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The HQ Community Awards aim to celebrate those in our community that ‘go above and beyond’, without whom we wouldn’t be able to take the field each week.
Nominations for these awards are be submitted by Associations, and voted on by the community.  Winners are decided by the community votes and the HQ Awards panel.


HQ Community Awards

  •   Association of the Year
  •   The Point Volunteer of the Year
  •   Wanderers Initiative of the Year
  •   AdWrapit Association Coach of the Year
  •   Polytan Community Coach of the Year
  •   Just Hockey Association Umpire of the Year
  •   Konica Minolta Association Technical Official of the Year
  •   Aspire #TeamQLD Individual Award
  •   Aspire #TeamQLD Team/Club/Association Award



Mackay Hockey Association has almost completed another successful year. With over 800 members MHA continues to look for innovative ways to continually grow and expand and engage new members. This year we trialled 2 successful programs. The first was our competitive J League 8-week program at the start of the year. This was a huge success as a mixed competitive competition with dedicated uniforms and senior coaches from the senior league. The season so successful we are well on the way to implement this again next year and introduce a social version. J League did not replace our already existing school hockey, it was an extra addition so junior members could partake in more hockey. Our RCD also run a junior U7 and U9 program at the start of the season with several come and try days, along with school visits, which also helped secure junior members. This year we also ran an Umpire development day that also was very successful in which over 40 members attended, thanks for HQ for your assistance in arranging this. We hope to expand on this also next year. Mackay will again host an Outdoor state championship event, with added social activities and 2 x Indoor State Championships. Mackay also had several themed rounds throughout the year to help raise awareness. The Men’s Mental Health Round, Women in Sport round, Pride Round, and the Mulherin Cup. MHA also held our U11 tournament with teams from Mackay, Bowen, Gladstone, Rockhampton, and Cairns attending. Through the success of several grants MHA will be expanding the clubhouse in the off season which will allow for the club house to be hired out helping with the ongoing sustainability of the association on and going costs.



2023 again saw a massive year for Townsville Hockey.

Townsville successfully hosted Qld u18 tournament along with the QLD Over 60’s masters men. Both tournaments received fantastic feedback from local and outside participants and spectators.

With the changing junior base, Townsville worked with local clubs and identified a change in junior hockey delivery. This year saw the J League introduced with J1, J2 & J3. This has increased the junior participation rate from 12 teams in 2022 to 16 teams in 2023.

With an increase of female playing numbers in the senior competition saw a new division introduced - Division 5. This has seen the opportunity for the juniors to start being introduced to the senior competition, and [KL1] many returning players who have mentored and guided the younger ones in their first year of seniors.


South Brisbane Vipers

South Brisbane Indoor Hockey Association is a fully volunteer-run association located in Mansfield (south of Brisbane) offering both competitive and social indoor hockey to the community.  SBIHA's objectives can be found here:

Last season, Vipers had a record 564 members with over 70 fixtures teams and 13 representative teams.  This makes SBIHA unique not only in size but also as it is independent from other Queensland hockey associations.

Vipers is focused on team / player retention - more than 90% of teams from 2022 have nominated to return in 2023.  Vipers seeks to attract new players to hockey through its Come & Try junior hockey sessions and through expanding its Friday night social competition. Vipers also seeks to continually improve the standard of hockey played at the centre through rep development clinics and training and through a mentoring program for new umpires.  Vipers entered a team in every representative age group in 2022 and had it most successful year on record winning three State Championships and two runner-up finishes.  Over 20 players and 2 umpires were selected to represent Queensland. Vipers hosted the U15 Girls State Championships in 2022 and is also hosting the 2023 championships.



THA's year has been amazing, on and off the field. 
HQ’s strategic plan:

  • 600 players in off-season programs (Including Indoor, Club Glenvale Challenge, Summer 6s)
  • Celebrating Heroes: Tatum Stewart spoke at EOSD with Karen Robertson. Aleisha Neumann will be honoured with photo in our Bistro after her 2024 Olympic selection. We utilise past/present QLD & AUS reps for shirt presentations for rep programs.

Demonstrating Leadership, highlights:

  • HQ WM tournament. Beer gardens, fire pit, massages
  • R U OK? Mental Health Round
  • Livestream of A1 games to community
  • Umpire Academy, Development and Mentoring program for all levels
  • Strength & Conditioning with Better Movement

Management & Governance:

  • Good Sports Accreditation achieved
  • Concussion Policies enhanced
  • Legacy Planning underway with TSBE
  • Toowoomba Hockey Committee excelled in volunteer and competition management
  • $50k worth of sponsors supporting programs
  • Facility upgrades: Deck area and Indoor entertainment space
  • New F/T appointments: Hockey Manager & Coaching Manager

New Initiatives:

  • Rep Officials Dinners - 3 dinners with 73 volunteers
  • Additional QLD squad trainings across year
  • Summer development for Open Men/Women
  • Education & Support
  • Cultural Awareness session pre-Yazidi program
  • ‘rEvents’ Events course for paid staff


Brisbane Women

BWHA celebrates its 90th year in 2023. Via our social media, we recognised significant club members from across the decades, and our Association Life Members. We hosted the U11 Southern Cross and Coulter Shield tournament at our home base of Downey Park.  This event catered for 38 girls and boys teams from across the SEQ region. The year has been successful on and off the field with wins in Division 1 at all age tournaments held to date at Queensland Championships. We continue to work to develop all members with an extensive development calendar catering for players of all levels and ages from ‘Come and Try’ to Masters development programs, employing two fulltime staff to cater effectively for all our members. We have a comprehensive Umpire and Technical Officer development pathway, evidenced by the numerous BWHA Umpires and Technical Officials attending State and National hockey events this year. In 2023 with the need to provide a development and retention pathway for our Juniors into Seniors we introduced PL4 to our Saturday competitions. We work closely with BHA through Hockey Brisbane Inc to provide Gala Days, Club days and joint grand final days to provide the best hockey for Brisbane members.

