Volunteer Recognition Program

Volunteer Award Nomination Information

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a volunteer for recognition.
Paddling is a community sport. It exists because people volunteer and create opportunities for members to enjoy our sport at every level.

Has one of your club members demonstrated an act of generosity of time, or innovation in the paddling community?  If you know someone who deserves recognition of their contribution, please nominate them.

Paddle Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Paddle Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

This year we would like to recognize three categories of Volunteers:
1. Club Volunteer of the Year – overall Volunteering and helping out in all aspects
of Club life
2. Club Coach of the Year – Dedicated Coaches who have coached the young paddlers
or new people in the Club to now being confident active paddlers.
Or the Coach who has spent time to help you achieve your paddling goals and you are
now achieving success in competitions.
3. Club Guide/ Instructor of the Year – The person who regularly runs the Clubs
monthly river trips and organizers all the details of where to meet and what to bring!

Paddle Victoria appreciates the important role that volunteers play in our paddling community and value the way they tirelessly contribute to the day to day running of many clubs, events, coaching sessions and club life.

Paddle Victoria recognizes that reward and recognition are vital in effectively retaining the services of volunteers in our paddling community.  For all these reasons, Paddle Victoria has created a Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award.  Every nominated person will receive a token of appreciation from Paddle Victoria with an appreciation certificate awarded at our AGM in October.

All nominations must be received by Paddle Victoria by 18th August 2024
All nominees will then be in the running to be named Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year which will also be presented at the Paddle Victoria AGM in September 2024.

Nominate Now

Volunteer Award Nomination

Paddle Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Paddle Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

Nominations for the 2023-2024 Volunteer of the Year are now open!
All nominations must be received by Paddle Victoria by 18th August 2024
Nominate Now!

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a volunteer for recognition after a very busy year of paddling!

When considering awarding the volunteers, please consider areas such as:
Effectiveness, Innovation, Excellence, Inclusion, Safety and Mentoring!

**To be eligible, nominees must be a current member of a Paddle Victoria Affiliated Club and have agreed to the Paddle Victoria Code of Conduct

Volunteer Award Nominees 2023

Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award – 2023

Congratulations to our Winners:
Louise Greenwood – Club Volunteer of the Year
Steve Vegh – Club Coach of the Year!
Thanks to all of our Volunteers for their outstanding Contribution!

Sue O’Rouke – Marathon Committee
Sue is nominated in recognition for the significant work she has undertaken for the PV Marathon community over the past few years, but specifically over the past twelve months.
She is the Vice-Chair of the PV Marathon committee, helping in the smooth running of the committee which delivers one of the largest competition programs within Paddle Victoria.
Sue takes the leading role in designing, creating and publishing PV Marathon activities through high quality event flyers, social media communication and monthly newsletters.  She is responsible for developing and creating on-line training content for Marathon officials and volunteers, which is now being used by disciplines in other states within Australia.  She has taken a leading role in organizing the July 2022 race clinics for junior paddlers, with sessions delivered by former Australian champions and Olympic athletes and organizing new racing and off-water paddling attire.
Sue is a key member of the 2023 Oceania and Paddle Australia Canoe Marathon and SUP Championships.

Anna Taylor – President – Ballarat Canoe Club
Anna has been an incredible driving force in Ballarat over the past year. She has been a steward for the club for a long time but over the past year has been a driving force in rejuvenating the club and bringing in new and younger members. Anna’s help and assistance at the 2023 Canoe Polo National Championships was immense, not only providing personal accommodation during the setup/packdown and competition to numerous members of the community, but also coordinating the BACC to providing warm food and drinks at the event which not only helped participants through a very wet and cold event, but also established a strong sense of community within BACC as many members came down and helped run the tent for the duration of the event. Anna has also spearheaded the introduction of canoe polo to the club, which has culminated in an ongoing agreement with the Ballarat Aquatic Centre to allocate sessions during the week for the club to run canoe polo and kayak skills sessions.

Louise Greenwood – Cobram Barooga Canoe Club / Paddle Vic Marathon Committee and Sprint Committee.
Louise is the secretary of the club and also maintains our Facebook page and has had great success in submitting and managing grants over the past 5 years.  She supports people in all forms of paddling and always keen to try something new.
She puts countless hours into multiple events at every level from come and try’s to Nationals. If there is something that you mention to Lou might not happen she’ll find someone to fill the gap or decide to take it on herself.
She is always seeking and applying for numerous grants to enable the canoe club to grow and thrive.
Without her input Cobram Barooga Canoe Club would not be in the position that it is today, and would probably only have a couple of people paddling.  Louise sacrifices her own training and just keeping pace with new and young paddlers so that they can get out and enjoy paddling.
Discipline: Secretary of the Paddle Vic sprint committee and also on the Vic marathon committee. Always helping out at races even at the detriment of her own participation.

