Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Carlton, Melissa (1978 - )

South Africa
Paralympian, Sports Administrator and Swimmer


Melissa Carlton is a freestyle swimmer who migrated with her family to Tasmania from South Africa at the age of twelve in 1986. At the the 1996 Paralympic Games held in Atlanta she won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze. She also held the world record for the 400 meters freestyle. Born with a congenital leg disability, Carlton says 'I never considered myself to be disabled because this is how I have always been. It's how I have always swum.'

Conisdered to be somewhat of an icon of Tasmanian sport, Carlton was named Tasmanian Sportswoman of the the Year in 1996. In 2000, she was appointed Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Paralympic Committee.



Gold Medalist at the Barcelona Paralympics
Gold Medalist at Victoria Commonwealth Games - Swimming (Disabled) - 100m Freestyle (S9)
Gold, Sliver and Bronze Medalist at the Paralympics in Atlanta. - She won a bronze medal in the 100 metres (109 yards) backstroke, silver medals in the 100 metres butterfly and the 100 metres freestyle, gold medals in the 400 metres (437 yards) freestyle and the 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay.
Tasmanian Sportswoman of the Year
Awarded a senior scholarship to the Tasmanian Institute of Sport
Silver and Bronze Medalist at the Syndey Paralympic Games
Received the Tasmanian Athlete with a Disability of the Year award

Sources used to compile this entry: Melissa Carlton File, 1992 - 2000; Newspaper Cutting File; National Sport Information Centre.

Archival resources

National Sport Information Centre

  • Melissa Carlton File, 1992 - 2000; Newspaper Cutting File; National Sport Information Centre. Details

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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