Aaron Grevell – Maryborough

Aaron Grevell has been involved in hockey since he was 5 years old. He has contributed to hockey in Maryborough on many levels, whether it be as a player, coach, umpire, mentor, or Volunteer.  Aaron is currently one of our lead coaches in our Tomahawk Program for 4-9 year olds. His contribution has seen player participation increase and moreover, retention improve.  He coaches at club level (both junior and senior teams).  He is on the committee of his Club and is heavily involved in all aspects of the running of the MDHA, including from working in the canteen, assisting with working bees, contributing to the running of Championships etc. He has been appointed to the Maryborough Masters Committee for the upcoming 2024 Queensland Championships.  Without people like Aaron, volunteer organisations like ours would not be able to function.


Kirstie Fiedler – Toowoomba

Kristie has volunteered as the Events Portfolio holder for the Toowoomba Hockey Committee. This includes fortnightly meetings and regular ‘on call’ duties, and the planning and coordinating of:
- Hockey Expo Day - annual launch of junior registrations event
- Race Day Season Launch with 200 participants
- Club Glenvale Challenge Launch and Finals Party
- Women’s Masters State Champs - all the al fresco and entertainment planning
- Mental Health Awareness Round - R U OK? (with Amanda Ross)
- End of Season Dinner with 230 participants
- Presidents Cup festivities
- Minkies and Mods Break Up
- Grand Final Day catering and awards
Kristie also coordinated event fundraising efforts across the year and our Rep Fundraising raffles, which run all season long. She’s also an expert in our By-Laws and contributed significantly to problem solving around compliance and competition matters across the season.
In our Representative program, Kristie was a Team Manager at U13 State Champs on Sunshine Coast, and TO at the Men’s Masters in Brisbane.
On top of this, Kristie is a committee member for her club (Norths), as well as being the A1 Women’s Team Manager - even donning the pads as a backup GK when required!


Larissa Cunliffe-Jones - BWHA

Larissa is a vital member of the BWHA Junior Committee which manages the BWHA Junior Competition of nearly 1900 players (148 teams), and which plays across 13 divisions plus Rookie. She was the BWHA Junior committee coordinator for the volunteers for the U11 Southern Cross held at Downey Park, and is Valley Hockey Club’s Junior Branch Manager, Valley is the largest Junior girls club in Brisbane with 384 players.

Larissa is a willing worker, always with a smile on her face and able to take on any challenge. She is at Downey Park every Saturday assisting her club or BWHA to improve the hockey experience for all.


Cathy Milijasevic - Hervey Bay


Cathy Milijasevic is Hervey Bay Hockey Associations secretary and has been so for years. Cathy's dedication and commitment to our club is extraordinary and without her it certainly wouldn't run.

Cathy arranges come and try days, is on call to members 24/7, and manages player memberships and registration.

Cathy runs the canteen and bar faultlessly, she attends to the shopping, the cooking, the stock management, the food preparation.

Cathy arranges duty for teams and encourages younger members to volunteer their time. Cathy encourages young players to participate in umpire training and provides young players with a reward system for umpiring our games.

Cathy has built several systems and events into our Association which will ensure its smooth operation. Aside from our regular season games and events, Cathy promotes weekend carnivals, trivia nights, and end of year celebrations.

Cathy is our Association Secretary and has been so years. Her contribution to the governance and management of the Association cannot be understated.

Cathy is accountable, reliable, loyal, she communicates effectively and is empathetic when required, Cathy is incredibly focused and pays attention to detail. Cathy is the epitome of what every good leader should strive to be.

Cathy attends to the running and management of all our representative teams, our local carnivals, and our state carnivals.

In 2023 Hervey Bay Hockey Association is hosting the U15 Boys State Championships and Cathy has been an integral part of its operation.

Cathy is also a hockey veteran, Cathy plays across divisions locally, and was recently selected in Queensland Women's Masters Teams.

Cathy is known lovingly by everyone at the club at "Mrs Milly". Cathy is caring and kind and does everything in her power to support our members, our club, and our community.

Cathy's contribution to our club overall cannot be understated. Her contributions are outstanding and essential to the running of our association.


Bill Beardmore – Redlands

Redlands Hockey Association would like to nominate Bill Beardmore. We are fortunate to have Bill Beardmore as our club's top volunteer. Each week, Brilliant Bill is down at the field bringing fruit, chocolate, and cold water for the Juniors and Adults. Bill is always there, even when his children are not!

You've probably heard Bill cheering everyone on from the sidelines, because he truly wants what is best for everyone.

Redlands would like to nominate Bill for always being there on Saturday afternoons, and for never refusing to lend a helping hand to an umpire, even one minute before play begins.