Steve Vegh – Patterson Lakes Canoe Club
Totally selfless commitment to helping others of all levels get the most out of all disciplines of the paddling experience!
Steve is incredibly supportive in mentoring and coaching at our club, all on a volunteer basis. Steve volunteers his time to run group training session and will always spend time to help people of all abilities enjoy their paddling. He is always helpful in exploring, explaining, grabbing his tools to help on the spot whenever anyone has any issues with their boat, and does so with a smile.
He has been very supportive in volunteering his time at least 3 days a week coaching junior to masters paddlers both on the water and in the gym. Steve also is often found loading and transporting boats on the trailer to allow people from the club to race or join events.
Steve is a pleasure to deal with due to his gentle nature and friendly demeanor. He is always available for advice and support to everyone. As I paddle as well, I am on the water to witness his interaction with all the paddlers in a session. He spends hours paddling beside beginners and novices giving them technique advice and encouraging them.
Everyone knows Steve and has benefited from the generosity he shows sharing his knowledge with all aspects of paddling including equipment advice, technique and training programs.


Paddle Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2022

Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award – 2022
Congratulations to our Winner – Alex Brunacci for his outstanding Contribution!

Jade Kerber – Victorian Youth Polo Academy as well as  a member of the Canoe Polo Committee
Jade has set up the first permanent canoe polo field, working with Parks Victoria and councils to make it happen when many said it couldn’t happen.  Jade regularly coaches the Fairfield junior canoe polo team and has set up a local junior polo crew at Edgewater.
Jade also runs many of the canoe polo competitions around Victoria and has supported Ballarat in setting up canoe polo for their region.
Jade has worked with the Les Twentyman foundation to get kids from disadvantaged backgrounds on the water.

John Young – Marathon Chair
John is the backbone of the paddling community for race.John Young
There is no technical paddling problem he can’t solve. He always has his hand up and is so generous and friendly. I don’t believe that racing at all levels in Victoria could be where it is today without him.
His contribution allows for the fair and well managed racing systems for all paddle races. Without his expertise the races would struggle, especially when issues arise.

Sue O’ Rourke – Marathon Committee Vice President

Sue is nominated for the significant contribution she has made over the past year to the Victorian Marathon community through her work on the Marathon Committee. Sue gets out and has a go. Even when her mobility was restricted earlier this year due to a broken ankle, she continued to officiate in roles where she could contribute, such as race registrations for the 2022 PA Canoe Marathon Championships at Lake Coomera on the Gold Coast, or timekeeping at the Victorian Marathon Championships. Sue is a very capable and very worthy nominee.

Alex Brunacci – Geelong Canoe Club
Alex lives and breaths paddling and has contributed so much over many years to Geelong Canoe Club specifically and paddling in general so this nomination is to acknowledge that contribution.  He is always available to help out with whatever needs to be done at Geelong Canoe Club whether that is maintenance or helping people start or further their paddling careers.  Alex is always willing to help other paddlers and due to his vast experience and personal high standard of paddling is a great resource for paddlers from total newbies through to experienced paddlers!



Paddle Victoria Volunteer of the Year Award – 2021
Congratulations to our Winners for their outstanding Contribution!

Club/ Discipline Volunteer of the Year Award
Clint Langdon – Ballarat Canoe Club

Club Coach of the Year Award
Cynthia Coakley – Bendigo Canoe Club

Club Instructor of the Year Award
Greg Cowling – Bendigo Canoe Club


The nominees for the 2021 Paddle Victoria Club/ Discipline Volunteer of the Year Award are:
Club/ Discipline Volunteer of the Year Award

Lyne Strmecki – Victorian Slalom Technical Committee
                                                Lyndell Willcocks – Bendigo Canoe Club

Peter Foster – Mercantile Kayak Club

Clint Langdon – Ballarat Canoe Club




The nominees for the 2021 Paddle Victoria Club Coach of the Year Award are:
Club Coach of the Year Award

Baelea Collins – Bendigo Canoe Club
Baelea Collins – Bendigo Canoe Club/ Brigit Doyle – Fairfield Canoe Club   / Cynthia Coakley – Bendigo Canoe Club

James Humphry – Bendigo Canoe Club  / Greg Cowling – Instructor to the year


Congratulations and Thank you so much to all our wonderful Volunteers and to our winners this year.


