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(See list at the bottom of this page of all Aussie winners at the NABBA Universe in UK)

The Mr. Australia contest was originally staged by various promoters and not staged every year as it has been since 1958, with 1973 being the exception. The early events were not NABBA or IFBB events as such, and were not officially staged by any bodybuilding organisation. They were staged by individual promoters. Moving on from the UBBA of the early '80s, NABBA Australia only came into effect with its first Australian Championships in 1988.

The first Australian men's national champion to compete in the NABBA Universe was 1954 Mr. Australia John Penman who competed in the 1955 NABBA Universe where he won the Medium Class 2.  Of course some may say that because he was born in New Zealand, this rules him out as the first Australian born bodybuilder in the Universe. However he competed after winning the Mr. Australia title, so this first Aussie in the Universe honour is well deserved by him.
In 1959 Adelaide champion Tom Lardner won the Mr. Australia title. Being a fellow South Australian, he was my local inspiration when I first took up bodybuilding. Tom passed away on July 2nd, 2015.


Victor Vella
Victor Vella became the next Australian to compete in the NABBA Universe in 1963, where he placed 5th in Short Class 3. Although Victor was born in Malta, he went to the Universe representing Australia after winning the 1960, 1961 and 1962 Mr. Australia titles, so we can certainly claim him as an Australian competitor in the Universe.  On October 19th, 2011, I received documentation, photos, newspaper clips and videos, verifying that Victor won the Mr. Australia in 1960, 1961, 1962 and also in 1967. This makes him a 4 time winner of the Mr. Australia title.

Guy Emery was the next person to represent Australia in the Universe in 1965. He was unplaced in Class 2 and remains something of a mystery to me as to his background. I would love to have more info on him if anyone can help.

Les Spendlove was the next Australian to compete in the NABBA Universe in 1966. He was the 1965 Mr. Australia. Les placed 6th in Tall Class 1 in the 1966 Universe. This was the same class in which Chester Yorton beat Arnold into second place. Les came to Australia from Burma when he was 3 years old. He does hold the honour of being the first Australian to compete in the NABBA Universe who was actually announced as representing Australia! Even though Victor Vella represented Australia. Special thanks to Les Spendlove for sharing with me his early Mr. Universe history.

Frank Colombera was our next Aussie at the NABBA Universe, competing in Class 3 in 1970 and 1971 and  placing 4th and 3rd respectively. I will publish a list of every single Australian and their placing in the NABBA Universe at a later date, as a new separate NABBA Universe Aussie History Section.

Our next Australian NABBA Universe star was JOHN TERILLI. John won the ABBA Mr. Australia title in 1982 and also won a BEST IN AUSTRALIA title in a separate amateur contest at the 1980 IFBB Mr. Olympia. John became the first Australian born star to win his class at the NABBA Universe when he won Medium Class 2 at the 1982 NABBA Amateur Mr. Universe. He then competed as an IFBB Professional before later returning to NABBA.

In 1994 JOHN TERILLI won the NABBA PROFESSIONAL Mr. Universe title. The only other 2 Australian males to win Overall titles at the NABBA Universe were GRANT CLEMESHA - Overall Amateur Mr Universe in 1995 and LEE PRIEST Overall in 2013.
GRAEME LANCEFIELD won the first ever NABBA Masters Over 40 Mr. Universe title in 1991. 
MICHAEL MELKSHAM won the Junior Mr. Universe title in 1989. Other Universe Class Winners are listed below.

I have no records on who was the first Australian to compete in an International IFBB event. Please contact me if anyone has this information. My guess is that it was John Terilli when he competed in the 1980 IFBB World Amateur Championships in the Philippines.

Billy Knight, Gary Lewer and Justin Wessels jointly hold the UBBA-NABBA record of 3 Overall Mr. Australia titles. Billy won his in a run of 3 in a row from 1980. Gary holds the record for the most NABBA Universe appearances by an Australian at approximately 10. Justin Wessels won his 3 National titles in a row from 2008 to 2010. He also won the 2010 OHF Best Male Presentation Award. As Justin is still competing he could well add more Aussie titles!

(NB. The 1997 Overall Mr Australasia winner was JUSTIN WESSELS. Then 11 years later, JUSTIN WESSELS again won the National titles in winning the 2008 NABBA OVERALL MR AUSTRALIA. This was the first of 3 Mr. Australia victories in consecutive years, making Justin our greatest ever Australian national titleholder with 4 titles.)

