Historical information

The plaque of Oppy reads:
Hubert Opperman was born in Rochester, his early job as a Telegraph Boy encouraged his love of cycling.

Throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s “Oppy” was the dominant figure in Australian cycling. He first won the Australian Road Cycling Championship in 1924. He won it again in 1926, 1927 and 1929. At the same time he was becoming and international star. This statue is modelled on his on his stunning victory at the Bol D’Or in Paris in the same year that he was highly placed in the prestigious Tour de France. His first place in the 1265 kms Paris - Brest- Paris road race was the highlight of his sporting career. That year he was voted Sportsman of the Year by a French newspaper. In 1991 Sir Hubert attended the Centenary Celebrations of the race and was honoured with Gold Medal of the City of Paris

“Oppy” retired from cycling in 1940. Typically he celebrated his retirement with a 24 hour marathon at the Sydney Velodrome breaking one hundred and one records in the process.

After war service with the RAAF he entered Federal politics holding the Victoria seat of Corio for the Liberal Party from 1949 until 1967. During this period he served as Minister for Shipping and Transport and Minister for Immigration.

In 1967 he was appointed Australian High Commissioner for Malta, receiving the OBE in 1952 and was knighted in 1968.

This Statue was officially unveiled by


On his 90th birthday, 29th May 1994

Physical description

Oppy signing Edna Barrie's leatherbound copy of 'Melton-Plains of Promise'. . The Inscription reads - To Edna with my Melton remembrances as the place I first rode a bicycle Hubert Opperman ‘Oppy’ [ 29/5/1904 – April 1996]. Edna Barrie contacted and organised for Hubert Opperman to launch the book. (She was also present at his last bike ride at Rochester in 1995.)