Paddle Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2020

Congratulations to Anna Taylor from Ballarat Canoe Club and Tony Misson from Bendigo Canoe Club for their outstanding contribution to the Club!

Club Volunteer of the Year Award Nominees:

Allison Parkinson – North East Canoe Club
Allison is the secretary of North East Canoe Club and a passionate whitewater paddler.
She is welcoming to new members and is reliably present at club training and social events.  As a trip leader she is very safety conscious but not at the expense of everyone having a good time.
More recently she has organised a women’s coaching course seeking to increase the number of local women capable of leading trips and inspiring other women into the sport.
Allison has a husband, 3 kids and a business to run.  I don’t know how she fits it all in?



  • Andrew Merrifield – Fairfield Canoe Club
    Andrew has been instrumental in developing canoe polo at Fairfield canoe club and in the greater canoe polo community. From helping build the shed, set up lights, and a field, to creating an inclusive environment for people to develop their skills. He has created an open team which is competitive at a national level, while including everyone, and treating everyone as equal. With his hard work this year FCC ran its first competition at the club which was a great success.
    As well as being chair of the canoe polo subcommittee, after being on the FCC board the previous year.


Anna Taylor – Ballarat Canoe Club
Anna has been a breath of fresh air for the Ballarat Canoe Club, as it has gone from a closed, impersonal environment to one that encourages participation from all members, and new members.  The club also encourages diversity in involvement across multiple paddling disciplines – sea kayaking, flatwater, touring, white water, surf ski and ocean paddling.  Anna has organised:
Club coaching sessions for all members.
Come and try days for current and new members on club, and externally organised craft – from suppliers etc.
New member inductions held monthly.
Other activities outside the canoe club, such as mountain bike sessions, a club whitewater day with whitewater kayak instructors; club surf ski sessions with surf/ocean ski instructors.
An inventory and clean out of the club, including all club equipment, and craft that has been left by members who have been unfinancial for many years.


Anthony Ilott – Bendigo Canoe Club
In the past year, Anthony has supported Paddle Victoria Sprint discipline enormously!  He has volunteered  for most of our State events and took on a great responsibility as the Victorian Sprint Team manager during the National sprint series events.
At state events, he has been a key person as a starter making sure we are running on time.




Candice Charles – INCC Yarra Paddlers
Candice has been on the INCC committee in two stints totaling ten years or more. Over that time she has mainly held the important position of Treasurer. She is level headed and provides good council for the committee in general. She has excellent experience in not for profit governance as well as a multitude of experience as a paddler.
Listed below are some of the major achievements Candice has instigated for the club.
The installation of a new clubhouse access/security system.
She is a key participant in the Yarra Council Project Reference Group which is working on the redevelopment of the INCC clubhouse site.
Candice is one of our regular coaches in our beginner program.
She provides the club with an excellent service as treasurer, looking after the club finances, new membership registrations, renewals and annual budgets. Her attention to detail is wonderful.
Overall, Candice is a most valuable volunteer for our club who can be relied on to help in any situation and keeps us all grounded.


Dave Renton – Bellarine Paddlers Inc
A posthumous nomination.
Dave passed away in August 2020.
Dave was a founding member of the Bellarine Paddlers, and it is fair to say that the club would not exist at all if not for his incredible generosity. He donated a huge amount of boats and equipment to help establish the club, and volunteered every Sunday morning for numerous years to help newcomers take their first tentative strokes on the water as well as being instrumental in organising club activities and social gatherings. He was always first to offer to help, and never went looking for credit or recognition for the enormous amount of work he did for the community.
Dave introduced countless newcomers to paddling in a safe and friendly way, and helped grow the club by putting an enormous amount of time and effort into getting people from all walks of life on the water and helping them learn to paddle.


  • Edwin Han – Sprint Volunteer
    Edwin has been a great support of Paddle Victoria Sprint. He has been volunteered for every event within the state and national events. His contribution towards our events is huge and without his help our events would not be as smooth as they are!



Garry Brannan – Bendigo Canoe Club
Since Garry has joined our club he has been a very active member. He now is trip coordinator and helps with our Come and Try program.
His knowledge of members paddling abilities helps him coordinate appropriate trips for their enjoyment.
Garry is friendly and welcoming. He is one of the first contacts new members have with our club. His guidance and experience helps members feel comfortable and confident on the water






  • Greg Cowling – Bendigo Canoe Club
    Greg has been a key member in the development of our junior paddlers in whitewater with 4 of them making the Australian wildwater team. Greg delivers the basic skills which leads into rolling sessions in the pool. They then progress to moving water which delivered over a 2 day camp.
    Greg is an excellent instructor for rolling, basic skills and whitewater.