Cath Martin – Mackay

Cath Martin has been a member of MHA for well over 20 years, Cath was presented with a life membership award this year for her outstanding commitment to MHA and MSHA. In addition to Life Membership, Cath received the prestigious Jack Thomas Award this year for her commitment to hockey, involvement above the ordinary, a character above reproach, selflessness, positive and ongoing commitment. Cath also led the Management committee meetings fortnightly. Cath was instrumental in continuing our Women’s Masters competition which is again a separate competition run on a Monday night. Cath assisted our Umpire coordinator Chloe Vaughan in arranging our Umpire development day which was supported by HQ.


Josh West - Townsville

Josh always finds time to dedicate to his association, club, members, and hockey community as President of the Townsville Hockey Association with over 750 members. Josh West started on the board in 2018/19, initially as the participation director, being actively involved in all levels of the participation space until being voted in and accepting the role as president in 2022.

Josh is hard working, fair and very well respected across all four clubs, within the junior, senior and masters ranks as well as with the volunteer, official and parent base of Townsville Hockey. He treats everyone with respect and has played an integral part in fostering growth, development, sportsmanship, and enjoyment for all members of Townsville Hockey community.

As well as his dedication to the entire association, Josh spends numerous hours within the Parks club playing in the division three, four and masters men’s competition. He managed the Division 4 ladies for his club and spends countless hours watering and preparing the fields, as well as completing many weekend umpiring duties.

He has further coached / managed the current Townsville 15 boys since 2017, when the group were all under 11s. He has since devoted a great deal of time and energy into this cohort of boys mentoring and developing them all into successful hockey players and fine young men. Most recently in 2022 this group won Div2 and made the 2023 grand final contributing 5 triallists and 4 state players to the HQ pathways.

Additional to his commitment to all of the above Josh always finds time to work and instil fun with the junior programs that THA is passionate about. The mini sticks program is the first level junior development program for 4–7 year beginners and is purely run by THA members. 2023 Josh volunteered his time on Saturday mornings to drive participation and enjoyment in the grass roots and since his involvement responses have been positive and numbers have increased.

He was also heavily involved in the 2023 Ruth Young gala day which saw over 200 students from 12 schools in Townsville involved.

Josh is proactive in overseeing all decision making with the board of the association, he always considers the best interest of the entire member base and has made many significant and positive step changes within the Townsville Hockey Association, one of our most celebrated achievements with welcoming our first female member into the Div 1 Men's competition.

Josh was the main driving factor in this decision which instilled equality and high performance for females in the Townsville competition.

As a president he is very approachable and always interacts fairly with the members, volunteers and the staff of the association.

As a THA representative he has always been a strong advocate for regional players, fostering their ongoing involvement and relationships with HQ. Under Josh`s guidance and direction THA has hosted two RDP camps over the last 12months and is motivated to continue with these opportunities for all regional athletes. Josh has a great working relationship with other Association presidents and members of HQ and is constantly looking for new ideas and ways to improve and grow hockey for all players in Queensland.

Brisbane Blaze Primary School Day – Gympie

All schools in the Gympie region were invited to attend our first ever Brisbane Blaze Primary School Hockey Day held at Gympie Hockey in February 2023. 14 teams battled it out in the 6-a-side, modified rules (including one goal advantage per every first-time hockey player) quarter-field games to be crowned champion school. Over 80% of participants had never played hockey before and following the day many then signed up to play club hockey in 2023. To top off the day we had a special visit from Hockeyroo & Blaze player, Hannah Cullum-Sanders who handed out some giveaways, signed autographs and chatted with all the kids.


Hockey Umpiring Academy – Bundaberg

2023 saw the inauguration of our Umpiring Academy at Bundaberg Hockey Association. The initiative was launched by Abby Heffernan and Amanda Wightman, with the aim to educate and mentor our junior and senior players as they venture into the world of umpiring. It can be very daunting for umpires starting out to pick up a whistle, and the Academy was also designed to promote participation in an encouraging environment with the view to building up the skills and confidence of each new umpire.
Umpires from the Academy were allocated weekly to our junior games, where they were monitored and mentored, as well as attending monthly briefings on education and feedback.
The Academy had 22 enrolments which commenced early in 2023.  The feedback has been fantastic from spectators that have watched our new umpires grow through the season but most importantly have fun!
We had a very successful year with some of the Academy participants going on to umpire our U11 and U13 grand finals at a local level - and travel as Bundaberg’s umpire to the U13 Girls, U15 Boys and U15 Girls State Championships.
We look forward to further educating our existing and welcoming our new umpires in 2024!


Yezidi Multicultural Program - Toowoomba

Key points:

· 5000+ Yezidi refugees in Toowoomba since ISIS genocide of 2014

· Equipment donated by members

· 30 volunteers

· Two sessions weekly, one at TAFE to access English students, one at THA - followed by morning tea.

Volunteer Impact:

· Volunteers drive participants, connecting in transit and being thanked with food, even inviting them for lunch!

· Improved fitness has been reported and the volunteers (most are retirees) said that the program has added purpose to their lives.


