About Shane

Shane Gould



Shane Gould MBE, takes her place in Australia’s sporting heritage as one of the worlds greatest female swimmers. She swam at the 1972 Olympics, and is still the only woman ever to win 5 individual medals, 3 gold, all in world record times, plus 1 silver and 1 bronze medal.


From 1971 to 1973 she broke 11 world records in 6 different events. In 1972 she held all Freestyle World Records from 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and 200m IM which to date, is unmatched.


She was an extremely versatile swimmer by also holding Commonwealth Records for 100m Butterfly and 400m IM.

Shane has always loved to swim and race. She received unprecedented national and international fame for her achievements, overwhelming for a child athlete of that era, which caused her to withdraw from competitive swimming when she was 17. This is ironic as her adult persona involves marketing, public speaking, writing, photography, film making and a portfolio of business interests.

Shane had a unique private family life for 22 years, raising 4 children, now adults, living a sustainable lifestyle on a farm in southwestern Australia. She raised commercial animals, trained horses, grew food gardens and was active in the Margaret River community in schools, sport and community issues.

Shane values health and continues to maintain a vigorous and high level of fitness and strength for her 56 years which allows her to surf, ride horses and compete occasionally in mature-age ocean and pool races. She has a strong belief that daily experiences in nature are vital for overall human development, wellbeing and vitality. Her robust health reflects this belief.

Shane’s philanthropic works include charities that act toward improving physical health and family relationships through activity in and out of the water. Together with her husband Milt Nelms,


the Shane Gould Swimming Project Inc provides swimming and water safety programs in places such as Fiji and Australia, designed to build community capacities and improve individuals health.

Shane’s bestselling autobiography “Tumble Turns” was published in 1999 and updated 2003.
Shane also writes about current sporting issues and has insightful opinions about drugs in sport, junior and masters sport and sports career transitions. She authored a book ‘Fit for 50’ and contributed to an International journal of Visual Communication. Shane studied at the University of Tasmania doing a Masters of Environmental Management in the School of Geography in 2010. Her thesis investigated the social uses and functions of public swimming pools.


Photography is a creative expression for Shane who has exhibited her underwater images in Sydney and Launceston. She is an artist member Art of the Olympians. There is a permanent exhibit, in Fort Myers Florida USA. Shane completed a Masters of Contemporary Art in 2012. Her major work was a video piece Loops and Lines contrasting beautiful moving bodies and shimmering water with harsh geometrical lines and architecture of the swimming pool.

Shane’s diverse business interests include a holiday accommodation business Beachend Bicheno. She is on the Australian board of directors of Against Malaria Foundation who organise World Swim. Shane travels extensively internationally and has spoken or worked on all continents except South America and Africa.




Personal Details

DOB: 23rd November 1956
Height: 172cm.
Married to: Milton Nelms 2007
Residence: Bicheno, Tasmania
Children: Joel 1978, Kim (girl) 1980, Tom 1982, Kristin (boy) 1983 Grandkids; Kobi 2004, Ariana 2006, Ava 2011
Interests: Reading, movies, gardening, pool and ocean swimming, photography, video production, surfing, golfing, body surfing.
Favourite food: Mediterrasian, steak, fish, soy flat white, broccoli, licorice
People I admire: Edward de Bono, Peter Dombrovskis (photographer), Edward Casey (Getting back into Place), Australian outback women pioneers, Jess McNeill and Sean Gladwell video artists. 
Favourite music: Cary Leewincamp, Chris Rea, Joni Mitchell
Books recently read: Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy, A Bigger message; Conversations with David Hockney, by Martin Gayford, Sport and Political ideology John Hoberman, Getting Back into Place by Edward Casey, Relationscapes by Erin Manning
Charities I support.


www.goodbeginnings.net Good Beginnings a National Parenting project, support for parents of young children.

Swimming Project in Fiji www.fijiswims.com/ShaneHistory.html

www.devilislandproject.com Creates sanctuaries for the endangered animal, the Tasmanian Devil.


www.oceanplanet.org.au creating more Marine National Parks