There have also been a number of IFBB Mr. Australia winners since the mid 80s that I have no records on. Con Demetriou is said to have won 6 Mr Australia titles, I believe a mix of class and Overall titles.
I think that Jyrki Savolainen won IFBB Mr. Australia titles in the period from about 1979 to 1983.
I believe Luke Wood also won IFBB Mr. Australia titles.
In 1982 the IFBB in Australia became the NPC. In the years that followed there were no doubt at least 2 Mr. Australia winners from that time on - NABBA and NPC/IFBB.

I have just had extra info from Billy Knight. Originally a boxing champion, Billy was born in Fiji and has lived most of his life in Australia. As mentioned he won his 3 Mr Australia titles in a row from 1980 to 1982. His 1980 title was won in Brisbane and the contest was run by George Kentrotis, under the AFBB banner. Billy tells me that the first Australian IFBB contests started in 1981, keeping in mind that the 1980 Mr Olympia was an international professional IFBB event, run with huge success by Paul Graham. NPC, NPFC/IFBB are names also used by the IFBB in Australia.

The UBBA organisation started in 1982 with Billy as the first Australia winner. UBBA continued on running Mr. Australia titles till Gary Lewer won the last UBBA Australia title in 1987. Next year it became the NABBA Mr. Australia and the first such title was again won by Gary with Bruce Leong from the NT winning it in 1989 and 1990. Gary was guest poser in 1989 and not the winner as I had previously listed in error. For a number of years, NABBA Australia has been run with great success by Graeme Lancefield. You can contact Graeme through the NABBA Australia website at   . 

To see the list of our Australian Champions who have won at the NABBA Universe, please scroll down to the bottom of this page. All are shown in our Aussie Universe Winners DVD, GMV-675DVD.


Any corrections or extra information is welcome for this report. We know other Federations also held Australian titles. Please email me at

(Now including WFF Australia from 2009)
1947 Bob Human, SA
1951 Gordon Nutter, VIC
1954 John Penman, NSW
1955 Les Griffiths, NSW
1956 Charlie Serhon, NSW
1958 Joey Cassar, VIC
1959 Tom Lardner, SA
1960 Vic Vella, NSW (Michael Hunt won the Pro Mr. Australia of 1960)
1961 Vic Vella, NSW
1962 Vic Vella, NSW
1963 Les Griffiths, NSW
1964 Chim Leong, VIC
1965 Les Spendlove, NSW
1966 Carlo Zumbo, NSW
1967 Vic Vella, NSW
1968 Carlo Zumbo, NSW
1969 Carlo Zumbo, NSW
1970 Carlo Zumbo, NSW
1971 Peter McCarthy, VIC
1972 Frank Colombera, WA
1973 Roger Walker
1974 Ted Matush, NSW
1975 Roger Walker, NSW
1976 Billy Robertson, WA
1977 Ivan Djirlic, NSW
1978 Graeme Lancefield, VIC
1979 Peter Lindsay, VIC
1980 Billy Knight, NSW
1981 Billy Knight, NSW
1982 Billy Knight, NSW (UBBA)
1982 John Terilli, NSW (ABBA)
1983 Clem Ziegler, TAS
1984 George Costa, NSW
1985 Gary Lewer, VIC
1986 Sammy Ioannidis, VIC
1987 Gary Lewer, VIC
1988 Gary Lewer, VIC
1989 Bruce Leong, NT (NABBA)
1989 Lee Priest, NSW (IFBB)
1990 Bruce Leong, NT
1991 Gary Tchernakoff, WA
1992 Kevin O'Grady, NSW
1993 Grant Clemesha, WA
1994 Grant Clemesha, WA
1995 Lou Barrie, WA
1996 Colin Murphie, NSW
1997 Grant Mayo, NSW
1998 Charles Duca, NSW
1999 Tony Loiacono, WA
2000 Nick Jones, SA
2001 Lee Newman, QLD
2002 Nick Jones, SA
2003 Mark McEntyre, NSW
2004 Scott Burgess, QLD
2005 Adam Fennell, SA
2006 Charles Duca, NSW
2007 Darren Smith, TAS
2007 Alastair White, VIC - WFF
2008 Justin Wessels, NSW
2008 Phil Karlhuber, VIC - WFF
2009 Justin Wessels, NSW - NABBA
2009 Kristian Porthill, VIC - WFF
2010 Justin Wessels, NSW - NABBA
2010 Alastair White, VIC - WFF
2011 Abe Elzaibak, VIC - NABBA
2011 David Nazaroff, WA - WFF
2012 Frank Giampino, VIC - NABBA
2012 Oskar Sarkans, QLD - WFF
2013 Matt Smedley, S.A. - NABBA
2013 Wesley Newell, VIC - WFF
2014 Mick Dittman, VIC - NABBA
2014 Ang Vincenti, WA - WFF
2015 David Cutler, QLD - NABBA
2015 Marc Wheeldon, NSW - WFF
2016 Milton DeFreitas, WA - NABBA
2016 John Duff, WA - WFF