  • Strong female players have volunteered as coaches for the men to put women in power and get the men accustomed to respecting women. These women are role models for the Yezidi girls in attendance as they watch women with strong leadership skills to thrive in what is normally a male dominated environment.
  • We've made 4 Summer 6s teams with 16 Yezidi’s mixing with volunteers. This will lead to a significant cohort joining clubs in 2024. Volunteers offering to cover uniform expenses.
  • Connection with Griffith University, researching impacts for Arab girls who are participating in the program.

We will make this program permanent and observe the growth in our clubs as more of these participants and their families get involved!


Pink Sock Round – Townsville

Wests Hockey Club had a pink sock round in July this season to raise money and promote awareness of Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer.

With the support of all the THA clubs the Wests Hockey Club - 17 junior and senior teams ranging from U10s to master’s all donning pink socks for this special round.

With the generous support of Just Hockey Townsville, Wests members purchased pink socks with proceeds from the sale of socks 100% going to these great causes.

As well as the money raised from the pink socks, Wests members collected donations across the weekend with thanks to the amazing support of the Townsville hockey association and the generosity of the members of the Townsville clubs - Brothers, Commercials, Parks.

This round was inclusive of all clubs within the association and will prove the catalyst for special rounds going into 2024.   

As part of the promotion prior to the pink sock round, Wests engaged channel 7 News and the local paper the Townsville Bulletin who both ran stories which was great publicity for hockey and to promote awareness towards these great causes.

The McGrath Foundations and The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia were the charities chosen.

Jill Mathison - Gold Coast

GCHA proudly nominates Jill Mathison for the prestigious title of Association Coach of the Year. Jill has consistently demonstrated exceptional dedication to hockey, as well as remarkable achievements in developing emerging talent and fostering a positive club environment within our association. She has met all the criteria outlined for this award, as follows:
1. Jill has successfully obtained and maintained her Level 1 Coach Accreditation, showcasing her commitment to professional development and ensuring the highest standards of coaching.
2. Jill embodies the #TeamQLD values both on and off the field. She not only respects herself, her team, her opposition, all officials, and her sport, but she also serves as a role model for others. Her behaviour and actions inspire those around her to be the best they can be.
3. Jill's leadership skills are exemplary. She consistently inspires and motivates her athletes to reach their full potential in the sport of hockey. Moreover, Jill's passion for coaching is infectious, leading others to volunteer and contribute to the development of aspiring players.
4. Jill's professionalism is evident in every aspect of her coaching. She approaches each training session, game, and interaction with players with a high level of dedication. Jill goes above and beyond to ensure the holistic development of her players, nurturing their skills and character both on and off the field.
5. Jill's commitment to the development of the club environment and the sport of hockey is unwavering. Her contributions over the past four years as an association coach for our U15 and U18 women's teams, as well as her work with the "Hockey Burleigh" women's teams, have had a transformative impact. Her efforts have not only elevated the performance of her players but have also created a positive and inclusive club environment.

In summary, Jill Mathison is an exceptional coach who fully embodies the spirit of the Association Coach of the Year award. Her exceptional organization, attention to detail, and ability to foster camaraderie during pre-tournament training sessions are commendable. Furthermore, her flawless orchestration of in-competition activities and dedication to continuous improvement through post-game reviews and timely feedback demonstrate her commitment to the development of athletes. Jill's achievements, combined with her demonstration of #TeamQLD values, make her a deserving candidate for this prestigious recognition.


Dan Mayfield – Mackay

Dan Mayfield continues to support and enhance the experience of all our junior players. Dan was the Vice President of MSHA this year whose focus was the development and growth of hockey. and was the driving force behind the successful implementation of our J League competition. Dan was also the head mentoring coach of the J League competition. Dan was the MHA representative coach of our u13 Mackay boys, assistant coach for the [KL1] Mackay boys, the U13 QLD academy coach in preparation for nationals and the U18 Boys mornings sessions coach in preparation for Nationals. Dan is also the Norths A1 Mens coach and the Norths A3 Mens coach. You will find Dan down at the fields on average twice a day before and after running his own business coaching any player who is willing to advance their skills. MHA is extremely grateful for Dan’s continued dedication.


Aaron Kenny – Maryborough

Aaron is the current Maryborough RCD/Development Officer. He was instrumental in developing our Tomahawks Program for 4-9 year olds and continues to oversee it, which has resulted in an increase in participation. He conducts squad sessions for representative players and he assists club coaches to develop their skills, which in turn sees the development of players improve. Aaron has coached for over 30 years at club and representative level in the Fraser Coast (13’s to Senior Men and Women). He also coaches his Club's Division 1 Men’s team and is passionate about the development of all players regardless of age or ability.  He has recently been appointed to the Queensland Coaching Committee and has been involved at State level as a Selector, Coach and in Development camps.  His aim is to assist in building a bank of coaching resources and the network to assist all coaches in Queensland, particularly in the regional centres.


Brett Rollason – Toowoomba

Brett's outstanding dedication and contributions to the world of coaching make him a standout candidate for Association Coach of the Year.
Brett has consistently displayed exceptional coaching skills across multiple teams, showcasing his versatility and ability to adapt to various playing styles and skill levels. He is actively involved in all levels of hockey, both outdoor and indoor. Brett is actively involved in the indoor rep program and is always willing to lend a hand with developing the Toowoomba athletes in the HQ program.
What sets Brett apart is his willingness to go above and beyond. Not only does he excel in his role as a team coach for club and representative levels, but he also devotes his own time to provide extra goal-keeping coaching, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to player development and success. This season Brett has done extra goal keeping training before work during the week, and early on Sunday mornings - usually to accommodate the athletes time needs.
Brett Rollason's genuine passion for the sport have not only elevated the performance of his teams but have also inspired countless athletes. He embodies the essence of an exemplary coach and is undeniably deserving of the Association Coach of the Year award.


