Inside the Collection

Remembering the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games – volunteers uniform

 Sydney 2000 Olympic Games volunteers uniform
2003/143/1 Volunteers uniform and accessories for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Designed by Wendy Paulucci and made by Bonds, Fiji / Australia/ Malaysia, 2000. Collection: Powerhouse Museum.

If you were living in or visiting Sydney during the year 2000 Olympic Games it seemed that every second person was wearing this uniform. The colourful and highly visible design could not be mistaken for anything else and was worn proudly by people from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes. It was not uncommon to see whole families (even with teenage children) decked out in their uniforms heading off by train or bus to report for duty.

The Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) recruited over 40,000 volunteers for Sydney 2000. Called the ‘Games Force’ the volunteers provided many essential services including drivers, parking attendants, translators, crowd control, stage management, team assistants to the athletes and much more. In return volunteers received complimentary transport to and from Sydney 2000 venues, complimentary meals while on duty and a complete Games Force uniform.

Overwhelmingly the volunteers loved the experience and talked about the great camaraderie and fantastic buzz in Sydney at the time. This uniform belonged to Terry Carr. Terry heard about the Games Force volunteer recruitment drive through the Sydney Morning Herald and immediately applied, recalling:

While travelling in Turkey in 1985, I met a woman that had been a volunteer at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. When the Olympics were coming to Sydney, I remembered all the wonderful stories of her experience in LA. I thought that’s gotta be me.

Terry was assigned to the logistics team which involved moving and setting up equipment at the Olympic Stadium. He found the organisation and planning efficient and relaxed and loved the buoyant friendly atmosphere and opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. He likened the experience to being in a behind-the-scenes documentary watching the whole process unfold and actually being part of such a significant event. For Terry the highlight was observing elite athletes training, warming up and relaxing.

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Terry Carr wearing his Games Force uniform
Donor, Terry Carr wearing his Sydney 2000 ‘Games Force’ uniform

Sydneysiders will always remain convinced that Sydney 2000 was ‘the best Olympic Games ever’.

The Powerhouse Museum holds the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games Collection which contains costumes from the opening and closing ceremonies as well as clothing and equipment for athletes, volunteers and officials and a wide range of support material.

Sydney 2000 volunteers
Volunteers at the 10 year reunion of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Image courtesy of Sydney 2000 Reunion

6 responses to “Remembering the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games – volunteers uniform

  • Is anyone going to wear their¬†uniform on 15th of september, Im wearing mine….Miriam Arneil…driver..

  • Sydney 2000 Olympics Uniform: What should I do with it?

    Was clearing out some boxes and found I still have my volunteer uniform from the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I guess these are not that rare as thousands were issued.

    I was a “runner” with the task of delivering printed results to the media center. It was fun: I had a walkie talkie and an electric golf cart for the practice session. Unfortunately, I never got to the games, as I was called as an expert witness in the accessibility case against SOCOG and decided to resign as a volunteer avoid any potential conflict of interest. The 2008 Beijing Olympic Committee invited me over to provide advice on their website.

    • Hi I was a volunteer at the Sydney Olympics and have my uniform still hanging up in my wardrobe.
      Would the museum be interested in taking the clothing for you exhibits

      • Hi Matthew,
        Thanks for getting in touch. If you have an item you would like to consider donating to the Museum’s collection please email and your offer will be forwarded to one of our Curators for consideration. There is more information about donating to the Collection here. If you have any further questions, we will be able to answer them via the above email.
        Kind regards, Sarah Reeves, MAAS

  • when i do the 2020 Virtual City2Surf this weekend
    I will be in my 2000 volunteer uniform that i wore at the Beach Volley Ball at Bondi Beach

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