Home About Us Life Members
Name Year Inducted State
Mr Os Brownlee  1971 New South Wales Deceased
Mr Ross Chenoworth  1971 Victoria Deceased
Mr Albert Hopkins  1971 New South Wales Deceased
Mr Arthur Howard  1971 Victoria Deceased
Mr Max Hill  1971 New South Wales Deceased
Mr Harry Savage  1971 Deceased
Mr George Varcoe  1971 Victoria Deceased
Mr Frank Whitebrook  1971 New South Wales Deceased
Mr Phillip Coles  1981 New South Wales
Mr Gary Gardner  1994 Queensland Deceased
Mr Graham Johnson  1985 New South Wales
Miss Helen Brownlee OAM  1999 New South Wales
Mrs Joan Morison OAM  2003 New South Wales  Deceased
Mr Jim Murphy  2005 South Australia
Ms Danielle Woodward OAM  2014 Victoria
Ms Sue Natoli 2015 Victoria
Mr Mark O’Brien 2016 South Australia

Joan Morison – Thirteenth Life Member of Australian Canoeing

In the late 1940’s, Joan joined with Bruce Morison to convene a meeting that established the Youth Hostels Association Canoe Club.  The opportunity for YHA members to experience canoeing was provided by thus club up to 1974.  In fact, they actually conducted the first NSW Canoe Championships under the auspices of the NSW Canoe Association.

From this early involvement, Joan developed a life-long commitment to canoeing which crossed all disciplines and facets of the sport at local, state and national levels.

With a string background of club and State canoeing administration, Joan was elected to the honorary position of Secretary-General of the Australian Canoe Federation in 1983.

Her vision and enthusiasm for canoeing consolidated the establishment of the first national office in 1986 and her subsequent appointment as the National Executive Director.

Joan worked tirelessly to establish a sound financial base and efficient management procedures, which moved the organisation of canoeing from the kitchen table to a respected sporting administration.  This was a period of extensive growth fro canoeing and the result at international level confirmed the credibility of the organisation.

Joan was held in high regard by the Australian Sports Commission and took every opportunity to initiate development proposals and attract increased financial support.

The establishment of the national training centres for Flatwater (Gold Coast) and Slalom (Tasmania) were a direct result of her persistent lobbying to the government.

When Joan stepped down from full-time working 1988, she directed her energy and enthusiasm unto a myriad of voluntary canoeing activities.

From the organisation of state and national events, to the conduct of Board of Canoe Education courses, coaching individual paddlers and competing in marathon canoe events, to working at the 2000 Sydney Olympic canoe/kayak events. Joan has always been in the midst of the action!

In addition, Joan has taken on the role of Honorary Historian for Australian Canoeing, where her knowledge and attention to detail are invaluable assets.

No request for assistance has ever been refused and the good humour and resourcefulness Joan brings to her involvement are wonderful compliments to her passion for the sport.

In every respect, Joan Morison has made an outstanding contribution to Australian Canoeing over an extensive period of time and is a most worth recipient for the honour of Life Membership.

Helen Brownlee – Twelfth Life Member of Australian Canoeing

Helen Brownlee was elected as the twelfth Life Member of Australian Canoeing at the 1999 Annual General Meeting.  A life membership from Australian Canoeing is a fitting honour for this woman who has dedicated her life to sport and in particular the sport of canoeing.

Involved in canoeing for over thirty years, Helen has devoted her time and resources to serving the sport she was born to.  As a young child Helen was introduced to canoeing by her father – Os Brownlee, one of the founding members of the Australian Canoe Federation 50 years ago – though her real involvement began in her teenage years.

As a teenager Helen competed in Flatwater Racing, Wildwater Racing and Slalom Racing.  After collecting a swag of medals at both State and National level, Helen’s interests soon focused on Slalom Racing and she gradually moved from participating to Officiating and Administration.  Since those early days Helen has progressed through the administrative levels at club and state level to national and international levels.

Despite the growing demands on her time, Helen was able to adjudicate at World Championships and Olympic Games.  At the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, Helen was an Official Judge for the Canoe Slalom events.  In 1988 Helen was a Finish Line Judge for Flatwater canoeing at the Seoul Olympic Games. In between Helen also fulfilled roles as Assistant Team Manager for World Championships, Jury Member at international slalom races as well as being Chief Judge at Australian and State level.

Helen was a groundbreaker for women in the administration of sport, when in 1976 she was elected to the International Canoe Federation’s Slalom and Wildwater Committee. Helen was accepted into areas that for years had refused to accept women. Continued her progression through the ranks of the International Canoe Federation Helen was elected Member for Oceania in 1988 and took her place on the International Canoe Federation’s Board of Management.  She holds these positions today.

In Australia, Helen was also recognised for her outstanding contributions to sport.  From 1976-1978 Helen was a Vice President of the Australian Canoe Federation. Then in 1985 Helen was elected to the position of President of the Australian Canoe Federation. Helen held this position for 14 years.

Helen was made a delegate to the NSW Olympic Council in 1974. She remained in that position until elected an Executive Member of the NSW Olympic Council in 1988. The following year Helen was elected as Vice President of the NSW Olympic Council and completed her rise to be elected President of the NSW Olympic Council in 1990 – a position she stills holds at present.

Following her election as President of the NSW Olympic Council, Helen became a delegate to the Australian Olympic Committee in 1981. In 1989, Helen was appointed as a member of the Australian Olympic Committee’s Planning and Review Commission. In 1991 Helen was elected to the Executive Board of the Australian Olympic Committee and she continues in this position today. Helen was awarded a Life Membership to the NSW Canoe Association in 1979, in recognition of her contributions to canoeing in New South Wales. Helen’s contributions to sport were again recognised in 1985 when she was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM).

Sue Natoli

Sue Natoli has been very involved in canoeing in Australia and internationally. Sue has been a member of the AC Canoe Slalom Technical Committee since 2005, a member of the ICF Canoe Slalom Technical Committee since 2008, a Board member of the Oceania Canoe Association, a mentor to new Judges and Event Organisers in Australia and a member of the team developing the ICF Slalom Rules.

Sue has been a stalwart of event management for Canoe Slalom in Australia for many years. Her efforts internationally have been highly regarded by many and have seen Australians regarded highly for their contributions.

During her time on ICF Canoe Slalom Technical Committee she has been a part of overseeing / facilitating some major changes in the sport: increased participation of women, increased participation of nations, increased professionalism, and standardisation of the running of major international races. Sue has been part of a progressive time in the sport and her involvement internationally has been shaped by the forward thinking attitude of the sport in Australia.

Sue has also been a Selector for Australian Canoe Slalom National Talent Squad and Junior teams over many years.

Sue is an internationally recognised canoe slalom technical official. Sue has been involved as an official at local, national and international events in a number of roles from judging, scoring, chief official, competition manager just to name a few. Key events that Sue has been instrumental in, include:

  • 2014 Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships – Sue played an integral role in bringing the Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships to Australia and running a successful, enjoyable event for all involved;
  • 2009 World Masters Games (Sydney) – organising committee and key technical official;
  • Youth Olympic Festivals – organising committee and competition manager;
  • Olympic Games – has officiated at 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 games. Including Chief of Scoring at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Awards that Sue has received from Australian Canoeing include:

  • 2014 AC Technical Official of the Year and Award of Merit for the LOC of the Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships;
  • 2012 AC Excellence Award;
  • 2010 AC Services to Canoeing; and
  • 2007 AC Award of Merit.