Nathan Doherty – Townsville

Over the last 5 years Nathan has been a driver of Townsville Hockey teams. In 2023, Nathan was appointed to the Hockey Queensland Coaching Committee.

As a Hockey Queensland selector and coach Nathan is always leading and pushing for further development of #TeamQLD values and behaviours.  

Most recently for THA he successfully coached the Townsville U18 2’s team at this year’s state championships which was fielded by many younger players and development players. He mentored and guided these boys which allowed self-development and skills advancement.

Nathan coaches local club, Brothers, which was a very young playing cohort. With leadership and guidance the team came together and developed throughout the season which resulted in improvement and success both on and off the field.

Around the association Nathan is positive and participation focus and assists by bringing his high level coaching ability to the association. He is always willing to help with new ideas like - specific goalkeeper identification training with a focus on junior females.

Nathan is a Queensland Assistant Coach and part of the Hockey Qld U15 boys coaching staff this year which saw Qld bring home the gold.

Tracey Sullivan – BWHA

Kedron Wavell

Tracey Sullivan has been the Kedron Wavell top JG coach for over 10 years and brings a level of passion and enthusiasm to the role that is second to none. She has taken girls who have never held a stick before and girls who have come up through the junior teams and produced winning combinations. This year's team started the year in JG2 as the skill level was low.  Mid-year grading saw them elevated to JG1 where they ended up coming third. This was due to Tracey's commitment to bringing out the best in the girls, developing basic skills and encouraging the best from the team.

Sharing a deep love of the game with the girls sees Tracey's coaching bring out the best in players and many stay in the game long after they age out of the junior ranks. Transitioning the juniors into seniors is another of Tracey's passions and this helps the Club retain girls into both the grass and turf senior competitions.

This year Tracey had 7 players in her DP1 team that had either been coached by her as a junior or were currently in her JG team.

Tracey's commitment to umpiring and playing sees her well rounded as a coach and her sideline behaviour is always positive. Parents and supporters often comment that her support for the team is unwavering and her positive attitude on the sideline is a good role model for the girls. She supports umpire decisions and assists umpires as needed.

Tracey is well regarded by Club members, parents, and players alike and her nomination for Community Coach of the Year truly reflects her passion and energy in the coaching arena.


Natalie Flannery– BWHA

All Hallows School
Qualifications: Level 1 accreditation

Motivation to coach: “Being a positive role model for kids and being a happy encouraging person for them.”

In 2023, 22 year old Natalie has coached at the following programs:
- Sporting School programs
- Hockey 4 Kids Programs
- Variety Active Sports Day
- U7 & U9 School Holiday Clinic
- U11 School Holiday Clinic
- U11 Development
- U11 Trials
- U11 Brisbane 5 Coach
- All Hallows School JT3 team

This year Natalie has coached at many BWHA development programs. She has been reliable and on many occasions this year has stepped into coach at last minute.


Karen Robertson – Toowoomba

Toowoomba Hockey Association is blessed to have Karen available as a coach to our athletes. Karen's commitment to nurturing young talent is exemplified through her dual roles as the U11 Girls and U13 Boys Toowoomba coach this year. Her ability to connect with her players, instil a love for the game, and foster a sense of teamwork is truly extraordinary. She has not only coached these teams but has also served as a mentor and role model to her athletes, guiding them both on and off the field. In addition to representative teams, Karen has worked with the Past High U13 boys and U11 Girls - whilst also being actively involved in including younger coaches and developing them as well. Karen also helped deliver our holiday skill clinic camps.
Karen Robertson's coaching contributions have made a profound impact on the Toowoomba community, shaping the lives of countless young athletes. Her commitment, leadership, and positive influence make her a deserving candidate for the Community Coach of the Year award. Karen's legacy in youth sports coaching is both significant and enduring.


Alex Hough – BHA

Alex has gone above and beyond to support the Brisbane Hockey Association community with coaching in 2023.

He has been attending some school-based hockey events (Met West Assistant Coach and Coaching Noosa District School Sports) providing hockey as a sporting schools program and introducing over 200 school children to hockey in Brisbane.

Alex has provided development opportunities for Brisbane Hockey Association U13 to U18 players to develop their skills for State Championships.

Alex brings strong assets to the role of Community Coaching and Brisbane Hockey Association is incredibly fortunate to have him as a Coach.

He is a dedicated Easts club member and coaches the J1 as well as assists coaches from U13 to J2.

Alex continues to put his hand up to help and support hockey in Brisbane and in Queensland by taking on other coaching roles with HQ whilst going to university to become a teacher.


Mark Cruickshank – Townsville

Mark has coached Townsville association and Townsville club junior/senior teams over the last 2 decades with outstanding leadership and development of #TeamQLD values and behaviours. He is an integral part of the Townsville Hockey community and is always available to lend a hand and encourage others. 

During 2023 Mark coached 3 teams for Wests Hockey Club being - Division 1 and 2 men’s as well as the J2 junior team. During the year he is always available to help other teams and coaches rely on Marks hockey experience to develop junior athletes.

