Awarded at the GSDCA’s National German Shepherd Dog Show & Trial

At each National, awards are presented in memory of influential contributors to the German Shepherd Dog in Australia. These sought after awards recognise each valued member’s contribution to our wonderful breed.

The Roy Brabham Memorial Trophy

(awarded to the first placed Open Bitch in addition to the First Place Plaque)

In memory of Roy Brabham, his widow Mrs Jan Brabham submitted the following in recognition of his contributions.roy_brabham_trophy

Roy Andrew Brabham was the founder of the German Shepherd Dog Council of Australia Inc and its first President, retaining this office until just prior to his death. He was a successful breeder and exhibitor of the breed and also a panel Judge for German Shepherds.

Roy purchased his first German Shepherd at 25 years of age and joined the German Shepherd Dog Club of SA. He quickly became involved in the administration of the Club, firstly as Secretary, then President and when appointed to the Council of the Canine Association of South Australia (now Dogs SA) and the Royal Agricultural Society of South Australia Council, he wasn’t allowed to hold a position on a Club, so he was appointed Patron, a position he held until his death. During this period, he introduced many innovations to the Club, including publication of the first Club monthly Newsletter in Australia, incorporation of the Club and many others. As a member of Council he was involved in the take-over of obedience training by the Association and Chairman of the Obedience Sub-Committee for several years. He also represented SA with delegates from NSW and Victoria to nationalize obedience trials in Australia.

During the 1950’s there was a ban on importing German Shepherd dogs into Australia, plus they were banned in many rural areas and only desexed dogs were allowed in others, including the whole of Western Australia. It was Roy’s vision to form a national association of German Shepherd owners and breeders to fight the prejudice against the breed, lift the many bans on the breed, including importation, and to improve the temperament and conformation of the breed generally. As a senior partner in an Architectural firm, Roy’s interstate and overseas trips for business were used to meet with German Shepherd breeders and Clubs in all states and convince them to form a national body for the benefit of the breed. In this era, travel was difficult and expensive and there were no national dog associations. Despite many obstacles, eventually he gathered support from all clubs and the first Meeting to form the National Council was held in March 1960.

Roy worked tirelessly for the breed. He published the first National Review, worked towards the lifting of the importation and other bans and, as he was living in Sydney, was responsible for contracting a German SV Judge and organising the first National German Shepherd Dog Show and Trial, in conjunction with the German Shepherd Dog League, held in Sydney in March 1967. His further involvement in the breed was sadly cut short by his death in 1970 at age 40 years.

The Walter Reimann Memorial Trophy

(awarded to the first placed open dog in addition to the First Place Plaque)

In memory of Walter Reimann, James Rodger submitted the following in recognition of his contributions.

Walter was a proud Victorian who served the GSDCA very well indeed.

His contribution was significant in that he, out of his own pocket funded and restarted the GSDCA’s National Review in 1974. This was a small A5 booklet containing the critiques and photographs of the major placegetters at the 3rd National held in Dandenong, Victoria, as well as some advertising which preceded the Quarterly National Review. He continued in this position until his untimely death in 1981.

The original review started by the inaugural GSDCA President, Mr Roy Brabham, had had to be discontinued in the late 1960’s due to costs and the fact that Roy, as Editor, was gravely ill and subsequently passed away.

Walter was able to develop the National Review into a excellent publication, released on a six monthly basis and containing the critiques and photographs from the National and other major shows around Australia.

Mr Louis Donald wrote, in the 1990 “Condensed History of the GSD in Australia”, quote…. “Walter’s contribution has been a great one and for this he will always be remembered. Remembered with pride, respect and admiration.”

The Max Stokes Memorial Trophy

(Awarded to the first placed Junior Bitch in addition to the First Place Plaque)

In memory of Max Stokes, his widow Mrs Fay Stokes submitted the following in recognition of his contributions.

Max always loved German Shepherd Dogs and when given an unregistered bitch he immediately set about talking the breeders into registering her and from there trained her to her CD title. He also showed her soon realising that she was, whilst great dog, not a show prospect and although he had her until she died at 13 years he never bred her.

He saw a bitch at shows and training that he loved, and ordered a male pup from her. He showed this dog at the Newcastle Shepherd Show where he won Baby in Show and that dog he trained to his CDX and many in show awards – this is the dog pictured in the National logo known as the “jumping dog” (silhouette on each page of catalogue). From there he went on to purchase a bitch from the same dam (who incidentally won the Bronze Medal at the 1st National Show) and commenced breeding under the Ambala prefix, with which he was very successful.

He joined the GSDL where he became Vice President and then President for many years. During this time he also became involved in National Council and was very good friends with Jurgen Neddermeyer. After he and Jurgen convinced Louis Donald to stand for Council President and over a period of time these three men set about introducing, very successfully, the schemes that the Council have in place today.

Max was a man who loved mixing and talking with everyone and never considered himself to be unapproachable – he enjoyed helping people whenever he could.

Max’s love was judging the German Shepherd Dog, especially the Bitch classes, and I know he would be humbled by having this Junior Bitch Memorial Trophy awarded in his name at this and future National Shows.

The Rick Richardson Memorial Trophy

(Awarded to the Winner of Winners in addition to the First Place Plaque)

In memory of Rick Richardson, his widow Mrs Honey Gross-Richardson has submitted the following in recognition of his contributions.

