Salesian College Sunbury Hall of Fame recipient for 2022 is Kinnear Beatson – an Alumni member who graduated in 1974.
Kinnear Beatson was born in the Macedon Ranges and after attending Macedon Primary school, he was enrolled into Salesian College in 1969. It wasn’t long until his love of sport and participation made him feel like a part of the fabric of the College.
By the middle years of his schooling, Kinnear began to take part in the athletics and swimming teams and was a key member of the Under 15s Salesian College football side, which won the Provincial Cup – a first for the College.
As his senior years at the College approached, Kinnear was a mainstay in the First 18 football side and the First 11 cricket side. In Year 12 he was voted in as Captain for Justin House. Physical Education was not available as a subject and Kinnear has told us that the responsibility of House captaincy steered him in a direction that would guide his career moving forward. The responsibility of picking sides for athletics, swimming, cricket and football squads developed a love for leadership and team building.
Upon finishing his time at Salesian College, he completed a teaching degree in Physical Education and taught at Coburg High School from 1980 through to 1990. He still maintained an interest in and continued to play local cricket and football, playing in a football premiership with Macedon in 1976. By 1986, he was Captain Coach of the Macedon Cricket Club First 11 - who to this day are the only Macedon side to win the A grade premiership. Kinnear was inducted into the Gisborne District Cricket Association hall of fame in 2020 for the role that he played as a part of the Macedon side.
He also coached the Gisborne Football Club in the early 1980s and played in a premiership with Keilor Football Club in 1985.
In 1990 he left his teaching position to take a role at the Carlton Football Club as their Metropolitan Development Manager. In 1991 he became the Inaugural Regional Manager of the Western Jets Football Club, acquiring local talent who had aspirations to make it to the big league. Mentoring and coaching young players showed that Kinnear had a keen eye for talent identification and recruiting.
In 1994 he became National Recruitment Manager for the Brisbane Lions (then Brisbane Bears). Kinnear played a massive part in putting together the list that eventually went on to win three AFL premierships in a row. Identifying and recruiting star players such as Simon Black, Luke Power and Jonathan Brown among a host of others.
As his reputation enhanced, he became extremely sought after. Working with the Brisbane Lions until 2005, Kinnear was then poached by the Sydney Swans and helped build a list that would win a premiership in 2012 and finish runners up in 2014, 2016, and 2022. Recently Kinnear has been responsible for the selection of star players such as Callum Mills, Luke Parker, Isaac Heeney, and Chad Warner. Kinnear’s reputation now holds him in such esteem, it is seen as a coup to get hold of one of the best recruiters in the country. Carlton made an ambitious attempt a few years ago, but Kinnear has stuck with the program at the Sydney Swans.