Having coached many club and representative teams over the last 2 decades, Mark Is well respected by all local clubs, this is a testament to Marks positive and professional attitude, towards not just coaching and hockey development – it is his enthusiasm and commitment to hockey.

Mark has been the coaching the Wests Division 1 men’s teams consecutively for the past 25+ years with great success. This has not just been on the field, off the field Mark provides an excellent hockey experience for players to attract new and retain existing players (junior and senior) within Townsville Hockey.

Ariana Gough – BWHA

South West United

2023 Achievements

Ari was appointed as an umpire to the:

  • The Hockey Qld Championship
  • HQ Big Hockey Hit Out
  • National U18 Outdoor Championships and appointed to the Women’s Bronze Medal match
  • National U15 Outdoor Championships and was appointed to the Women’s Gold Medal Match
  • Together with umpiring at state and national Masters, Super Six and Indoor Championships
  • She also regularly umpires AND mentors (juniors and seniors) in the BWHA competition as well as playing PL1 for her club.


Chloe Vaughan – Mackay

Chloe Vaughan was our Umpire coordinator for 2023. Chloe is a well-respected Level 1 umpire, who continually gives up her time to mentor junior umpires and umpire coaching. Chloe attends many carnivals and volunteers her time as a dedicated umpire. Chloe was the driving force behind MHA Umpire Development Day this year where over 40 participants attended the weekend. Thanks to HQ for your support in this. Chloe was driving force behind suitable umpires being rostered on each week for club games and has assisted in the development of umpire training for several of our umpires attending state championships.


Abby Heffernan – Bundaberg

2023 has been a very busy year for Abby Heffernan and her umpiring accomplishments.
Abby is an Advanced Lead Umpire and has travelled consistently to officiate at the Tiger Turf Cup in February, Hockey Queensland Championship in May, Big Hockey Hit Out in June and was allocated to the Bronze Medal Match in July at the Australian U18 Women’s Championship that took place in Hobart. Her next venture will be the Umpire Coach at the U15 Girls State Championships in Mackay.
This is Abby’s second year in Bundaberg, and since arriving is regularly allocated to the local Division 1 fixtures and always willing to help. She is also one of the driving forces behind establishing an Umpiring Academy in Bundaberg for 2023, where she has formed a fantastic rapport with both the junior and senior participants.  This has seen her take on the role of Mentor as well as facilitating monthly coaching sessions, providing weekly feedback, and allocating delegates from the Umpiring Academy to Bundaberg Hockey Association for the local draws.
We are very lucky to have Abby as part of the Bundaberg Association, and we feel she is a very worthy nomination for Umpire of the Year.


Chelsea Hollist – Toowoomba

Chelsea has been a very active and enthusiastic member of the THA Umpire Academy.   Chelsea umpires both Junior and Senior Hockey most weekends.  Chelsea consistently fulfills umpire commitments for both her club and THA as well as filling in late notice if umpires don't attend their allocation.  Chelsea has proactive in implementing feedback from her Mentors.  Chelsea attended State Championships as an Umpire for u13 girls and u15 girls.  Chelsea was named THA Female Academy Umpire for 2023 as well as being acknowledged at her club for her contribution to umpiring as well. 
Chelsea's confidence and skill has improved significantly over the 2023 season due to her hard work and dedication.


Scott Orth – Townsville

Scott holds a Hockey Australia Advanced Lead, a testament to his commitment to upholding the highest standards of umpiring. Serving as a local umpire for THA, Scott has consistently demonstrated his passion for hockey. What sets Scott apart is his remarkable consistency and professionalism on the field. Despite not actively playing for the past two decades, Scott continues to volunteer his time every weekend to officiate 2/3 games. His on-field conduct is marked by composure and professionalism, creating an enjoyable experience for players, coaching staff, and spectators alike.

One of Scott's most outstanding qualities is his role model status. He serves as an inspiration to both junior and senior umpires within the association. Scott leads by example, showcasing the positive and professional attitude that the sport of hockey demands. He goes above and beyond to support his fellow umpires, arriving early to provide guidance, support, and coaching to those seeking to improve their skills. Scott's mentorship has been invaluable in nurturing the next generation of umpires.

Scott’s dedication extends beyond the local association; he is crucial to development within the broader hockey community.

Scott Orth embodies the essence of the Association Umpire of the Year and the #TeamQLD values. 

Cathy Platts – Mackay

Cath Platts has been a long-standing member of the MHA community. Cath is our Technical coordinator in Mackay and regularly holds training events for the Technical officials and arranges the weekly rosters for our senior competition. Cath also volunteers to Tech at our junior games finals series which is appreciated and admired. Cath also is a very active member of HQ an HA events. You will see Cath at several National event like indoor and the U18 Nationals in Hobart. Cath also the TD at several state championships both indoor and outdoor. Cath is the master of the rules and is always willing to assist in the roll out of any educational program. Thanks Cath.