JA (Rick) Richardson BEM CD. Life Member of GSDA of WA and awarded the GSDCA Service Medal for a lifetime’s devotion to the breed.

Ex British Army, Rick joined the GSDA of WA in 1973, became an Obedience Judge in 1976, and later a Conformation Judge of Working Dogs, with a decade of GSDA specialist show events, and Group 6 judging. He had served the GSDA of WA as Tattooist for 25 years, and Hereditary Diseases, HD and ED Scheme Administrator. Rick was the President of the GSDA of WA for 18 years, a CAWA (now Dogs West) Governing Councillor for six years, and was a member of the Dog Act Review Committee for CAWA

He enjoyed judging MBE and National events, Agility, Tracking, the ET, Track & Search Dog Trials and DWD competitions; served on Tracking and/or Obedience Judges’ Training and Examining Panel for CAWA, Singapore and Malaysia.

Promoting breed improvement, character building and skilful training. With wife Honey, breeder of 50 GSDs with the A and/or Z stamp, 30 Breed Surveyed and/or E.T. and Performance titled dogs with multiple Excellents, Rick was often heard to say: If you have a show dog and he cannot do Obedience, then you enjoy only have half a dog! And: If your show quality Obedience Dog is not exhibited in shows, then you have only half a dog!

Instrumental in the formation of several Breed, Obedience, and Tracking Clubs, his motto was: Breed only with the best, but love and train the rest! He espoused Positive Reinforcement Training, counselling and cheering on anyone, who spent time training, striving for his personal best! His spirit will never leave us, and there is the feeling he will meet our dogs at the Rainbow Bridge!

The David O’Rourke Memorial Trophy

(Awarded to the highest placed dog or bitch competing in the Show & Obedience)

In memory of David O’Rourke, the following is an extract from the Golden Jubilee Edition written by Karen Hedberg in recognition of his contributions.
David with his wife Sandy arrived in Australia as newlyweds in February 1968. They immediately purchased a Germans Shepherd Dog to replace their much-loved dog they had to leave behind in England. Thus began a lifelong association with the German Shepherd Dog League.

Buddy was trained to CD and shown albeit without a great deal of success but the bug had bitten and Buddy was joined by Tanaba Kuno and later Tanaba Ophelia. Their association with Tom Briggs and George Bowen of Tanaba Kennels resulted in them becoming partners in the prefix and later taking over the Tanaba prefix when Tom and George retired. It was during this partnership they first imported dogs, two bitches from New Zealand, Xodus of High Clear and Valdisahn Dechsel.

Karen Hedberg purchased her first male from David and Sandy in 1976, an Ingo son Tanaba Elkk. Shortly after Karen, David & Sandy went into partnership under the Pendragan prefix. Under the Pendragan prefix they bred a number of breed and obedience champions, Best in Show winners and many much loved companions.

David obtained his Novice Obedience licence in 1972 and later gained his Open, Utility, Agility and ET licences. In 1979 he obtained his Group 5 licence and judged all over Australia, New Zealand and Asia where he made many friends of long standing. David went on to become a Breed Surveyor.

David held numerous positions in the League and its Branches including President and was on a number of Canine Control Committees. He was the first GSDCA Obedience Subcommittee Chairman where he introduced the Obedience Structural Assessment and designed the Obedience Excellent Medallion.

David is remembered in many facets of the dog world for his willingness to help someone out, be it a Club in need of judges at the last minute, someone with a training problem or just a few words to put someone at ease at a show or a trial. A most fitting tribute to David is the Dual Performance Trophy which carries his name.

The Sam Bonifacio Memorial TrophySam Bonifacio trophy small

(awarded to the most successful Breeder at the GSDCA National GSD Show & Trial)

In memory of Sam Bonifacio, the following is written by Fran Farley in recognition of his contributions.

In memory of Sam – who passed away as a relatively young man – 1991. To perpetuate his legacy, as a breeder & specialist judge of the German shepherd dog in Australia.

This trophy was originally awarded at the Main Breed show, to the most successful overall breeder at that show.

Sam was a ‘larger than life’, flamboyant, exuberant and articulate personality, with a passion for our breed. His legacy was immense and in particular to those breeders who strive to attain, as near as possible, the correct type of German shepherd within their kennel. Sam’s innate understanding of, and feel for those animals which could propagate a lineage, was passed on to all who truly listened and were educated by his immense knowledge.

An advocate of ‘unquestionably’ sound character, his kennel VINBERG, produced a record number of Excellent graded progeny – in particular, via Ch.Dunmonaidh Junker NZ – the fabulous grey, who Sam ‘spotted’ well prior to that dog subsequently gaining three Gold medals at Australian National shows – 1981, 1982 and 1983. Sam leased and then subsequently purchased outright, Baccara Icecapade, solely to utilize Junker, which resulted in top quality progeny for his Vinberg prefix.

A teacher at heart, Sam was Chairman of the Judges Committee for National Council 1989 -1991 and took that position to a new level – as a professional and highly regarded portfolio. His prolific writings on our breed were recognised and highly regarded both locally and overseas.

Sam, was the ‘ brains’ behind the first importation of frozen semen into Australia – along with a small group of fanciers who backed that venture, in an effort to improve the bloodline base in this country, without actually importing dogs.

We honour Sam’s contribution to our beloved breed – The German Shepherd Dog. May future winners of the “Sammy’ award be very proud of their achievement.