Australian basketball great Andrew Gaze has been named the 2014 Australian Father of the Year, as awarded by children’s charity, The Shepherd Centre.
Melbourne-based Gaze, 49, is a father of four – Courtney, 20, Phoebe, 18, Annie, 15, and Mason, 13 – and was presented with the Award in honour of his devotion to his family, and his significant contribution to Australian sport.
In accepting the Award, Gaze said he was humbled to be honoured for his greatest achievement – his family.
“I have been blessed with a fantastic family. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to raise my four kids,” Gaze said. “My role as a father has been in partnership with my wife, and the raising of our children has been our greatest priority.
“As a son, I’m fortunate to have had the greatest parents in the world, and I endeavour to follow in their footsteps by providing my children with the same unconditional support, guidance and love that my parents showed me.”
Chairman of the Australian Father’s Day Council, Maurice Newman, said the award recognises Andrew’s achievements, both on and off the sporting court.
“The Australian Father of the Year Award celebrates the critical importance of good fatherhood to a child’s development,” Newman said.
“As a father of four, Andrew is a wonderful role model for his own family; but as a five-time Olympic champion, and the greatest ever player in the history of the NBL, he is an inspiration to many young Australian athletes.
“Andrew’s achievements on the basketball court are legendary, but it’s his off-court commitment to his family, his community, his philanthropic efforts, and the enduring contribution he has made to the next generation of sporting heroes in this country, which make Andrew a very worthy recipient of this year’s Father’s Day honours.”