Shelley Beardmore – Maryborough

Shelley Beardmore has been officiating at both local and state level as a Technical Official for many years.  She was successful in achieving Level 2 Accreditation this year and is currently in Perth at the Australian Masters Championships.  On a local level, Shelley works with all our clubs to assist in improving their knowledge from a technical perspective and ensures that we have Tech Benches on all major games, officiating herself in most instances.  Her aim is to ensure that Maryborough has a program available for all interested people to develop their Technical Skills not only for use locally, but at State level as well.  Maryborough plays host to many Indoor championships each year, so Shelley is certainly at the forefront of ensuring that our Technical staff are well prepared and knowledgeable.


Maree Whitchurch – BWHA

Maree Whitchurch - South West United
2023 Achievements
- Maree was a self-funded technical official for 2023 HA U21 Championships and was appointed TO of the Women’s Bronze Medal match. As well as 2023 HA Country Championship and was appointed as TO of Men’s Gold Medal match
- She was a HQ appointed official to the 2023 Hockey Qld Championship and the 2023 HQ Big Hockey Hit Out
- Maree has also attended a number of other HA Indoor Championships and HQ events in 2023 (Men’s Masters, U18 Women and U13 Girls) and is committed to improving as a TO through
both appointed and self-funded roles. 
- She also undertakes technical duties in the BWHA and is on the BWHA Umpire & Technical Committee.
- She was upgraded to HA Development Lead (Level 2) Technical Official in 2023 through testing undertaken at HA U21s and the Hockey Qld Championship.


Angela Green – Gympie

Angela has been very busy this year, travelling all over the state to represent Gympie as our Technical Official. She attended State Championships in Townsville for Under 18 Boys, Sunshine Coast for Under 13 Girls and Hervey Bay for Under 15 Boys. Late last year she was also invited to be involved as a technical official in one of the Brisbane Blaze home games. Angela currently holds a Level 1 Accreditation and is working her way through the ranks towards hopefully higher opportunities and experiences.


Alisa Panzram – Toowoomba

Alisa contributes significantly to the engaging and training of new technical officials as well as supporting the existing Technical officials in Toowoomba.  Alisa allocates Technical officials to games throughout the season as well as identifying Technical Officials to send to State Championships.  Alisa is passionate about advocating for ongoing education within the Technical Officials community and is always looking for ways to provide experience to support uplifting skill and capability.  Alisa is a very confident and competent Technical Official who regularly officiates games across all grades within the THA draw to support the successful conduct of games on a weekly basis.

Peta Dunnett – Redlands

Redlands Hockey Association would like to nominate Peta Dunnett. Peta Dunnett and her other tech bench superstars play a vital role in our association. Peta oversees all communication with umpires, first aid and field officials throughout our season to make sure game days run smoothly Peta has a proven ability to project manage people and game day events. Peta shows up every Saturday with a smile and a positive attitude.

Peta was also a recipient of this year's Redland Spirit and Outstanding Service Award.


Janene Moore – Mackay

Janene continues to be an active member of MHA. Janene is a well-loved manager of our Masters women’s team. Janene also an accredited Technical officer.

Janene is a wonderful role model with her positive and enthusiastic approach to hockey. Janene is the first person to volunteer or help with any situation. Janene is also willing to always teach and assist anyone. Janene also uses her medical training when required. Janene is pure #TeamQLD.


Bill Osborne – Townsville

Bill is continually embracing the #TeamQLD values both on and off the field. Over the past 4 decades as a player, coach, club/association administrator and volunteer he has made an outstanding contribution to Townsville Hockey, Queensland Hockey and the broader community.

The time and commitment Bill has dedicated to our sport is truly inspiring. Working as a volunteer his contribution around the grounds 3-4 days a week or cooking BBQ’s or just lending a hand Bill is always leading by example and showing others the positive impact volunteering can have on a community.

Still an active player Bill (masters and mens competitions) he consistently demonstrates passion for the game and plays/coaches/manages with first class sportsmanship. Coaching and playing D4 Bill is a positive and supportive role model, his sportsmanship towards opposition and officials makes Bill a positive mentor to young men transition to senior grades.

Over the last 2 years Bill has been integral to THA starting and successfully running a mixed master’s competition, increasing participation for masters’ men and women. This is testament to Bills unwavering commitment to creating a positive hockey experience for all and taking the lead to continue to grow hockey.


Ivy Matthews

Ivy has shown her #TeamQld values and behaviours numerous times in 2023.

As the second goal keeper for the Qld U21 Team she was always prepared and worked with the team despite not always getting game time. When she was required to step up in a crucial moment at U21 nationals this year, she did so with resilience, commitment and executed her job perfectly to save the match and progress the team into the finals.

Ivy has also been willing to be a team player and support the Northern Territory when they required a keeper for the recent Festival of Hockey, which saw The Blaze go up gains the Territory Stingers. Despite playing against her team mates, Ivy worked in well with the NT team and provided a great opportunity for players both in the NT and for the Blaze to get some important practice before the Hockey One season.

Valley DP 4 – BWHA

In the 2023 season, Valley Hockey Club’s Women’s DP4 team was made up of 17 players, six of whom had never picked up a stick and five of whom were returning after up to a few decades off. Most players were in their forties, and many were mums who had not done something for themselves in years and were joining hockey after the encouragement of a friend. All players delighted in the warm and welcoming atmosphere at Downey Park each Saturday in BWHA’s DP4 competition, connected closely with each other, and very much enjoyed an easy camaraderie with friendly opposition and supportive umpires. Being new and returning, all players communicated extremely well - listening to each other, coaches, and anyone willing to offer advice or learnings (including umpires, opposition, and their own kids!).