Jill Bassett – Melbourne Canoe Club – Slalom Volunteer
Jill was a major contributor to the process to create a Regional Paddle Sports Center at Westerfolds Park.  Her work has and enabled the rapid under the bridge to be developed as an approved training site with permanent slalom gate infrastructure.  Melbourne Water are about to commence works to construct a canoe entry and and exit landing structure and spectator viewing platform under the Fitzsimons Lane Bridge.  Jill had a major role in making this happen.  Jill acted on behalf of the slalom paddling community and in particular MCC who regularly use this facility.  Jill provided co-ordination and advocacy over an extended period of many years which involving meetings with Councillors, Council staff, State and Federal Government Ministers and Government Agencies.  The re-development of the facility at Westerfolds is a major improvement that benefits all white water paddlers in Melbourne.


Julie Keilor – Shepparton Canoe Club
She makes food for fundraising, she organises and is a driving force for getting people to do paddle hub and family days. She is happy to train anyone and willing to learn everything about sport.  Julie is a single blader. we are a friendly bunch and Julie is one of the nicest. She will talk and engage with people from all clubs.  She partakes in every event she can and makes sure not to miss the mothers day paddle or rubbish pick up.

Lyndell Wilcox – Bendigo Canoe Club
Lyndell attends the majority of Saturday sessions to set up and get everyone organised. She either paddles herself or assists with the timing. She has been doing this for around 30 years.  She brings some stability to this weekly event as if, for some reason, she is unable to be there she always arranges for backup.  Lyndell often helps out with our juniors during training sessions when she is out doing her training session she will take one of the juniors under her wing and help them out with some one-on-one mentoring.


Robert Schram – Cobram Barooga Canoe Cub
This nomination is to thank him for helping me over the last two years, to acknowledge his contribution to our club, and to celebrate reaching a milestone 30-year membership with the Cobram Barooga Canoe Club (CBCC) this year.  
Robert attends club meetings, regularly performs cleaning and maintenance duties at the CBCC shed, repairs boats as needed and is always happy to run errands. He assists with running the CBCC Ben Ward 40 Miler race each year and is our club photographer. He has recently hand crafted over 60 wooden kayak trophies in his spare time for use by the CBCC at future events. His passion for the sport is obvious and his enthusiasm is infectious!



Rowan Doyle – Fairfield Canoe Club
Over the last few years Rowan has gone well beyond the usual requirements of the chairman of the FCC Board. Not only has he guided the club through all the restrictions of the Covid year but he has been available on many occasions to help out individual members with the club related issues.
He also volunteers his time to publish the club weekly enews – bringing to life what could be just an ordinary club news bulletin.
Over the last years he has developed a great junior program at FCC devoting much volunteer time to coordinating the program and liaising with parents of the juniors. He continues to develop opportunities to encourage juniors into paddling and has been in communication with local primary schools with the hope of starting a new school program for them in 2021.



Tony Misson – Bendigo Canoe Club
Tony is a long term member of BCC (nearly 40 years) and with his family has enjoyed the sport, being involved in a range of disciplines.
As well as being the Bendigo Academy of Sport (BAS), head coach and BCC secretary Tony has been heavily involved in organising the come & trys, 2020 active girls & women and recreational programs.  Tony always sees the needs of the club and puts them as a priority.
Tony manages the academy program which is regarded very highly within the local community and Paddle Australia.
He is also on Paddle Victoria technical committee (sprints, wildwater), Paddle Aust advisory committee (wildwater) and is a level 2 flatwater coach.



 Tracee Ilott – Bendigo Canoe Club
Tracee has been a great help towards Paddle Victoria Sprint discipline, volunteering at most events PVS has run. She also took on a team manager role several times during National series events.  She has been a great help during these past years, helping out with our trailer and recruiting athletes to participate in state competitions and managing the Victorian State Team.




Club Coach Nominees – 2020

Congratulations to Club Coach of the Year – Alex Boyd from Fairfield Canoe Club for his commitment to developing Coaching at Fairfield Canoe Club!

Congratulations to Club Guide of the Year – Garry Brannan from Bendigo Canoe Club for his support and enthusiasm in upskilling the members at the Club!


