The Gift has come a long way since farmer Bill Millard, who trained by chasing kangaroos, took out the first race in 1878. The Stawell Gift Carnival has since attracted all breeds of athletes and has been a great way for fans to see some of the world’s best up close.
Olympians such has Asafa Powell (Olympic gold medallist and former 100m world record holder), Tamsyn Lewis (world indoor 800m champion) and even Australian pole-vaulter Steve Hooker have all graced the grass track at Central Park over the years, but there are still a few performances that reign supreme.
In an historic result in 2000, 16 year old Jarrem Pearce entered Australian sporting folklore, becoming the youngest winner in Gift history. He blitzed the field and took out the top prize, breaking the record that had stood since 1898.
By far the most famous and inspiring performances came from Australian athletic royalty, Cathy Freeman. She thrilled the crowd on multiple occasions and produced two of the most memorable races ever witnessed at Stawell. In an effort for the ages, Freeman gave up one of the biggest handicaps in carnival history (54 metres) only to run down the field and take honours at the line. She returned the following year in horrible weather conditions and did it again - running down the leaders to win in 50.54 seconds.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BVqoIcRM2I – Freeman 1995
Located at Central Park in Stawell, the Stawell Gift Hall of Fame is a must-see attraction for school groups, locals and visitors alike.
An integral part of our nation’s history the Hall of Fame is a veritable treasure trove, complete with artefacts, memorabilia, multimedia clips and archives dating back to 1878.
Central Park is a place where magic happens, where athletes dream of glory. It is one of the most famous events to grace Stawell and the Grampians region.
If you're planning to attend this year’s race, stay a little longer and explore the majestic Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park and the surrounding towns and villages. Make your trip to the Gift a great family road trip and be sure to check out all the great bakeries along the way. Plan your Grampians trip here
This year’s Gift will be run April 3-5 over the Easter long weekend and tickets are available from Wednesday 17 March via