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Tammy van Wisse


Tammy van Wisse is sheer inspiration. She has swum one-and-a-half times around the planet, setting six world records – five of which are still current. ‘There are no boundaries,’ Tammy says. ‘Once you have the right mindset, whatever your goal, you can get there.’ Tammy is happiest in the water and continues to goal-set and achieve.

Her never-give-up world champion stories are enlightening, entertaining and powerfully motivating. She shares her secrets and strategies of how to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Her stories of courage and bravery are unforgettable. Few are as dedicated or as committed. ‘There’s always something left in the tank,’ she says.

‘You may think you have been pushed to a particular limit – but you can go on. The mind is just so powerful.’ All of Tammy’s family are achievers. Her grandfather once walked 80 kilometres during wartime to bring back a loaf of bread to his family in Arnhem in Holland.

After his family had their share, he had a slice and said ‘it tasted like cake’. ‘You don’t forget stories like that,’ Tammy says. ‘It makes you humble and brings your own life back into perspective.’ As a young girl Tammy van Wisse was told she’d never be any good at sports. She started swimming partly to combat a weight problem and years later, is acknowledged as one of Australia’s swim greats and one of the most iconic Australian sportswomen of all.

Her determination to achieve saw her win three Lorne Pier to Pubs and for a record 17 years in a row she was the Royal Lifesaving Victorian Ironwoman. Her first marathon swim was from Beaumaris to Frankston, a distance of 20 kilometres. Her Bass Strait crossing and Murray River epic are her signatures. Now she works tirelessly raising awareness about water safety and environmental issues.

Tammy’s achievements include:

  • Swimming more than 65,000 kilometres – one-and-half times around the world
  • Representing Australia in 18 international marathons
  • Winning more than 150 Victorian Royal Lifesaving State medallions
  • Setting six world records; five are still current

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