Over the years the ABF has had a number of members who have distinguished themselves in their support of ballooning. Their contributions have been recognised by the membership with the following awards:

Life Members

Life Membership is awarded to members who have provided exemplary service to the ABF over many years, including:

  • Phil Hanson (dec)
  • Adrian Clements
  • Len Gedge (dec)
  • Gren Putland
  • Ian Tooth (dec)
  • Simon Fisher
  • Dale Allen
  • Ruth E. Wilson

Gedge Trophy

The Gedge Trophy was presented to the ABF by Len Gedge, a long time balloonist, Life Member of the ABF and supporter of ballooning in Australia. It is awarded to a member who has made a considerable contribution to the ABF over a long period.

  • 1984 Peter Vizzard
  • 1986 Phil Hanson (dec)
  • 1988 Felicity Murray (dec) 
  • 1989 Balloon Association of Victoria  
  • 1990 Gren Putland  
  • 1990 Kay Turnbull 
  • 1993 Ian Tooth (dec) 
  • 1997 Danny Galbraith 
  • 2004 Deidre Blackmore & Kerry Frankel 
  • 2005 Gary Pask 
  • 2006 Simon Fisher 
  • 2008 Phil Kavanagh 
  • 2010 Don Whitford 
  • 2011 Sue Robinson 

The William Dean Award

The William Dean Award is named after William Dean, 19th century pioneer of ballooning in Australia and is presented to individuals or organisations who have made a valuable contribution to Australian ballooning. The William Dean award is a plaque awarded to and kept by the recipient and carries the following information on the reverse side of the Award

The William (Joseph) Dean Award is presented by the Australian Ballooning Federation in recognition of excellence in contributing to the sport of Ballooning. The award is named after Joseph Dean, Australia’s first Aeronaut. On the 1st of February 1858, Joseph Dean made the first Balloon Flight at Cremorne Gardens in Melbourne in the 35,000 cubic foot gas balloon 'Australasian' which had been built by Charles Brown. The first flight lasted some 25 minutes and covered a distance of approximately 13km. Australia’s National Ballooning Day is commemorated on the 1st of February each year in recognition of this flight by Joseph Dean.

Recipients of the William Dean Award have included:

  • 1987 Phil Kavanagh
  • Mildura International Balloon Fiesta - (Deidre Blackmore, Kerry Frankel & Bill Smart)
  • 2003 Paul Gibbs
  • 2004 Danny Galbraith
  • 2008 Ruth E Wilson
  • 2009 Peter Dutneall
  • 2014 Nicola Scaife
  • 2016 Nicola Scaife
  • 2021 Ronald Kent
  • 2023 Sean Kavanagh
  • 2023 Gary Lacey

Hall of Fame

As the opportunity presents itself eminent members are inducted into the Hall of Fame and presented with a small memento. These presentations take place at an organised gathering of ABF members. Each Hall of Fame inductee provides a picture and short history of their involvement in the sport of ballooning and the ABF. Past recipients include:

  • Len & Elsie Gedge (2002)
  • Ruth Wilson
  • Kay Turnbull
  • Gary Pask
  • Danny Galbraith
  • Peter Drury
  • Dale Allen
  • Phil Kavanagh
  • Judy Lynne
  • Peter Vizzard
  • Will Paul
  • Simon Fisher
  • John Stein
  • Chris Dewhirst
  • Rob Robertson
  • Jenny Houghton (2003)
  • Ian Robinson (2003)
  • Kiff Saunders
  • Adrian Clements
  • Gren Putland
  • Joe Blitz (2006)
  • Barry & Sylvia Bristow-Stagg (2006)
  • Robert "Bob" Cook (2016) (dec)
  • Nicola Scaife

International Awards

ABF members have been nominated and have received awards from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and the Royal Federation of Aero Clubs of Australia. The awards are not presented lightly and the members who have been honoured with these awards contributed greatly to the sport of ballooning.

Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Awards

  • 1991 Air Sport Medal - Phil Hanson (dec)
  • 1992 Air Sport Medal - C. E. "Wally" Wallington (dec)
  • 2010 Paul Tissandier Diploma - Robert “ Bob” Cook (dec) 
  • 2018 Paul Tissandier Diploma - Paul Gibbs
  • 2019 Montgolfier Diploma (Hot Air) - Phil Kavanagh 
  • 2021 Paul Tissandier Diploma - Ruth Wilson

Commission International d' Aerostation (FAI Ballooning Commission) Awards

  • 2019 Montgolfier Diploma- Hot Air - Phil Kavanagh
  • 1992 Montgolfier Diploma - Hot Air Chris Dewhirst
  • 1994 Montgolfier Diploma - Rozier Steven Griffin
  • 1995 Montgolfier Diploma - Rozier John Wallington and Dick Smith
  • 1989 First night parachute drop from a balloon - Ruth Wilson
  • 2018 FAI Group Diploma of Honour - Australian Ballooning Federation

Air Sport Australia Confederation - Air Sports Recognition Award 

  • Martin Tregale 2023 (Acknowledging Martin's 13 years of volunteer effort in ballooning and aviation)

Air Sport Australia Confederation - Australian Air Sports Achievement Award 

  • Ronald Kent 2021 (For his three records)

Air Sport Australia Confederation - Recognition Diploma  

  • Ian and Carol Benning (2023) - For Ian's over 20 and Carol's 18 years of volunteer service to sport aviation 

Royal Federation of Aeroclubs of Australia - Oswald Watt Award

  • Chris Dewhirst (For his Mt Everest Flight)

Royal Federation of Aeroclubs of Australia - Des Kelly AM Special Achievement Award

  • John Wallington (For his 2008 Australian Altitude Record flight)

British Royal Aero Club's Award - The Salaman Trophy

  • Chris Dewhirst (For his Mt Everest Flight)