The Melbourne Argonauts Queer Rowing Club was formed in 2001 by our founders Meredith Williams, Annie South and Sandy Mitchell and held our first Annual General Meeting on a train from Melbourne to Geelong.
From a small group of strangers on a train the club is now an established participant in the rowing community with our own annual regatta, regular participation at local, national and international regattas, annual participation in the Head of the Yarra and representation on various governing boards and activities. We were proud to be nominated in 2019 for Rowing Australia's Club of the Year.
The club name was suggested, on the train at the first AGM, by club founder Meredith (Maxi) Williams and selected from a list of names which included "The Glub Glub Club", "The St Kilda Rowing Club" and the "Melbourne Blades". The name was voted on by the train passengers in a process of elimination and the "Melbourne Argonauts" was the last name standing. At the time there was some question as to the validity of the vote as some of the passengers on the train were not at all connected with the club and may have swayed the vote away from some other less likely starters.
We participate in the LGBTIQ+ community as regular attendees at the Melbourne Midsumma Pride March and Midsumma Carnival and by holding an annual Trivia Night. We are a member of Team Melbourne to promote and develop sport within the LGBTIQ+ community.
The Argonauts competed at the World Outgames Edition I - Montreal, Canada (2006) and Edition II - Copenhagen, Denmark (2009) and at the Gay Games VII - Chicago (2006) and most recently the Gay Games X - Paris (2018) where we won the most Gold and medals at the regatta. Through these international competitions we've made lasting friendships around the world.
Being inspired by the heroes of ancient Greek mythology it seems almost logical that we named our first boat The Argo. Since then we have acquired an enviable boat fleet with names variously inspired by our participation at our first Outgames (Montreal), figures of Greek mythology (Medea), literary figures and their writings (Katherine Mansfield: Truth and Risk), club personalities (Anastasia Beaverhausen) patron (The Hon Michael Kirby) and founders (Sandy Mitchell).
To be a rowing club in the queer community and queer club in the rowing community.
We aim to provide an alternative, safe and healthy space where we can access the sport of rowing, to promote awareness of the queer community in mainstream sport and to have some fun along the way.