Five former Hockeyroos stars, four former Kookaburras champions, an umpire with an illustrious international career and one of the game’s greatest coaches have been announced as the latest inductees into the 2023 Hockey Australia Hall of Fame.
Kate Starre, Michelle Hager (nee Capes), Kate Allen, Angela Lambert (nee Skirving), Louise Dobson, Paul Gaudoin, Michael Brennan, Damon Diletti, and Brent Livermore have all been inducted for their efforts on the field as national squad members.
Ex Kookaburras Coach, Barry Dancer and international Umpire, David Gentles have been inducted in the General Category.
The eleven inductees hail from all over Australia, showcasing the enduring appeal of the game across the country.
Paul Dearing, who was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 has been named as a Hockey Australia Legend. Legendary status is bestowed on Hockey Hall of Fame members who have inspired and motivated others and whose standing and regard have reached ionic status over the years
“On behalf of the Australian hockey community, I would like to congratulate each inductee into the Hall of Fame this year and to Paul Dearing on earning Legendary status,” said Hockey Australia President Ross Sudano.
“Hockey in Australia carries a very proud history with a host of talent who shine both on and off the field. Being able to acknowledge a line-up of inductees once again, all of which have represented at an Olympic Games, shows just many world-class heroes we have always had in the game.
“On behalf of the HA Board, I want to thank the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame Committee, led by Chair Richard Aggiss, for their worthy nominations as we continue to acknowledge and grow the list of inductees who have exceled at the highest level.”
Aggiss, who is a former Australian player and coach, continues to be a passionate and dedicated advocate of ensuring those who have made a telling impact on Australian hockey on the world stage and significantly enhanced the image of the sport are recognised.
“The selection for the Hall of Fame inductees is always a tough decision given Australian Hockey’s repertoire of talent,” said Aggiss.
“The athlete inductees are true stars of the game, having each represented Australia over 100 times, with several accolades under their belt. Barry Dancer and David Gentles also deserve to be highly commended for their service to the game. This year’s 11 inductees truly are a testament to Australian hockey’s success over the years across all levels.
“I would also like to commend Paul Dearing who was selected as a Legend due to his contribution to hockey. Legendary status goes beyond performance to recognise character, reputation and sportsmanship so Paul is very fitting in this regard.”
The latest addition of inductees takes the total number in the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame to 98 since its inception in 2008.
The Hall of Fame sits among the inventory of Hockey Australia Awards that includes Legends, Life Members, Award of Merit and Award of Distinction.
HOCKEY AUSTRALIA HALL OF FAME – 2023 INDUCTEES
Kate Starre (WA)
Kate Starre is the 339th capped player for the Hockeyroos, making her debut in Wellington, New Zealand against Spain in October 1990. She played in 220 internationals over a decade-long career that concluded with an Olympic Gold Medal in Sydney in 2000. Kate played her 100th international against Great Britain in May 1996 and her 200th international also against Great Britain in May 2000. She was a class defender either at Fullback or Midfield / Half back during a time that saw the Hockeyroos dominate women’s hockey across the globe, winning every major tournament between 1994 and 2000. Kate played in three Olympics, including 1992 in Barcelona, and gold medal wins in 1996 in Atlanta Sydney in 2000. She was also a member of the Hockeyroos team that took home the Gold Medals at the World Cups in Dublin in 1994 and Utrecht in 1998 and Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in the same year.
Paul Gaudoin (WA)
Paul is the 304th capped player for the Kookaburras after making his international debut in Brussels against Belgium in June 1994. With a distinguished career that spans a decade, Paul played in 234 international matches before injury forced his withdrawal from the 2004 Olympic Team. He captain the Kookaburras at the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 2002 and was expected to lead the Athens Olympic team before injury ruled him out.
Paul is a two time Olympian having played in the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and Sydney in 2000 winning a bronze medal on both occasions. Paul also played in three World Cup teams, winning a bronze medal in 1998 and a silver medal in 2002. He was key member of the Gold medal winning team at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and Manchester in 2002 where he once again captained the team.
Damon Diletti (WA)
Damon Diletti was the 291st capped player for Australia, making his debut as goalkeeper for the Kookaburras in August 1991 against the Netherlands. Damon played 137 international matches in a career that spanned 10 years and included three Olympic Games, two World Cups, six Champion Trophy Tournaments and a Commonwealth Games. Damon played his 100th international in Melbourne in August 1998. Following the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Damon retired from international hockey with an Olympic Games Silver medal, two Olympic Games Bronze Medals, a World Cup Bronze medal and Commonwealth Games Gold Medal.
Brent Livermore (NSW)
Brent Livermore is the 320th capped player for Australia. After making his debut against the Netherlands in Karachi, Pakistan in March 1997 Brent went on to play 317 international matches predominately as a half back/ midfielder. His illustrious career spanned 14 years, from March 1997 – February 2010, an achievement attained by very few Kookaburras. Brent played his 100th international in Belgium in 2001, his 200th in Holland in 2005 and his 300th international match in Canberra in 2009. He featured in two Olympic Games, including Sydney in 2000, where he won bronze with the team, and Athens in 2004, where he captained the team that won the Olympic Gold Medal. His other highlights include two World Cups, 10 Champion Trophy Tournaments and three Commonwealth Games, winning a gold medal with the team in each.
