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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

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Durack, Sarah (Fanny) (1889–1956)

by Judy Joy Davies

The news that world famous swimmer, Miss Fanny Durack had died at her Sydney home yesterday took me back to a twilight evening three years ago when I climbed from the Sydney Olympic pool after swimming 32 laps, and looked anxiously at a long line of official timekeepers.

Then Fanny ran up, stopwatch still in hand, and threw her arms around me.

"You're the first Australian girl to break the world mile record since I did, 38 years ago," she cried as she kissed me.

Miss Durack had a wealth of swimming knowledge. She was Australia's first woman Olympic Games representative, first Olympic winner, and first world record holder.

She passed away following a heart seizure only hours after officiating and encouraging swimmers at a Sydney carnival.

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Citation details

Judy Joy Davies, 'Durack, Sarah (Fanny) (1889–1956)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 8 February 2023.

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