Alex Boyd – Fairfield Canoe Club
In a flatwater coaching capacity with junior paddlers, in both sprint and marathon disciplines, Alex Boyd’s contributions have positively influenced junior participation and enhanced paddler performance in competition at School, Club, State and National age-group level – in both sprint and marathon.
Alex consistently demonstrates enthusiasm, commitment and possesses an engaging multi-faceted coaching ability way beyond his (young) years. He has made outstanding contributions, as a “new-gen” developmental junior coach. His coaching acumen is underpinned by continual self development and study at University in exercise science, sports development and business.
He brings a focused, growth mind-set to coaching, and a self-less commitment to coaching juniors. Alex co-partners in providing kayak coaching at schools (Trinity Boys Grammar and Strathcona Girls Kayak Programs) and at Fairfield Canoe Club

Baelea Collins _ Bendigo Canoe Club

Baelea has been captain of and coaching the Girton Grammar canoeing program. This has helped the club gain new, junior members as well as helps get more females interested in the sport. As the program runs in term 1 and 4 each year, each member was involved in many club and Paddle Vic competitions and events, which helped encourage a strong team atmosphere, as well as going alongside other programs such as the Bendigo Academy of Sport canoeing program for juniors, and the clubs Kayaking for Kids program.
The Girton canoeing program enabled young students to learn the skills and requirements of kayaking, whilst in a safe and fun environment with many others their age and with the same interests.


Brigit Doyle – Fairfield Canoe Club
For keeping the junior canoe polo going for the last 4 months from home!! She has been doing Zoom lessons with all the kids every Sunday without fail , giving the kids home work and getting players and ref to come and join them on the Zoom classes !! A lot of work been put in!
Brigit always watches out for the kids on and off the water and focuses on 100% safety first on the water.  She has been an outstanding role model!



Cynthia Coakley – Bendigo Canoe Club
Cynthia is a long term member of BCC and has a young family.  She has delivered the K4K junior program for the past 3 years.  The kayaking 4 kids program has addressed an important gap in the club programs.
Cynthia run a professional program and liaises with the parents and club equally well. The program focuses on the junior’s ability and all provides opportunities to fast track their skills. Cynthia provides detailed reports to the club.




Dita Pahl – Canoes Pus Racing Team
Dita is an inspiring and hardworking coach who goes above and beyond to instill in her trainees (all ages and abilities) an aptitude and a love of the sport.
Her work contributes to Victoria’s Paddling Community by attracting into the community a diversity or people whom otherwise might consider themselves unsuited to the sport and unwilling to try; and instilling in them a confidence to paddle in a range of challenging environments (competition based, adventure based etc) and enjoy paddling and being part of a club or team.  Dita goes above and beyond in terms of her time commitment and practical support offered to paddlers.



Tim Roadley – Yarrawonga Mulwala Canoe Club
Tim put together an awesome Yarrawonga and District Schools Team that allowed me and other kids to compete successfully at the Vic Schools Championships at Nagambie in March 2020.  He is a magnificent mentor because he taught me and the other kids in my group new paddling skills and reminded us to support each other during training and on race day. On race day he ran up and down alongside us when we were paddling to cheer us on.
Without his help we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to compete at the 2020 Vic Schools Championships in Nagambie!

Paddle Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2019

Congratulations to Barry Bell from Shepparton Canoe Club who was awarded the 2019 Volunteer of the Year!

John Young (Marathon) and Barry Bell (Shepparton)

The nominees for the 2019 Paddle Victoria Volunteer award are:

Geoff Burkitt – Whitehorse Canoe Club
Geoff has contributed to the development of novice and inexperienced paddlers of all ages and abilities. He is very passionate about teaching paddlers the skills to paddle moving water. Geoff volunteers his time to run regular Yarra River Trips targeted at whitewater beginners throughout the year. He also volunteers his time to teach inexperience kayakers how to roll through running regular pool rolling nights.
Geoff helps paddlers make the jump from doing the occasional Flatwater trip to being confident and safe whitewater paddlers. This transition can be daunting for anyone, but even more so for mature adults who need just the right amount of support and level of challenge to build their confidence and skills on moving water. Through his ongoing commitment to developing novice whitewater paddlers, he ensures that paddlers of any age can experience the great thrill and joy that comes with recreational whitewater kayaking
He provides feedback to the paddlers to assist them in improving their skills.  His number one priority is to provide a safe environment for all kayakers to learn in and enjoy the water ways.
In addition to all of this, Geoff is also the Treasurer of Whitehorse Canoe Club, and attends to all membership related matters. He spends countless hours both on and off the water supporting recreational whitewater kayaking in Victoria.

Mitchell Payne – Geelong Canoe Club
Mitchell has been a longstanding club member with Geelong Canoe Club. His roles have included Executive Committee, Boat Captain and Facility Management. He provides weekly coaching to novice and intermediate paddlers and is always working behind the scenes with grant applications. The grant applications have significantly helped Geelong Canoe Club improve the club house building. His role as Boat Captain allows Mitchell to be involved with the maintenance of club craft.

