Carter, Dicker and Green Life Members of Australian Canoeing

On Saturday 4th November, 2017, Australian Canoeing held our 68th Annual General Meeting at Mantra Legends, 25 Laycock Street, Surfers Paradise. At the meeting Mr Peter Cater (SA), Mr Jason Dicker (TAS) and Mr Dennis Green (NSW) were all voted in as life members of Australian Canoeing.

Mr Peter Carter

Peter has an extensive history in Australian paddling that dates back to 1972, and continues to the present day.

During this entire period Peter has maintained an active and invaluable tenure with the sport. His contributions and service cover all areas, but at the national level his dedication to education and training, and safety regulations, is where Peter has really excelled.

Peter served on the AC Education & Safety Technical Committee for many years. His dedicated and long serving commitment included editing and maintaining the National Instructor Manual, Award Scheme Handbook, and resource materials for the revised ACAS

Peter joined the then SA Canoeing Association in 1972. In 1974 Peter was elected Secretary of the Association, a position he held for 11 years, and was also President for a term in 1987. It was during this period that he became a Life Member of the association.

He was active in the SACA Training Committee, predecessor of the Education and Safety Technical Committee (ESTC), of which he is still a member.

Peter qualified as an Instructor in the SACA scheme, transferring to the ACF scheme when it was formed in 1976. He eventually became a Senior Sea Instructor (assessed in NSW) and is currently a Sea Instructor and Flatwater Instructor (Canoe). He has spent many hours instructing and assessing for Canoe SA and other organisations.

In 1982 he served a term as Secretary of the ACF Board of Canoe Education, and took up the position again from 1993, editing and maintaining the National Instructor Manual, Award Scheme Handbook, and with the revised ACAS, the resource materials. It is only recently that he retired from the AC ESTC.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s period he paddled Sprint (K1) and Slalom (K1 and C1) with some success, and was a member of the Slalom organising committee. At the time, he was qualified as Sprint and Slalom official. He also helped set up the original SA Canoe Polo seasons and played occasionally. More recently, during the 2012–13 Sprint season, he drove rescue boats at local regattas.

With an interest in boats and equipment, Peter developed the Platypus BAT in the 1970s, and it was used in training courses of the period and also in the initial Polo seasons. In the 1980s he developed the Voyager sea kayak, a craft with a number of innovative features.

Peter’s main interest has been in sea kayaking, and he was involved in a number of significant early expeditions in this state, including a Kangaroo Island circumnavigation and Port Lincoln to Adelaide crossing.

After being secretary of Investigator Canoe Club for many years, he transferred to Adelaide Canoe Club when ICC was wound up, and became its secretary. For some years Peter was a member of the Canoe SA Board, and represented Canoe SA on bodies such as the SA Trails Coordinating Committee. He served another term as Canoe SA President in 2015.


Mr Jason Dicker

Jason Dicker has an extensive history in Australian paddling that dates back to 1977, and continues until 2017 where he stepped down as from the Education Technical Committee.

Here are just some of Jason’s achievements during his time in paddling:

  • 1977 – As a member of Tamar Canoe Club, with a number of paddling and leading in Tamar Canoe Club, became one of the first certified kayak instructors in Tasmania.
  • 1980 – Became a strong supporter and effective educator within the Tasmanian Board of Canoe Education. A strong proponent of Canoe Tasmania training weekends at Forth, Tasmania.
  • 1981 – Became a Tamar Canoe Club and Canoe Tasmania representative to Australian Canoeing. Taking on special roles on the Tasmanian Board of Canoe Education, specialising in the area of white water skills and instructor training.
  • 1983 – Elected as the Commodore of the Tamar Canoe Clun. Led the club in all things kayaking. Jason held this position for many years.
  • 1990 – Jason was elected Chairman of Canoe Tasmania, he went on to hold this position for many years and through changes with Australian Canoeing structural changes. Throughout the entire time Jason completed and took on his role with a cheerful and can-do attitude. During this year he was also elected to the AC Education and Safety technical committee. He has held this position for almost 30 years. The committee were the leaders in education and safety training for paddling and instructing. During his time of the Committee Jason moved from a general member to the Chairman which he held until his retirement in 2017.