During the season, the team conceded only 5 goals, scored 20 goals (between 8 players), and finished third on the ladder. They then won their semi-final (1-0) to earn a spot in the grand final, and although they were defeated in the grand final (3-0) by a much stronger Kedron Wavell team, the game was played in great spirit and Valley were delighted to finish as runners up. The Brisbane hockey community atmosphere of the season carried through, ending with a joint guard of honour from both team's supporters at the end of the game. At the end of the season, one player shared that her daughter said, “I’m proud of you mum” and that she wanted to play hockey too. Through hockey, the players have made life-long friends, developed a drive to step outside their comfort zone to develop skills and fitness despite their age and late entry into the sport, and inspired their friends, colleagues, and children to try or become involved in the game next year too.



The under 11’s team has been an absolute delight and pleasure to coach and watch them grow this year. At the end of the season our girls were undefeated and ended the year as joint premiers with Commercial. The girls have not let it go to their heads; they were just delighted to make it to the finals!

Unfortunately, we didn’t get quite enough players to have both an Under 9’s team and an Under 11’s team. A couple of our younger players have had to make the step up to play in a higher team.  They have taken this opportunity in their stride, and the older girls have been so helpful and supporting. South Brisbane Eagles’ club culture has always been one of a welcoming and supportive nature. ‘It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game’ could easily be the club’s mantra. I know as the coach of the under 11’s that is how we always approached game day.

This year we have had the pleasure of having Lilly Sue on our team playing our centre forward. Lilly who has Down syndrome, has been coming to hockey with her mum Nic Balchin since she was a baby and has been eagerly waiting for the day when she could take the field and this year, she got the chance. All of the team and our supporters have been delighted to have her on the team, and all have been so encouraging and supportive when Lilly is on the field. Lilly always plays the same game time as everyone else on the team and this is completely supported by her teammates, her coach, and the parenting group even during the semi-final and grand final when the score was nil all or 1-0 down.  Many of the parents, coaches and umpires from other teams comment on how supportive Lilly’s teammates are of her.

Some of the best highlights we have had this year are down to Lilly.  I have listed some of those the highlights below.
Hearing the parents yell ‘Pink Socks Lilly’ whenever Lilly is taking a free hit.
Watching my centre half bringing Lilly up to take the free hit.
Watching Lilly running off the field after taking the free hit to ‘Hi five’ her mum and saying, “I Did it!”
When a free hit is against us, watching teammates call Lilly to stand beside them so she is in the right place.
All of the team grabbing Lilly’s hand and taking her back to the halfway with them when there was a defensive penalty corner.
All the team made sure Lilly had a spot on the circle when there was an attacking penalty corner.
Seeing how far all of the girls have come over the season how much they have learned and developed their game and their skills.
Being with the parents after the game and hearing their positive comments about all of the members of the team and congratulating not only their own children but many others on what a good game they had.
Watching my halfback with her arms around one of the commercial players in the final who was in tears as she had taken a hit to the knee and saying ‘stop the game somebody’s crying’
Watching them approach complete strangers with absolute confidence selling raffle tickets on our club day.
The many times I had umpires come to me after the game and say how much they loved umpiring our games because the girls were so helpful and kind.
The entire team truly encompasses what team sport should be about and has reminded everyone around them.  They are completely committed to improving as hockey players.  Most weeks there are 10 out of 13 girls at training.  They show up early to games because they love hockey so much.  They happily take turns playing goalie as we don’t have a permanent goalie.  When on the field, they play fairly and competitively, giving their absolute best every week whilst encouraging everyone of all abilities.  They treat the umpires and other players with respect unconditionally. 
I am so proud of the team and their achievements and have had such a wonderful season with them and our supporters. They are well deserving of this nomination, and we thank you for your consideration.


Gympie Hockey Association

Gympie Hockey is always and will continue to portray a positive, welcoming, and inclusive culture. We make sure our members and visitors go home with a warm and friendly feeling to entice them to come back and be part of our hockey family.
An example of this is from the recent feedback below we received from a parent of one of our new junior players in 2023.
"I just wanted to say that all the committee members, coaches and Ben should congratulate yourselves. Everyone is so genuine - down to earth real people. Gympie Hockey has a fantastic club culture."


Hockey Tweed

After a very challenging 2022 where the Tweed facility was devastated from the floods the Association as committed themselves to working hard to get Hockey back in the Tweed Boarder region.

Their dedicated team were able to restore all competitions and representative teams in 2023 along with their very successful school programs and carnival.

Hockey Tweed have also shown incredible commitment to celebrating inclusion and diversity through their very successful and community embraced pride round and Naidoc week celebrations.

In their Naidoc week round they championed and celebrated Lorelle Morrissey. Lorelle represented Australia and was Hockeyroo #344, the first Indgenours player to represent as a Hockeyroo. 

Hockey Tweed also showed true TEAM Qld hospitality by inviting the Hockey 5 Fijian team to their Naidoc week round and fully supporting the team when they were on the Gold Coast for the Hockey 5 Oceania Qualifiers. Committee Members picked the team up from the airport and chauffeured them around the Coast during the competition.

Hockey Tweed has also been committed to support Qld teams with members nominating for taking on Queensland roles such as Manager, Coach and Selector of State Teams.