(Now including WFF Australia from 2009)

1982 Beth Lopez, VIC
1983 Beth Lopez, VIC
1984 Kathy Illingworth, NSW
1985 Leisa Campbell, VIC
1986 Irene Nickole, SA - Physique
1986 Dijana Kisul Rudolf, VIC - Figure
1987 Irene Nickole, SA - Physique
1987 Beth Lopez Coghlan, VIC - Figure
1988 Kim Knott, SA - Physique
1988 Jeanette Harper, NSW - Figure
1989 Irene Nickole, SA - Physique
1989 Jackie McKnight, QLD - Figure
1990 Deborah Compton, NSW - Physique
1990 Bronwyn O'Brien, VIC - Figure
1991 Tania Mittoni, WA - Physique
1991 Jacki Grieger, QLD - Figure
1992 Deborah Compton, NSW - Physique
1992 Sami Renouf, WA - Figure
1993 Tereza Sciascia, WA - Physique
1993 Denise Kelly, WA - Figure
1994 Lisa Egan, SA - Physique
1994 Tania Mittoni, WA -Figure
1995 Lisa Egan, SA - Physique
1995 Pina Theodoridis, VIC - Figure
1996 Gillian Marusco, WA - Physique
1996 Pina Theodoridis, VIC - Figure
1997 Gillian Bromley, WA - Physique
1997 Pina Theodoridis, VIC - Figure
1998 Christine Envall, VIC - Physique
1998 Lorraine March, SA - Figure
1999 Christine Envall, VIC - Physique
1999 Diane Jardim, QLD - Figure
2000 Joanne Rogers, QLD - Physique
2000 Loretta McMillan, WA - Figure
2001 Joanne Rogers, QLD - Physique
2001 Terri Roberts, SA - Figure
2002 Sandra Lee Jose, VIC - Physique
2002 Lorraine March, SA - Figure
2003 Vicki Reid, NSW - Physique
2003 Leigh Jarrett, SA - Figure
2004 Jo Rogers, QLD - Physique
2004 Stella Dinan, SA - Figure
2005 Rosemary Doorey, NSW - Physique
2005 Angela Thomas, WA - Figure
2006 Itzel Chavez, NSW - Physique
2006 Christine Hajjar, WA - Figure
2007 Marian Wilford, NSW - Physique
2007 Christine Hajjar, WA - NABBA Figure
2007 Ellena Tsatsos, VIC - WFF Figure
2008 Nicki Ware, QLD - Physique
2008 Coral Moody, QLD - NABBA Figure
2008 Mandy Knowles, WA - WFF
2009 Lisa Bailey, QLD - Physique
2009 Anne-Marie Lasserre, QLD - NABBA Figure
2009 Alison Mathews, QLD - WFF
2010 Shaz Simpson, QLD - Physique
2010 Annette Galagher, NZ - NABBA Figure
2010 Leonie Mischewski, WA - WFF
2011 Anne-Marie Lasserre, QLD - NABBA Figure
2011 Women's Physique - Discontinued
2011 Leonie Mischewski, WA - WFF
2012 Anne Sievers, QLD - Physique
2012 Lee Anne Vincent, WA - NABBA Figure
2012 Tracey Guile, QLD - WFF
2013 Sherrie Gossow, QLD - NABBA Figure
2013 Caris Rhodes, WA - WFF Figure
2014 Sherrie Gossow, QLD - NABBA Figure
2014 Annika Barnett, NSW - WFF Figure
2015 Renae Johnstone, VIC - Physique
2015 Annette Lachat, QLD - NABBA Figure
2015 Codi Deaves, NSW - WFF Figure
2016 Cecilia D'Amico, WA - NABBA & WFF Figure
2016 Tiahna Prosser, QLD - WFF Bikini Model
2016 Vanessa Allia, WA - WFF Sports Model