Jason contributed greatly in the development of many Australian Canoeing courses and training materials. Through his position as a teacher at Launceston College, he has introduced, encouraged, trained and mentored many local paddlers which have gone on to represent Tasmania, Australia and even some represented at the Olympics.

Jason is a true asset to our paddling community.


Mr Dennis Green OAM BEM

Dennis has been involved in canoeing in Australia for over fifty years, and has some extraordinary achievements.

The 1956 Melbourne Olympics was very memorable for the canoeing community as it was the first time Australia was represented in Canoe Sprint. Canoe Sprint was held on the Lake Wendouree course in Ballarat.

November 30, marks an import day in the history of Australia’s achievements in canoeing with Australia winning our first Canoe Sprint medal with Dennis Green and Walter Brown’s efforts in the K1 10,000m event with Bronze.

Dennis Green reflected on the Melbourne Olympic Games. “I hope you don’t come last, the team manager told us as we lined up to start the big race. The bronze medal was the most unanticipated medal won at Melbourne. We both proudly stood on the podium and as the Hungarian National anthem played for the Gold medallist I began to feel sick. What if we won Gold? The pommy National anthem would play… People wouldn’t know the Aussies got up, how is this fair?

Denis also reminisced about most likely being the only person allowed to take a dog, his German Shepard called Bamby into the Olympic village. “I will probably be the one person ever who would have or even be allowed their dog in the village. At first they refused for me to have Bamby there but when I said if the dog leaves then so do I and you can stuff your Olympics. It was decided the dog can be a guard for the team manager. The dog finished the week looking like a jumbo jet cause every night at 8pm the kitchen would give Bamby the left over steaks.”

Dennis Green went on to compete at five Olympic Games and was flag bearer in his last Games in Munich in 1972.

In the open kayak events, Dennis Green won an astonishing 64 Australian championships (singles, pairs and fours), including 18 pairs events with Barry Stuart between 1955 and 1974. Representing the St George Club, he also won 79 New South Wales state titles.

He retired at the age of 60 as the National Coaching and Competitions Director of Surf Life Saving and moved from Sydney to the Gold Coast to accept the position of QLD Regional Director of Coaching for Canoeing at the Queensland Academy of Sport. Disadvantaged as a young rookie in 1956 with no coach, Green is giving plenty back to his sport and using his vast experience and knowledge of canoeing to help coach young Olympic hopefuls as part of the AIS development program.

Dennis was awarded/inducted:

  • 1979 into the New South Wales Hall of Champions.
  • 1977 was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM)
  • 1986 into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame
  • 2007 was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2007 for his services to sport.

He is heavily involved in junior development, and works with surf clubs to assist the transition of talented surf paddlers into even more talented kayak paddlers, including Luke Young, Dane Sloss and Jacob Clear.

Currently, Dennis supports the men’s 1000m programme with motivational talks and morale support.

2017 Australian Canoeing Annual Awards recognise achievements in Australian paddle sport

Olympic medallist and 2017 Canoe Slalom World Champion in the women’s K1 Jessica Fox (NSW) and Paralympic champion and 2017 ParaCanoe World Champion Curtis McGrath (QLD) headline the high-calibre list of athletes, coaches and volunteers who have been announced as finalists for the Australian Canoeing 2017 Annual Awards.

The awards recognise and honour the achievements of Australian Canoeing’s athletes, coaches and volunteers across 16 categories. The winners will be announced at the Australian Canoeing Annual Awards Dinner to be held at Surfers Paradise on Saturday, 4 November 2017. This year’s Annual Awards Dinner will also incorporate the inaugural Australian Canoeing Hall of Fame Induction.