Mitchell is a great example of a true sportsman and is dedicated to paddling.

Tony Mission – Bendigo Canoe Club
Tony has been a long term member of Bendigo Canoe Club and has enjoyed the range of disciplines that are on offer.  Tony is secretary of Bendigo and is heavily involved in organising the Come & Try’s, trips, recreational programs and is head coach to Bendigo Academy of Sport. Outside of the club Tony is on the Paddle Victoria committee of Wildwater and Sprint and the Paddle Australia advisory committee for Wildwater and is a level 2 Flatwater coach which all keeps him very busy.

Tony is involved in the Club junior development with the Bendigo Academy of Sport and the recreation paddling program for adults. There is normally two sessions per week from October to May and at least 1 hour per week organising activities and events.  Tony has introduced sea kayaks for come & try’s, inductions, instruction, skills, trips and events and has revolutionised the way adults are introduced to the club.

Tony has been a huge asset to the club in every way and is a fantastic mentor to all our members.

Cynthia Coakley – Bendigo Canoe Club
Cynthia has been with Bendigo Canoe Club for quite some time. For the past 3 years she has delivered the K4K junior program. The Kayaking 4 Kids program has addressed an important gap in the club programs. This program is teaching 10-14 years the skills they need to enjoy the sport. The program is based on providing appropriate skills with the goals to paddle a TK1/TK2 safely with good technique and to be involved in club events and community paddles. This program caters for all abilities and is very focused on safety as well as having fun. Cynthia runs this program twice a year over a period of time and provides the committee with a detail report which assists in providing the best support for the juniors.

Cynthia provides appropriate goals such as the community fun paddles and will catch up with the K4K juniors at the weekly events.  She has been a great mentor to our up and coming paddlers. 

John Young – Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club
John is heavily involved in organising all the marathon races throughout Victoria. By John doing this it ensures Marathon paddlers get a wide range of race experience over a broad spectrum of locations. John is always looking for ways to include more participants across different regional areas and age groups. He is also diligent in organising support for safety boats and first aid during all the events.  John runs a very organised and efficient event and by doing this has increased the revenue to the Marathon Committee.

John is constantly attending training sessions with other members and has a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the sport.

John is always happy to assists any new committee members and participants in learning the ropes and getting more people paddling.

Barry Bell – Shepparton Canoe Club
Barry has been nominated because of the generous hours he volunteers toward the ongoing improvement to the Shepparton Canoe Club and all the members. As President he is constantly liaising with Paddle Victoria with regards to running and coordinating the Paddlepower and PaddleHub projects that have come to Victoria Park in recent years. He also has been working with Shepparton Council to conduct ladies and multicultural paddling events. This has enabled the local community to enjoy not only the beautiful lake but have fun learning to paddle.

None of this would be possible without the drive and determination of Barry.

Barry is the first at the club and last to leave. He is the clubs repair man and often takes on some of the members personal fibreglass repairs free of charge. Barry has organised club working bees and maintains a high standard at the Club. Barry was instrumental in working with Paddle Victoria to apply for a grant so the Club could purchase new lifejackets and helmets.
He continues to encourage our younger less active members the health and mental benefits that come with paddling. Barry is an extraordinary clubman and deserves to be recognised as a remarkable volunteer.

Paddle Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2018

Congratulations to John Young (INCC and Chair – Marathon Discipline Committee) who was awarded the 2018 Volunteer of the Year!

John Young Volunteer 2018 Winner
Some of our worthy nominees at the AGM:

Geoff Baird, Russell Bassett, John Young and Tim Roadley

Volunteers 2018 Geoff Baird - Russell Baird - John Young - Tim Roadley             Tim Roadley - John Young - Geoff Baird

The Paddle Victoria Volunteer Awards recognize and celebrate Paddle Victoria’s volunteers who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution within our paddling community.

The nominees for the 2018 Paddle Victoria Award are :

Allison Parkinson – North East Canoe Club
Allison is a vital part of the North East Canoe Club!
She has raised over $3000.00 for the club by organizing a Film Festival.
She organizes Come and Try events, training sessions and indoor pool sessions that teach members rolling and stroke technique.
The club would not be where it is today without her valuable input!

Geoff Baird – Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club
Geoff has contributed significantly in his role both as the Technical Officer for the Marathon discipline, as well as his contribution to his club.
He has made great improvements as the Marathon Technical Officer through his implementation and modification of the RFID system  (automated timing system), which is now used at every race to record lap times and improve the overall efficiency of the event.
Geoff has also taken over the management and storage of Marathon race equipment which ensures that each race is set up efficiently.
As a Club Member Geoff has taken the lead role in the club house renovation which has allowed for a greatly improved gym space.


