The 1938 British Empire Games was the third British Empire Games, the event that evolved to become the Commonwealth Games. Held in Sydney, Australia from 5–12 February 1938, they were timed to coincide with Sydney's sesqui-centenary. Venues included the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Sydney Sports Ground, North Sydney Olympic Pool and Henson Park. An estimated 40,000 people attended the opening ceremony. A competitors' residential village was established within the grounds of the Sydney Showground.
The star of the games was the Australian athlete Decima Norman, who won five gold medals in track and field. Margaret Dovey, later married to Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, finished sixth in the 220 yards breaststroke.
Due to the onset of World War II, the games were not held again until 1950.