Bonnie Mealing was selected for the Australian team for Amsterdam after only one year of serious competition and only 15-years-old. But after failing to advance in the heats of both the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke in Amsterdam 1928, she was attacked by Australian journalists despite the exhausting three-month journey with various diseases on board ship due to significant weight gain. Subsequently she successfully focused on the backstroke, setting a world record of 1:20.6 in the 100 metres, but she was still not selected for the 1930 Empire Games. In 1932 her world record was bettered by Phyllis Harding and Olympic favorite and eventual gold medalist Eleanor Holm. However, she redeemed herself with the silver medal at Los Angeles in 1932. One year after the Games she set another (unofficial) world record, this time in the 200 metre backstroke. She retired from active competition prior to the 1934 British Empire Games. At the time of her death she was the oldest Australian medalist from 1932 and the last surviving Australian participant of the 1928 Games.