The first Victorian to play Rugby for the Wallabies.
Colonel Sir Ernest Edward "Weary" Dunlop, AC, CMG, OBE (12 July 1907 - 2 July 1993) was not only a nationally recognised hero in regards to his service for the Australian Army, but was also the first Victorian to play Rugby for the Wallabies (having been born in Wangaratta).
Weary's rapid rise, from inexperienced 4th Grade Melbourne University Rugby Club player to Wallaby backrower within the space of twelve months, takes pride of place in Australian Rugby history.
Following his selection he was asked by a reporter why, as a Victorian, he had chosen to pursue Rugby as his preferred football code. "The whole team gets into action at one time, and moves like one man in great dashes down the field, striving to defeat the opposing side and put the ball over the line," he replied. "(And) tackling is more thrilling than anything in the Australian game."
Wallaby number 280, Dunlop played twice for the Wallabies and remains the only Victorian to be immortalised in the Australian Rugby Hall of Fame, an honour he received in 2008.
Outside of Rugby, Dunlop was an Army surgeon who was renowned for his leadership while being held prisoner by the Japanese during World War Two. After 1945, Dunlop forgave his captors and devoted himself to the health and welfare of former prisoners-of-war and their families, and worked to promote better relations between Australia and Asia.
He was active in many spheres of endeavour. He became closely involved with a wide range of health and educational organisations, and served on the board of Cancer Council Victoria. His tireless community work had a profound influence on Australians and on the people of Asia, and he received many honours both within Australia and from abroad.
Dunlop's State funeral in 1993 saw 10,000 people turn out to pay their respects. The nickname "Weary" was a reference to his last name - "tired", like a Dunlop tyre.