A-0337ADVD   1986 UBBA Australian Championships : Prejudging: Men & Women
A-0337BDVD   1986 UBBA Australian Championships : The Show: Men & Women
GMV-062DVD  1987 UBBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-087DVD  1988 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-108DVD  1989 NABBA Australia: The Women’s Prejudging
GMV-109DVD  1989 NABBA Australia: The Show – Men & Women mixed
GMV-125DVD  1990 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-143DVD  1991 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-146DVD  1992 NABBA Australia: Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-147DVD  1992 NABBA Australia: The Show: Men & Women
GMV-156DVD  1992 NABBA Australasia: Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-157DVD  1992 NABBA Australasia: The Show: Men & Women
GMV-161DVD  1993 NABBA Australia: Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-162DVD  1993 NABBA Australia – The Show: Men & Women
GMV-174DVD  1993 NABBA Australasia – The Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-175DVD  1993 NABBA Australasia – The Show: Men & Women
GMV-183DVD  1994 NABBA Australia – The Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-184DVD  1994 NABBA Australia – The Show: Men & Women
GMV-187DVD  1994 NABBA Australasia – The Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-188DVD  1994 NABBA Australasia – The Show: Men & Women
GMV-201DVD  1995 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-208DVD  1995 NABBA Australasia – The Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-209DVD  1995 NABBA Australasia – The Show: Men & Women
GMV-221DVD  1996 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-235DVD  1996 NABBA Australasia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-246DVD  1996 NABBA Oceania Champs – The Prejudging: Men & Women
GMV-247DVD  1996 NABBA Oceania Champs – The Show: Men & Women
GMV-258DVD  1997 NABBA Australia: The Women – Pump Room, Prejudging & Show
GMV-269DVD  1997 NABBA Australasia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-291DVD  1998 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-308DVD  1998 NABBA Australasia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-321DVD  1999 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-337DVD  1999 NABBA Australasia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-363DVD  2000 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-377DVD  2000 NABBA Australia Pro-Am Qualifier: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-420DVD  2001 NABBA Australia & WFF: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-436DVD  2001 NABBA Australia Universe & WFF Qualifier: The Women – Prejudging & Show
GMV-542DVD  2003 NABBA Australia: The Women – Prejudging & Show (Adelaide)
GMV-680DVD  2007 NABBA Australia & WFF: The Women – Prejudging & Show (2 DVD set)
GMV-720DVDSP 2008 NABBA Australia & WFF Championships - Men & Women (2 DVD set)
GMV-762DVD  2009 NABBA Australia & WFF Championships - The Women's Complete Contest.
GMV-803DVD  2010 NABBA Australia & WFF Championships - The Women's Complete Contest
GMV-822DVD  2011 NABBA Australia & WFF Championships - The Women's Complete Contest
GMV-840DVD  2012 NABBA Australia & WFF Championships - The Women's Complete Contest
2013 - No DVDs were produced by NABBA/WFF
GMV-885DVD 2014 NABBA/WFF Australian Championships: NABBA Australian Titles (Also on Blu-ray)
GMV-886DVD 2014 NABBA/WFF Australian Championships: WFF Australian Titles (Also on Blu-ray)
GMV-911DVD 2015 NABBA/WFF Australian Championships: NABBA Australian Titles - Bodybuilding & Figure
GMV-912DVD 2015 NABBA/WFF Australian Championships: NABBA Australian Titles - WFF Bodybuilding & Models





1982 John Terilli - Class 2
1986 Sammy Ioannidis - Class 3
1989 Gary Lewer - Class 1
1989 Michael Melksham - Junior
1991 Graeme Lancefield - Masters Over 40
1993 Kevin O'Grady - Class 1
1994 John Terilli - Professional
1995 Grant Clemesha - Class 1
and Overall Amateur Mr Universe
1995 Shane Stratton - Class 3

2013 Lee Priest - Class 4
and Overall Mr Universe

SPECIAL NOTE: Brian Buchanan won the Professional Class in 1995,
representing Australia. As he only lived in Australia (from UK) for a
relatively short number of years, it was deemed unfair to include him in
this DVD as a true Australian Universe winner.
That makes our only men's winners: GRANT CLEMESHA, LEE PRIEST,
Plus the other Class Winners above.


1988 Leisa Campbell - Overall Physique
1990 Bronwyn O'Brien - Overall Figure
1992 Anita Lawrence - Overall Figure
1993 Deborah Compton - Overall Physique
1993 Tania Mittoni - Figure Class 1
1994 Andrea Izard - Overall Physique
1995 Tania Mittoni - Figure Class 1
1996 Pina Theodoridis - Overall Figure
1998 Pina Theodoridis - Overall Figure
1999 Taylor Young - Overall Physique
2000 Loretta McMillan - Figure Class 2
2001 Terri Roberts - Figure Class 2 

2009 Anne-Marie Lassere - Figure Class 1

2011 Jodie Howard - Figure Class 2

PINA THEODORIDIS is our Aussie record holder at the
Universe with 2 Overall Titles - in FIGURE CLASS.

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