John Young – Ivanhoe Northcote Canoe Club
John Young’s contribution as the Chair of the Marathon Discipline Committee can be seen through the great improvement in every aspect of Marathon race days, from providing more detailed safety protocols to the introduction of the Webscorer entry system.

John’s contribution at the interclub training sessions ensures its increasing participation and high quality of the sessions.

He provides so much support and encouragement for younger members of Marathon racing – providing tips and congratulations both on and off the water.

We believe that John is able to do so much thanks to the fantastic support he receives from his wife Ruth Graves, who also volunteers much of her time to the club and to the discipline.

Tim Roadley – Yarrawonga Mulwala Canoe Club
Tim is a fantastic Clubman and his enthusiasm and passion for paddling is infectious!
He regularly runs PaddlePower and after school paddling programs for kids who want to try kayaking.  His instruction not only teaches the sport of padlding but also the equipment, safety and the dangers of rivers and lake’s.  He has provided a pathway for interested children to join and further their skills in an advanced training session to be able to compete.

Tim has been the secretary of the club for over 10 years and is the main organiser of our Summer Series Race.

Barry Bell – Shepparton Canoe Club
The Shepparton Canoe Club is Barry Bell. He never says no. Barry spends many hours helping new members and assisting existing members with their training.
He supports our members through coaching, repairing craft and increasing the amount of racks at the club.

Barry has been a great driver and supporter of the Canoeing Victoria PaddleHub days on the lake and PaddlePower programs.  He can be seen at every race and event and without his efforts there would be hundreds of people who would miss out on the fabulous experience of paddling!

Russell Bassett – Melbourne Canoe Club/ Slalom Chair
Russell Bassett was introduced to paddling in 2013 as most adults are via their children involvement and since then has volunteered on nearly every committee and chair position available for Victorian and Australian Slalom.

He introduced SIWI data into Victoria Slalom which is now used at every race.
He has been directly involved with the slalom training site at Westerfolds Park, upgrading it with permanent poles and gates.

The difference Russell’s contribution has made is significant. The training environment is more professional and easier to use. Equipment is up to date and functioning, allowing for races and results to be obtained quickly and with credibility.


Stewart Nicol – Footscray Canoe Club
The roles Stewart serves are numerous.  He is the first face for new members at the club, ensuring that is always available to help.He has spent an enormous amount of time creating plans and lobbying the Council to improve club storage.He is instrumental in drumming up support for club trips and external races, as well as organising handicap races.
Stew is always generous with his paddling knowledge to anyone who needs a little advice (whether they want it or not!), and the boundless enthusiasm he has.

Canoeing Victoria
Volunteer of the Year Award – 2017

Congratulations to Leanne Nicholls – Melbourne Canoe Club – who was awarded the 2017 Volunteer of the Year!
Leanne Nicholls
Some of our worthy Nominees at the AGM – Left to Right – Brian Cooper (Kirinari Kayak Club), Gary Flanigan (Fairfield Canoe Club) Ian Wallbridge (Victorian Canoe Club), Ben Watts (Fairfield Canoe Club), Steve Vegh ( Patterson Lakes Canoe Club), John Mayne (Fairfield Canoe Club) and centre Leanne Nicholls (Melbourne Canoe Club)
Leanne Nicholls

The nominees for the 2017 Canoeing Victoria Award are :

Joe Alia – Marathon Technical Committee Chair : for his considerable contribution to running Marathon paddling in Victoria for so many years.  Joe contributes a huge amount of effort, running Winter Series races, leading the Marathon committee and coaching beginners and school groups at Fairfield Canoe Club.

Gayle Burke – Footscray Canoe Club : Gayle is a great club member who is always willing to help on land and water.  She is patient and caring when teaching new paddlers and is always up for a new challenge.

Brian Cooper – Kirinari Kayak Klub : For many years of mentoring many of the paddlers at Kirinari Kayak Klub and running the Kirinari Novice Improvement program (KNIP) in which he focuses on paddling skills and safety and ensuring that all paddlers feel welcome and included.

Warwick Draper – Melbourne Canoe Club : President of Melbourne Canoe Club and
Member of the working committee for Regional Paddle Hub development and involved in the development and installation of Fitzsimons Lane slalom gates.
He has been one of the main contributors to the sport of slalom in Victoria for over 20 years.
Warwick’s passion and enthusiasm has seen him being the driving force behind the development of Paddlepower in Victoria which has led to an increase in youth participation in many clubs throughout Victoria.

