Ian Baker Inducted into Orienteering Australia Hall of Fame

Ian Baker was recently awarded membership into Orienteering Australia’s Hall of Fame. He received the Hall of Fame award plaque from Ron Frederick, winner of Australia’s ‘First Event’ on 23 August 1969 at Upper Beaconsfield, 44km south-east of Melbourne. Ian, now M90, has logged 2406 events as competitor, organiser or course-setter.

Ian Baker’s most outstanding contribution to Australian orienteering has been the establishment of the Australian Orienteer as Australia’s national orienteering magazine. Ian edited the Australian Orienteer initially from 1979 to 1985, then again from 1997 to 2004, when the professional quality of the magazine was significantly increased. Ian also played a central role in the development and promotion of ski orienteering in Australia during the 1990s, leading to the conduct of the first Australian Ski Orienteering Championships, in support of IOF efforts to have ski orienteering recognised as a Winter Olympic sport.

Asked for one thing orienteering can do better, Ian said, “The most important single objective for orienteering is to grow the membership and participation base. Compared with earlier years, we have gone backwards in relation to the steady increase in Australia’s population. For every local event – not bush events in distant locations – organisers should place posters in places such as libraries, supermarkets, schools and community notice boards within about 20 minutes’ drive of the event area. Orienteering Australia should prepare a series of templates for these posters, for web site publicity and as hand-out leaflets. It’s easy and is effective.”

You can read Ian’s complete Hall of Fame nomination here.

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