Australian orienteering has lost a giant of the sport with the passing last weekend of Michael (Mike) Hubbert. Orienteering Australia extends its deepest sympathies to the family of Mike.
Mike was one of the founders of orienteering in Australia as we know it today when orienteering began its path towards becoming a national sport in Australia. He was the event secretary for the Upper Beaconsfield event held in August 1969 that began this path, and competed in the event, finishing eighth out of 33 starters. In early 1970, he was involved with Tom Andrews, David Hogg and Ron Frederick in establishing the Victorian Orienteering Association and the Orienteering Federation of Australia.
In June 1975 Mike was elected Secretary of the Orienteering Federation of Australia, holding that position until 1981. Notable highlights of Mike’s period as Secretary were his major contribution to Australian orienteering’s first development plan and on his initiative in 1976 an action plan to bid to host the 1985 World Orienteering Championships in Australia. He worked with Tom Andrews, Ted Wester and Alex Tarr to develop the bid documentation and, in July 1980, attended the IOF Congress in Germany to promote the bid which was accepted. The hosting of WOC85 proved to be one of the most important events in the development of Australian orienteering.
Mike was best known to the wider Australian orienteering community as the long-standing Editor of the Australian Orienteer magazine, He assumed this important role in mid-2004 when he took over from Ian Baker. Continuing to work with Peter Cusworth, Mike maintained the high quality of the magazine up until his retirement with the March 2023 edition where he passed on the editorship to Hania Lada.
In recognition of his outstanding service to Australian orienteering, Mike was presented with the SILVA Award for Services to Orienteering in 2021.
Everyone who knew Mike knew that he loved orienteering wholeheartedly and he was incredibly passionate about the sport.
Mike’s club Bayside Kangaroos has set up a Tribute page at https://bkorienteering.org.au/michael-hubbert/
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Thank you, Mike. The Australian orienteering community will greatly miss you.