Anthony Duffin – Swan Hill Canoe Club : President of Swan Hill Canoe Club for 10 years and for assisting and encouraging paddlers of all abilities to paddle the Murray Marathon.

Gary Flanigan – Fairfield Canoe Club : President of Canoeing Victoria for 10 years and during that time has raised over $65,000.00 running Bunning’s BBQ’s that have contributed to running the organisation.  He is always a willing volunteer to run races, tow and drive the safety boat.  “without driven people like Gary around our sport would simply not survive or continue to be as active”

Paul Grant  –  Melbourne Canoe Club : For regularly volunteering his time during whitewater slalom races in Victoria, and for training on the Yarra slalom course at Fitzsimons Lane in Templestowe.  Paul has dealt in a successful and exceptionally diplomatic way with the persons who kept cutting down the wires and gates at Fitzsimons Lane in the past several months.

Jonathan Mayne – Fairfield Canoe Club : Jonathan has been awarded life membership of the Fairfield Canoe Club following 65 years of service to the club, the State and the Nation.  He volunteered at the cutting edge of the Red Cross Murray Marathon for 40 years and has been commentator to the Australia Sprint Championship since the 1970s.  When anything went wrong on the Murray Marathon the word was.”See Jonathan Mayne, he will fix that”.

Leanne Nicholls – Melbourne Canoe Club : Leanne’s involvement with the paddling community particularly in Warburton is incredible.  She is passionate, motivated, committed and always giving.
Leanne has been a major contributor to the increase in paddling in the Yarra Valley and promoting paddling in Warburton to the wider community.
Leanne has petitioned and received grants for extra equipment and has been successful in petitioning local Council for two new launch sites on the river in Warburton.
For the first time in its History, the Upper Yarra Valley had 4 local Schools enter the Victorian Schools White water Championships due to Leanne’s drive.
She has been an advocate of children with disabilities in the Yarra Valley and has initiated along with others, the first adaptive class, in Victorian history, at the Victorian Schools White Water Championships.  Enriching the lives of others with her generosity of spirit and energy, Leanne is an ambassador for Canoeing Victoria.

Dita Pahl – Canoes Plus Racing Team : a dedicated coach, paddler and mentor.  For her work as a coach for the past 15 years, coaching junior paddlers during the week and most weekends.  Dita has coached Slalom, Freestyle and more recently Wildwater racing.

Steven Parker – Geelong Canoe Club : Stephen was recently awarded life membership to the Geelong Canoe Club.  The first member in over 10 years to achieve this honour.
Stephen has redefined the Geelong Canoe Club over the last 5 years. His volunteer work commenced with the development of a five year strategic plan, creating a vision and purpose for the club.  He has united paddle disciplines, including marathon, canoe polo, multi sport, schools, scouts, dragon boating and recreational canoeing. These partnerships have lead to a vibrant paddling community in Geelong.
it is worth to noting that at the height of fund raising and negotiations with all levels of government, Stephen averaged 30 hours per week in volunteer time.

Jennifer Stevens – Fairfield Canoe Club :  Jen runs and organises canoe polo events and is very involved with developing and organising the Victorian and Australian Women’s canoe polo teams. With her help, the Victorian Women’s team has improved and grown so much which resulted in them winning in 2017.

Ian Wallbridge – Victorian Canoe Club : For his work at Canoe Polo at Lilydale Lake.  Ian is amazing with the kids and his down to earth nature puts paddlers at ease and encourages all kids to try new techniques and to do their best!

Ben Watts – Canoe Polo Committee and Fairfield Canoe Club :  For many hours of volunteering in Canoe Polo events.  Ben works very hard to organise and run canoe polo beginner sessions, rolling nights and come and trys.  Most importantly, Ben is passionate about growing Canoe Polo and making the sport accessible and inclusive to everyone.

Steve Vegh – Patterson Lakes Canoe Club : Steve is a Life Member of the club.  He is always available in times of crisis, ready to give advice and help.   He runs training sessions at the club almost every day of the week. Steve has expertise in relation to the Para-canoe members, and is very skilful in modifying the kayak to fit the person’s disability, allowing them comfort, speed and enjoyment.  Steve has expertise in kayak manufacture and repair aswell.  He repairs any damaged kayaks and is always available to answer questions or give advice about skills, or purchase of new equipment.

John Young – Fairfield Canoe Club / Marathon Technical Committee Treasurer : For his outstanding commitment to Marathon Racing.  John has worked tirelessly on the Canoe Victoria Marathon Technical committee since 2014 ensuring that marathon racing in Victoria is vibrant, innovative and well run.