James Tomkins OAM

Australian Olympic Rower

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Keynote, Motivation, Teamwork

James Tomkins is Australia’s most established and decorated rower of all time. Competing in six Olympic Games, and winning 4 Olympic medals, 3 gold and 1 Bronze.

Tomkins is the only rower in history to win world titles in every sweep oar event.

Furthermore, James has received both an Order of Australia as well as ‘The Thomas Keller Medal’, the International Rowing community’s most prestigious award. From the late ’80s through to 2008, Tomkins outperformed most competition he faced, winning 7 world championship titles, numerous world cup events, along with the Olympic medals.

In his sixth Olympic showing, James was awarded the honour of being Australia’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic games. In 2012, Tomkins was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame, as well as being elected into the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission.

Whilst achieving all these successes James held down full-time employment, studying and working in the Finance sector, as well as being a devoted husband and father to 3 daughters. He is now heavily involved in sports administration at the highest level as a member of the International Olympic Committee and Australian Olympic Committee. He is passionate about sport and the all the benefits of an ive and healthy lifestyle that  it brings, and continues to strive with significant physical and mental challenges like Ironmen, ultra-marathon and island crossings in kayaks.

James Tomkins is the only rower in history to win world championship titles in every sweep oar event. James together with his crewmates took the rowing world by storm in the early 1990's earning the "Oarsome" name and reputation with convincing victories in the 1990 and 1991 World Championships, and the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

Despite taking a break from competitive rowing for nearly three years the new Foursome successfully defended their Olympic title in Atlanta 1996.

In 1999 Tomkins and Drew Ginn combined to win the coxless pairs at the World Titles, and in 2004 the "Dynamic Duo" showed they were the best in the world with their Gold Medal at The Athens Olympics


  • 6 Olympics
  • 3 Olympic Gold Medals, 1 Bronze Medal
  • 7 World Championship Gold Medals
  • Many National Championships


“Middy’s recently had James Tompkins speak at our annual National Sales Conference, James was an exceptional speaker he spoke about his career which expanded over 6 x Olympic games which were captivating. But everything that he did over his career was relatable back to the business world, speaking about getting the process right, goal setting, dealing with adversity which the Middy’s team found extremely valuable. I have had a number of speakers at our Sales Conferences over the journey and l would have James right up there with the best. What a story!!!”

- Mark Carrington, National Sales Manager, Middy’s Data & Electrical 

“Your presentations were truly inspirational and full of passion. Our clients and staff found them extremely motivating and they delighted in the way you were able to tell a story, often with great amusement. The feedback we’ve received following the events has been extremely positive and people managed to take a lot away from what you said, the discipline, the enjoyment in what you do and above all the fact that you can still have doubts at your level of competition before a race - well that makes us all feel a little more human. Once again, thank you for sharing your story with us, your dedication and love of the sport was obvious and your personality shone through.”

- John Fitzgerald, MD, JLF Corporation Pty Ltd 

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