“Our annual Awards provide us with opportunity to recognise the exceptional achievements of many people and across all aspects of our sports. Congratulations must go to all of those who are nominated for awards. It is their efforts that define the strength and profile of our organisation that benefits us all and we are looking forward to celebrating with everyone who made such a difference to our sport and organisation in the past year,” Andrea McQuitty, President Australian Canoeing, said.

All award finalists had exceptional results this year. Canoeist of the Year finalist Jessica Fox wrapped up another outstanding canoe slalom season with the World Champion title in the K1 at the recent ICF Slalom World Championships in Pau, France. Fox finished the international season with a total of 13 individual medals and three team medals in the women’s C1 and K1 events at the World Cups and World Championships. She is also a finalist for the Team of the Year Award together with sister Noemi Fox (NSW) and Kate Eckhardt (TAS).

Fox faces strong competition in the Canoeist of the Year category with fellow nominee and Paralympic Champion Curtis McGrath (QLD) holding two World Championship titles to his name in both the K1 and V1 paracanoe events after winning gold at the 2017 Paracanoe World Championships in both events. McGrath is also a finalist for the Paracanoeist of the Year award together with Paralympic medallists and 2017 ICF Paracanoe World Champions Amanda Reynolds (VIC) and Susan Seipel (QLD).

Olympian Alyce Burnett (QLD), who had a strong season in both the K1 and K2 and won the World Championship title in the K1 1000m at the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships as well as Olympian and U23 K1 1000m World Champion Alyssa Bull (QLD) complete the four Canoeist of the Year finalists.

Alyce Burnett is also a finalist for the Canoeist of the Year Non-Olympic category together with Australia’s number one men’s K1 marathon paddler Josh Kippin (WA), who won both the K1 and K2 at the 2016 and 2017 Australian Canoe Marathon Championships.

2017 K4 1000m World Champions Ken Wallace (QLD), Jordan Wood (QLD), Murray Stewart (NSW) and Riley Fitzsimmons (NSW) are recognised for their outstanding international season by making the finalist list of the 2017 Team of the Year. They are up against Jessica Fox, Noemie Fox and Kate Eckhardt, who won bronze in the women’s K1 team event at the 2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships. Also amongst the finalists are Brianna Jones (VIC) and Hannah Scott (VIC), who made the Junior Marathon team in 2016 and finished ninth at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships. The pair also won the Under 18 Women K2 at the 2017 Australian Canoe Marathon Championships.

Australian Canoeing’s future is looking bright with a number of high-performing Junior paddlers recognised in the Junior of the Year – Olympic award category, including Australian Junior Slalom Team paddler Lachlan Bassett (VIC) and Australian U23 and Junior Canoe Sprint Team paddlers Alexandria Choate (WA) and Mackenzie Duffy (QLD). Paracanoeist Dylan Littlehales (NSW), who is racing in the senior competition at age 17 and finished fifth at the 2017 Paracanoe World Championships in the Men’s KL3 200m, completes this category. 

In the Junior of the Year – Non-Olympic award category Australian Marathon Canoe Team paddler Erin Blanch (QLD) is amongst the finalists together with Junior Wildwater World Championships team paddler James O’Donoghue Hayes (VIC) and Wildwater National Junior team paddler Georgia Tonkin (VIC).

Joining all the athletes in the finalist announcement are three Australian Canoeing national team coaches, who are nominated for Coach of the Year. 2015 and 2016 Coach of the Year winner and Paralympic National team coach Andrea King (QLD) is once again amongst the finalists. Other finalists are U23 and Junior sprint team coach Ramon Andersson (WA) and Canoe Slalom, National Talent Squad and Junior Team coach Warwick Draper (VIC).

Australian Canoeing’s night of recognition will also feature the Master Canoeist of the Year, Instructor of the Year, Technical Official of the Year, Special Services to Canoeing, the Award of Merit, the Award of Excellence as well as the President’s Award.

The annual awards will be presented at a Gala Dinner at the Mantra Legends on the Gold Coast on Saturday, 4 November 2017.

