2016 Australian Memory Championships

This weekend past I participated in my 3rd memory competition, the 2016 Australian Memory Championships.


Competitors at the 2016 AMC

The field was incredibly strong this year. I had a disastrous first few events and by lunchtime of the first day I was barely holding on to 5th place. However, I managed to rally and eventually secured 2nd place in the competition.

I’m disappointed that I couldn’t secure the win but am also thrilled at the high standard of the Australian competitive scene this year. My hope is that this event marks the beginning of a new era of memory sports in this country.

I’d like to congratulate Anastasia Woolmer on becoming the first ever female Australian memory champion. I’d also like to congratulate my training partner, Zeshaan Khokhar, for becoming the third ever Australian to memorize a deck in under 2 minutes, thereby completing the first of 3 requirements for the title of International Master of Memory.

For the uninitiated, this competition sees athletes come together from across the country to compete in the following 10 events:

  1. Names and Faces
  2. Binary Numbers
  3. Random Numbers
  4. Abstract Images
  5. Speed Numbers
  6. Historic / Future Dates
  7. Playing Cards
  8. Random Words
  9. Spoken Numbers
  10. Speed Cards

The standards are incredibly exacting and in many cases a single error can cost you an entire event. In order to be successful, athletes have to memorize quickly, but also with near perfect accuracy.

From the outside, these competitions look a lot like a university exam, with the competitors staring in absolute silence at desks covered with intimidating sheets of paper. But the techniques themselves are fun and the competitors are all incredibly friendly. It’s a wonderful sport and a community I’m proud to be a part of. I’ll definitely be back next year.


  1. Thank you for the invitation to attend, Daniel. I had a wonderful time and will be writing about it. I am determined not to be tempted into competing, but I do have all spades as PAO now, and the first 40 numbers with images. But I will resist!

    1. You’ll find that I’m very convincing…But I suspect that even if I fail, your curiosity will get the better of you! Let me know when you are ready to start training! 🙂

      1. Nearly there with my A and O for my Ps. Got the first 60 numbers with objects. I am creating some empty memory palaces – all mine are well occupied. I think that you said I need about 25 locations in my temporary palaces. I also have a visual alphabet under construction which will also be an empty palace.

        But I am still so flat out with The Memory Code that I can’t cope with intensity for training. May never manage it, but I am am certainly exploring the techniques. Fun!


      2. Hi Daniel,
        I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
        I have been using Dominic O’Brien’s older Journey system of Person-Object for a long time, and have over a 1000 locations now with languages, history, Periodic Table, World Countries and Capitals, USA States and Capitals, military history, world history, religious figures, political and social innovators, science landmarks, card memorization magic tricks and math feats, and thousands of other items.
        I was interested in the Australian Open, as I have friends near Sydney. I have also been following the Singapore World Championships with great interest, and the World Chess championships which Magnus Carlsen from Norway won this year.
        I love mental Athletics, and would inquire of you if have venues I could vist on a shoestring budget? Or if you might come to my hometown some year? Thanks,
        Paul M. Bay
        USA, Memory fan

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