Dawn rounded off her outstanding Olympic career at the Tokyo Games of 1964 when, just past her 27th birthday, she triumphed with her third consecutive title in the 100 metres. A silver medal in the relay event boosted her overall Olympic medal haul to eight.
Her achievements were recognised in 1981 when she was awarded the prestigious Olympic Order.
For many years she was the only swimmer, male or female, to win the same individual event in the Olympic Games three times until Michael Phelps matched her achievement in 2012.
During her nine years of global swimming dominance, she set an amazing 28 world records. The first in her specialist event, the 100 metres freestyle, came in February 1956 when she clocked 1 mins 4.5 secs in Sydney. She went on to lower that mark on no fewer than ten occasions, dipping under a minute for the first time in October 1962 and posting her fastest time, 58.9 secs, in Sydney in February 1964.
Once her competitive career was over, Dawn remained very close to the sport. She has always endeared herself to the public with her willingness to speak out on public issues and has been outspoken over corruption within the International Olympic Committee.
In 1988 she was elected as an independent to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly until 1991. She was a founder member of the Laureus World Sports Academy.