Danielle Woodward OAM awarded with Life Membership

Featured / General / Oct 25, 2014

Danielle first became involved in Canoeing in 1979 through the Illawarra Canoe Club in NSW. She was primarily interested in the disciplines of Slalom and Wildwater, although over her career she has been involved in Canoe Polo, Flatwater, Multi Sport Marathons, Dragon Boat Racing and Touring.

She was selected to her first Senior Australian Slalom Team in 1982 and remained on the senior team every year until her retirement in 2001. Over those years she was also involved with canoeing at the committee and institute level.

Since 2005 she has been involved with Canoeing in the capacity of National Selector for Slalom, although she has represented Slalom Canoeing over many years in the capacity of State Delegate and Paddlers Representative to Australian Canoeing, and Victorian Delegate to the Victorian Olympic Council. She held the position of National Coach in 1997 as well as the Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) Coach in 1997 for Slalom Canoeing.  During her tenure with the VIS she also worked in the area of Athlete Career and Education for the sports of Tennis and Softball. Danielle has also managed national teams overseas, and dealt with budget and resource issues on a daily basis whilst employed by the Victorian Institute of Sport.

She has also held positions with the Athletes Advisory Commission for ASADA and working groups as the Australian Sports Commission, Australian Institute of Sport or the Australian Olympic Committee required. In 2013, Danielle was appointed to the Australian Olympic Committee Board.

She has been a Federal Agent with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for over 25 years. Her role within the AFP has given her a good understanding of the legal system and common law principles, and she is conversant in reading legislation and dealing with corporate governance on a daily basis.

Her ability to achieve results is best demonstrated by her competitive career in Slalom Canoeing. She held the National Women’s Slalom title from 1983 until 2001 (only beaten twice in that time). Danielle won a silver medal in the women’s K1 slalom in 1992 Olympics Barcelona which was a history-making achievement. The Victorian kayaker became the first Australian woman to win a canoeing medal at the Olympics, as well as the first Australian to win a medal in a slalom event. She also won the World Cup in Spain in 1994 (the first Australian to win a World Cup event in Slalom). Danielle went on to compete at the next two Olympics, placing 12th in 1996 and 8th in Sydney and this was achieved whilst holding down a career with the Australian Federal Police.

Danielle retired from competitive canoeing in 2001 and coaching in 2002 to spend more time involved with the Federal Police and overseas deployments to East Timor with the United Nations. She has always been heavily involved in the sport and believes that her knowledge and skills both in and out of the sport will be an asset to the board. Danielle was also awarded an OAM in 2002 for her services to sport, particularly to slalom canoeing and Olympic sport.

Danielle has been an appointed Director to the Australian Canoeing Board since the 29th April 2007, and President since 15th November 2008.