherited is "giving" genes from his mother (Mrs Mac) who was always an office bearer of the Narrogin Swimming Club. Graeme thinks she held every position at one time or another. At that time, the President of Narrogin Swimming Club (Jack Valley) was very progressive and organised: Dawn Fraser, John and Ilsa Conrad, and John Hendricks to come to Narrogin and give swimming exhibitions.
Graeme was 10 or 11 years old when he participated in his first Country Championship at Crawley Baths and came 1st for the Juvenile Backstroke.
Graeme continued with his swimming until he was about 18, then had a break before commencing swimming in Mandurah. Shortly after the new Mandurah Aquatic Centre opened in 1982, Graeme and some others started a swimming club called "Sixpack" (named because the Swan Brewery offered 6 packs to sporting bodies for achievement awards). They were later approached by Peel Aquatic Club to come under their umbrella and Graeme went on to compete in country championships with Peel Aquatic.
In 1994, within 6 months of the Club forming, Graeme joined Mandurah Mannas. The next year, Graeme was among eight others who were the first Mandurah Mannas to compete in an AUSSI National Championship, which was held at Challenge Stadium. Graeme has competed in numerous Club Challenges and Open Water swims. He remembers when Mandurah was competing at Fremantle BACC Swim in cyclonic weather all weekend. Swimmers would stand on the blocks, a squall would come through and the timers would leave the swimmers at "Get Set" while they got out of the rain.
Graeme (at the back poolside) taking training at MARC
Old Jack (right), possibly asking Rod Baker where he bought his medals.
Graeme McAuslane (left) and Gerry Green with their Life Membership Awards.
Graeme also fondly remembers "old Jack" who was the Club's oldest member at 98. Jack only swam on Sundays. In his later years, Graeme would pick him up from his house every Sunday morning. Jack needed a lane on his own as he was very nervous about someone crashing into him. Jack always swam 16 laps in the 25 m Mandurah pool. When Mandurah Aquatic Centre closed, Graeme took him to the Warnboro Aqua Jetty 50 m Pool where Jack still swam his 16 laps, but commented that he thought it was bit a harder!
In 2001, Graeme was the recipient of the Kath McLeod Best Club Person Award and 2002 the Coaches Award. Graeme won the Club Challenge Award in 2004 and was runner-up in 2002, 2003 and 2005. Graeme served on the committee as Property Officer from 2001 to 2004 years, Club Captain in 2006 and as an Assistant Coach since 2009.
In 2006, Graeme's contribution to the club was recognised when, together with Gerry Green, he was awarded Life membership of Mandurah Mannas. Graeme's contributions to the Club are manifold. He has been the unofficial coach of Lane 1 for god knows how many years. Graeme has a knack of encouraging and coaching swimmers from Lane 1 on to the other lanes. Graeme says "I'm not a coach, but a communicator". He is a great supporter of the Sunday ‘Aerobic Swims’ (now called the Vorgee Endurance 1000). He no longer swims in these, but is there as a timekeeper practically every Sunday. He has made a big contribution to the Club by his willingness to manufacture any item required, these have included: the equipment trolley, the shelving of our storage room, and the Starters Station. Graeme is always there when it comes to setting up for events such as the hosting of a Club Challenge or Open Water Swim. Not just as a working pair of hands, but arranging equipment or making it if required; i.e. Open Water Swim buoys and anchors. He has provided a boat and self for nearly all the Open Water Swims the Club has held. Graeme has always been the Club’s - I’ll get it or I’ll make it - person!
Apart from the camaraderie within the Club, Graeme enjoys seeing people improve their swimming and increase their self-esteem and confidence, for example when new members take on office positions and the challenge of ocean swimming, or non-swimmers learn Butterfly. And when it comes to encouraging people, Graeme is a Master!