Denise Spencer

Denise Spencer


At St Margaret’s 1945-1947

B.1929 – D.1998

Denise Spencer was as an Australian Olympic swimmer. She competed in two events at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Although Denise didn't win a medal at an Olympic level, her achievements so soon after WWII were credited for "setting the stage for women like Dawn Fraser, to dominate world swimming” (Lawrie Kavanagh, Courier-Mail).

She also competed in the 1950 British Empire Games (now Commonwealth Games) placing 1st in the 110 yards Freestyle Relay with Denise Norton, Judy-Joy Davies and Marjorie McQuade.

Born in Roma, Denise was a boarder at St Margaret’s until 1947. She was the Captain of the swimming team in her final year at school. Until the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Denise was the only Olympic athlete from Roma and, in 1948, the Roma Town Council named a street Spencer Street in her honour, being the location of the swimming baths where she learned to swim. In September 1950, she married stock manager and auctioneer George Henderson.