The IAAF is saddened to receive the news that Reg Brandis, OAM (AUS) passed away in his home city of Brisbane, Australia on Thursday 9 February. Brandis was a popular and leading contributor to the sport of athletics at local, national and international level - both as a professional administrator and voluntary official since his initial role as General Manager of Queensland Athletics began in 1984.
He made a deliberate decision from the outset to serve as a volunteer as well as in his paid role, earning enormous respect from all quarters.
His other key professional role in the sport was delivered during a three year term as Director of the IAAF’s Regional Development Centre for Oceania from 2006 to 2008.
IAAF President Lamine Diack said upon hearing the news of Reg’s death: “This is a heavy blow for the sport both in Australia and internationally, where Reg had given so much of his time and expertise over the years. I have met Reg on many occasions and was always impressed by his good nature, his love of the sport, and his willingness to serve others. I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the IAAF Family, to send my sincere condolences to Reg’s family and loved ones. We will miss him greatly.”
But Reg’s service in voluntary roles was probably been even more significant and valuable to our sport.
After first playing a role at national level as a Queensland delegate to Athletics Australia Congresses, he was soon elected as a member of the AA Board of Directors and served a term of more than ten years until 1998.
He acted as a National Team Manager, and was granted the Athletics Australia Merit Award in 1998 and in due course the status of Life Governor in 2005, the Australian federation’s highest internal recognition.
He became a Life Member of Queensland Athletics and received the Merit Award of the Oceania Athletic Association in 2008.
In 2011, Reg was honoured by both the IAAF with its Veteran Pin and the Government of Australia with the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Reg was most widely known, and regarded, for his role and achievements as a technical official. He was a long serving starter, referee and competition director at national championships and other major meetings on the national circuit over the last 25 years, beginning with an initial role as results room co-ordinator at the IAAF World Cup in Canberra in 1985.
Reg was appointed as Start Area Co-ordinator and Track Referee respectively for the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sydney, both high pressure roles which he executed with distinction. Later he was Track Referee for the Commonwealth games in Melbourne in 2006.
He became an IAAF International Technical Official in 2002 and served on panels at major IAAF events, including the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Moncton World Juniors, where he acted as chief of the panel. It was a role he personally regarded very highly. He had been appointed for London this year.
He was recognised as the Queensland Sport Officiator of the Year in both 2000 and 2008 and was one of only two technical officials included in the initial induction into the Queensland Sporting Hall of Fame in 2009. He was the Australian Sports Awards Official of the Year in 2001.
Reg was also an outstanding educator of his fellow officials, becoming an IAAF Level II Lecturer and being involved in the delivery of many courses at national, regional international level. His services were much sought after and highly regarded.
He was a member of the Athletics Australia Officials Committee since 1993, with significant periods, including recently until his passing, as chair. In these roles he was a key player in the modernisation of officiating in Australia and, especially in officials’ education.
Reg’s passing came after a very recent diagnosis of lung cancer. He will be sadly missed by many in the athletics communities throughout the world.
Friend and fellow ITO – 10 February 2011