See a list of finalists for the Australian Canoeing 2017 Annual Awards here:


  • Alyssa Bull (QLD)
  • Alyce Burnett (QLD)
  • Jessica Fox (NSW)
  • Curtis McGrath (QLD)


  • Alyce Burnett (QLD)
  • Josh Kippin (WA)


  • Lachlan Bassett (VIC)
  • Alexandria Choate (WA)
  • Mackenzie Duffy (QLD)
  • Dylan Littlehales (NSW)


  • Erin Blanch (QLD)
  • James O’Donoghue-Hayes (VIC)
  • Georgia Tonkin (VIC)


  • Curtis McGrath (QLD)
  • Amanda Reynolds (VIC)
  • Susan Seipel (QLD)


  • Roz Barber (TAS)
  • Michael Leverett (VIC)


  • 2017 Senior Men’s Canoe Sprint K4 1000m: Ken Wallace (QLD), Murray Stewart (NSW), Riley Fitzsimmons (NSW) and Jordan Wood (QLD)
  • 2017 U23 Women’s Canoe Slalom K1 team: Jessica Fox (NSW), Noemie Fox (NSW) and Kate Eckhardt (TAS)
  • 2016 Junior Women’s Marathon K2 team: Hannah Scott (VIC) and Brianna Jones (VIC)


  • Ramon Andersson (WA)
  • Warwick Draper (VIC)
  • Andrea King (QLD)


  • Mark Hessling and Tony Hirst (QLD)
  • Angela Welsh (NSW)

Other awards that will also be awarded on the night include

  • Technical Official of the Year
  • The Olegas Truchanas Canoeing Award
  • Award of Merit
  • Excellence Award
  • Services to Canoeing
  • People’s Choice Award
  • President’s Award

Paddling the Inside Passage with Wild Raven Adventure

By Conor Mihell

Flexibility is the key to any canoe journey—especially when it’s an 8,800-mile, cross-continent epic spanning multiple seasons. French Canadian adventurers Pierre Pepin and Jennifer Gosselin, aka Wild Raven Adventure, know what it means to have a fluid itinerary. In 2014, the Québécois couple sold all their possessions and embarked on a 15-month canoe expedition around eastern North America. Ever since, they’ve continued to embrace the nomadic life.

Last spring, Pepin and Gosselin started the second phase of their NorAm Odyssey. They began by hauling their canoe across the frozen surface of Lake Winnipeg and paddling west along the fur trade route of northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. They wrapped up 2016 when winter caught up with them in October in northern British Columbia. Earlier this year they attempted to get a head start on the season, only to encounter massive snowfall in the Pacific Northwest.

In a phone interview, Pepin says winter paddling on the Inside Passage was thrilling—and an exercise in extreme patience. “For the first time in my life, I saw an avalanche from my canoe,” he laughs. “There was so much rain and so much snow. Locals told us it was the toughest winter in 100 years. At one point, we pulled into a community to refill our water jugs. Eight days later we were still there, buried under four feet of snow!”

Ultimately, Pepin and Gosselin made it to Vancouver, paddling some legs and accepting rides on others. Pepin doesn’t believe these adjustments left them short-changed—in fact, one ride aboard a coastal tugboat proved to be a major highlight. “All my life I’ve wanted to ride on a tugboat,” Pepin says. “We met a captain in [the village of] Shearwater who offered to transport us to Port Hardy [on Vancouver Island].” On the Wild Raven Adventure blog, Gosselin wrote, “Pierre was so, so looking forward to being on the tugboat. It seemed like he was 5 years old, and it was Christmas Eve!”

Their canoe was loaded on a barge, along with semi-trailers and millions of dollars worth of farmed salmon. From inside the wheelhouse of the tug Regent, Pepin and Gosselin experienced 12-foot seas at Cape Caution. Back in more sheltered waters, Pepin says paddling the scenic channels of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast were another highlight. However, with all the precipitation it became obvious that ascending the powerful Fraser River wasn’t in the cards. So the coupled rented a moving van and made their way to Alberta, where they set off again in mid-April on the Old Man River.

