The Honourable John Landy, AC CVO MBE FTSE OLY, was a champion Australian athlete and later State Governor of Victoria.

Born in Melbourne in 1930, he became a keen runner while studying for a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne, as well as a skilled Australian rules footballer, playing for the University of Melbourne's Dookie College. In 1952, while still a university student, he became a member of the Australian Olympic Team at the Helsinki Olympic Games. He graduated in 1954, the same year he became the second person to achieve a sub-four minute mile at an international meeting in Finland. He also won silver in the 1,600m (one mile) event at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver.

On 12 March 1956 Landy famously stopped to help a fellow athlete during the Australian three-mile championship at Melbourne's Olympic Park, then caught up to the field of runners who had streamed passed him and went on to win the race in front of a cheering crowd.

In late 1956, John Landy ran at the Melbourne Summer Olympic Games, winning bronze in the 1,500m.

After his athletics career Landy became a senior manager at ICI Australia, served on the Victorian Land Conservation Council and authored books on natural history. On 1 January 2001 he was sworn in as Victoria's 26th Governor.

On 15 March 2006, during his final month as governor, Landy was the final runner in the Queen's Baton Relay at the opening ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, which ended at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of a large crowd.

The Queen's Baton Relay has been the traditional curtain-raiser to the Commonwealth Games since 1958. It symbolises the gathering of people from across the Commonwealth. On 14 March 2005 Her Majesty placed a message in the baton at Buckingham Palace, signalling the start of a journey of almost 180,000 kilometres. The baton's journey to the opening ceremony took exactly one year and one day, the first baton relay to visit all 71 nations of the Commonwealth. Athletes and non-athletes alike carried the baton.

John Landy was given the privilege of presenting the baton to Her Majesty The Queen. The baton, tracksuit and shoes that he wore on the occasion are held in the collection of Museums Victoria.

John Landy passed away in 2022, at the age of 91.


Sport Australia Hall of Fame,, accessed 21 Mar 2022.
Wikipedia, John Landy,, accessed 21 Mar 2022.
Athletics Australia, accessed 21 Mar 2022.
1956 'Landy Wins National 3-Mile Title', The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), 13 March, p. 7. , viewed 21 Mar 2022,

Queen's Baton Relay Tracksuit and Shoes, Creative Victoria,, accessed 21 Mar 2022.

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