Australia Day honours: Greg Chappell is going in to bat for kids on the street

The Chappell Foundation’s Patron and co-founder Greg Chappell has been made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), in this year’s Australia Day honours.

Peter Lalor, The Australian’s senior cricket writer (and TCF director), reports on this acknowledgement of Greg’s sporting brilliance and his subsequent service to cricket and the community.

Australia Day honours: Greg Chappell is going in to bat

for kids on the street

It could have been for that cover drive, the Test century or the 24th in his final game, his captaincy, or even his stewardship of Australian cricket in the decades that followed his retirement.

But Greg Chappell’s Order of Australia award is for all of the above — as well as his significant contribution to charities.

The official citation reads for “distinguished service to cricket as a leading player, captain, coach and administrator at the elite level and for a range of charitable foundations”.

Few who saw Chappell bat will forget his elegance. His strokeplay was imperious, his hunger for big scores insatiable.

At 72, his back is as straight as it was when he was dominating an innings, his eye as clear, but it is not just cricket which drives him anymore.

“It is a great honour and a recognition for many years involved with cricket, but I am also pleased it includes the charity aspect because that is a very important part of my later life,” he told The Australian.

Four years ago, Chappell and his close friend Darshak Mehta formed The Chappell Foundation, an organisation that has raised more than $3 million for homeless youth.

“Having the profile from cricket gives me the platform to be able to raise awareness and raise funds for a cause that is, among many causes, very important,” Chappell said.

“Youth homelessness is important to me.

“A few years ago, Darshak asked me what I wanted to support.

Judy and I had been living in Melbourne and every morning I’d been going into

Fitzroy Gardens for exercise and began to realise how many people slept rough

there and the fact most of them were young.

“I don’t think it is acceptable there are over 100,000 homeless people in Australia,

and 40,000 of them are under the age of 25.

“Worse, it is a growing number.”

The former Australian captain, who is flanked by his brothers Ian and Trevor at

The Chappell Foundation, says one of the most significant moments came at a

fundraising dinner where John Singleton was so moved by their work that he

donated $1 million.

“The night that he handed me that crumpled-up form with ‘$1 million’ written on

the bottom of it made me realise what an impact we can have, and have had,”

Chappell said.

“We are now involved with six charities that are supporting hundreds of young

people, none of whom have chosen homelessness as a way of life.”

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