Now, Pepin is looking forward to another summer on the water. He notes that the bucolic rivers of southern Alberta have been particularly good for wildlife. “It’s a place I would never associate with canoe tripping but the scenery is unreal,” he says. The journey across the Canadian prairies continues on the South Saskatchewan River to Lake Winnipeg, where the couple will tie into the ancient canoe route along the Canada-U.S. border to Grand Portage and Lake Superior. Their ultimate destination is New Brunswick—a goal Pepin anticipates reaching by the end of the summer. “We have a lot to look forward to,” he says.

  • Track the Wild Raven NorAm Odyssey in real time
  • Follow Pepin and Gosselin on Facebook
  • Read about more expeditions on

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Gear Review: Aqua Bound Edge Whitewater Paddle

Jim Gallagher, far north paddler, goes in-depth on the Aqua Bound Edge Canoe Paddle – it’s specifically designed for challenging situations, the paddle breaks down into sections for easy packing – a big plus for fly-in canoe trips. From performance in whitewater to packing for an arctic canoe trip….

Read Jim’s take >

Video–Why Whitewater Kayaking is a Team Sport

By Jakub Pinos & Daniel Klein

Teamwork in British Columbia
When I got to British Columbia in the spring of 2016, I was an experienced paddler who, except for one old friend, had nobody to paddle with. My gradual exposure to the BC boating scene introduced me to many different people, all of whom shared one common thread: cooperation in a form I hadn’t seen before. They introduced me to new places, cared about my safety and were supportive in building my paddling skills. This quick adoption really made me think about group dynamics in “individual” outdoor sports. I have always believed that my own hard work would make me a better athlete. But what I found on the rivers of BC was that I was becoming a better paddler thanks to the work of others. Several questions arose: Is kayaking simply an individual sport? And if not, what role have others played in my progression as a paddler? I began to reflect the social aspects of kayaking.

Kayaking as an Individual Sport
Kayaking is usually considered an individual sport; one person controls one boat. Many of us associate paddling with emotions connected to the individual. We might recall the euphoric smile of a paddler that just greased a big waterfall, or else the grateful grimace of someone who just dropped the same waterfall upside down and came out okay. Either way, we admire the paddler’s skills, courage, ambitions, etc.

For many people, kayaking is a mental game, filled with extremes and in-the-moment decision making. Individuals need to overcome fear to push their limits in the sport, which we usually think they do in their own heads, alone.

Kayaking As a Team Sport
Paddlers face mental and physical barriers on the river. Overcoming physical barriers (setting safety, helping each other with boats and gear) has always been an important topic in the whitewater community. What’s gotten less attention is how we help each other overcome mental barriers.

Trust, fear and stress. These mental aspects have a significant influence on individual performance. The physical presence of others often can have a calming effect, decreasing stress and improving performance. Even if fellow paddlers may not move a finger to help you paddle the line, that mental support can make a big difference. Some paddlers feel less fear than others, but overall, we all feel some tension before dropping into a hard rapid. Setting safety is a physical aspect of cooperation, but the presence of others also has a reassuring effect, countering fear, which helps us push ourselves.

Shared knowledge. Pushing kayaking to its limits has always stood on shared knowledge. When we tell stories about legendary lines or bad swims, others might have some good advice or insight that helps us on the river. If you have a new idea regarding safety, you should always share it. And swapping skills in the eddy or at the scout can help us all advance.

Paradox of Becoming a Better Paddler
Cooperation means that people work together to achieve common goals. Selfishness means that a person works for her or his own goal. But in high-risk sport such as kayaking, selfishness can be fatal. If a person wants to become a better paddler, she or he should cooperate with others. This might be a paradox of extreme sports, particularly kayaking.

Paddlers who cooperate build trust, learn to mitigate stress, share knowledge and, in doing so, share a special connection. This helps kayaking move forward as a sport. Improvements in gear, shared knowledge about the rivers, and exploring new places all wouldn’t be possible without teamwork.

— More VIDEOS from C&K.

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