Michael Brennan (QLD)
Michael was the 308th capped played for the Kookaburras when he made his debut against Poland in Delhi in February 1995. He played 137 international matches in a career spanning 1995 – 2004. The high-quality inside forward played in two Olympics Games, winning a bronze medal in Sydney in 2000 and a gold medal in Athens in 2004. He also featured in four Champion Trophy tournaments, the World Cup in Holland in 1998 and in the Gold Medal winning team at the Commonwealth Games in 1998. Michael retired from international hockey following the Sydney Olympics in 2000 to pursue his other love – training horses, a pursuit he continues to enjoy today in Western Australia.
Michelle Hager (nee Capes) (WA)
Michelle was the 310th capped player for the Hockeyroos, making her debut in 1985. She played 130 internationals in total, starring in her 100th international in Hobart in June 1991. Michelle featured in two Olympic Games, including Barcelona in 1992 and the gold medal winning team in Seoul 1988. She also featured in two World Cups, including Amsterdam in 1986 and earning a silver medal in Sydney in 1990, and three Champion Trophy Tournaments.
Katie Allen (SA)
Kate is the 350th capped player for the Hockeyroos. She made her debut as a teenager in August 1993 in Holland against the Netherlands and went on to play 129 internationals from 1993 – 2000. She starred in a Hockeyroos team widely regarded as Australia’s most successful and greatest ever women’s sporting team, running on for her 100th international in March 1999 in South Africa. Playing predominately at fullback, her fiercely competitive style of play cemented the backline in a team full of talented individuals. After missing selection in the 1996 Olympic Team for Atlanta, Kate continued to develop her game and with her inner belief she made the team for the Sydney Olympics in the Hockeyroos star studded line up that won Gold. Following the Sydney Olympics Kate ended her international career and moved into coaching. Kate featured in two World Cups in Dublin in 1994 and in Utrecht in 1998 as a key defender in the Hockeyroos team that won the Gold Medal in both. Kate’s other successes include the gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and two Champion Trophy Tournaments in 1995 and 1997.
Angela Lambert (nee Skirving) (QLD)
Angie is the 383rd capped player to represent the Hockeyroos, making her debut against Argentina in Buenos Airies in December 1998. Angie played 229 internationals between 1998 and 2008, notching her 100th international against Spain in Barcelona in August 2003 and her 200th in July 2007 in Melbourne against Japan. Angie starred in three Olympics Games – 2000 in Sydney where the team won Gold, 2004 in Athens and 2008 in Beijing. A penalty corner specialist, Angie also played in two World Cup teams – 2002 in Perth and 2006 in Madrid winning the Silver Medal. Angie was also selected in two Commonwealth Games teams, 2002 and 2006 winning the Gold Medal in Melbourne and three Champion Trophy tournaments in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
Louise Dobson (VIC)
Louise is the 365th capped player for the Hockeyroos, making her debut against Canada in Vancouver in July 1995. Louise played 231 international matches over a playing career spanning 10 years, which concluded in 2004 when she retired following the Athens Olympics. Louise scored 54 goals for the Hockeyroos from her strong penalty corner hitting. She played her 100th international against Argentina in Brisbane in June 1999 and her 200th international against Spain in Athens in February 2004. She was selected for two Olympic Games teams, in 1994 in Athens and winning a Gold Medal in 1996 in Atlanta. Louise also played in the 2002 World Cup team in Perth, featured in two Commonwealth Games teams, including the gold medal winning team in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur and bronze medalists in 2002 in Manchester. She has had four Champion Trophy appearances. In 2001 Louise joined the Hockeyroos leadership team as Vice-Captain through to her retirement in 2004.
Barry Dancer (QLD)
Barry Dancer is arguably Australia’s greatest ever Kookaburras Coach, a role he held from 2001 to 2008. He coached 251 international matches with an overall winning record of 65 per cent. This included the Kookaburras first Olympic Gold Medal in Athens in 2004, Olympic Bronze Medal in Beijing in 2008, World Cup Silver medal in Kuala Lumpur in 2002 and World Cup Silver Medal in Monchengladbach, Germany in 2006. Barry coached the team to two Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 in Manchester and Melbourne in 2006, and seven Champion Trophy Tournaments, winning two Gold and three silver medals.
Barry oversaw the development of some of Australia’s greatest players, including Jamie Dwyer, Paul Gaudoin, Bevan George, Matthew Wells, Mark Knowles, Brent Livermore, Liam De Young and Eddie Ockendon. In 1997, he was appointed Coach of England and subsequently coach of the Great Britain national team for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney where the team finished sixth. As a player, Barry starred in 48 international matches for Australia between 1973 and 1979 and was a member of the 1976 Olympic team that won the Silver Medal.
David Gentles (NSW)
David Gentles is one of Australia’s greatest umpires. His international umpiring career commenced in Cairns in 1996 and concluded in Melbourne at the Champions Trophy some 17 years later. He was highly regarded by players across the hockey world and amongst FIH officials. His reputation for his fairness and knowledge of the rules of hockey and their interpretation was established through his years of service to the game, the majority of which was unpaid. David umpired in three Olympic Games, including Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. He was selected to umpire the Gold Medal matches in Beijing and London – the pinnacle of any umpire’s career. David also umpired in three World Cups, including Kuala Lumpur in 2002, Monchengladbach Germany in 2006 and finally in New Delhi in 2010. David also umpired at seven Champion Trophy Tournaments and the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. In total, David umpired 152 international matches across the world. In 2012 he won NSWHA Official of the year for his service to hockey. David retired from international umpiring aged 47, the FIH age limit to umpire international hockey.
Paul Dearing (NSW)
Paul was one of the inaugural 11 males and 11 females to be inducted Hockey Australia’s inaugural Hall of Fame in 2008. Paul made his debut for Australia in New Plymouth, New Zealand in July 1963 against New Zealand. He went on to play 69 international matches between 1963 and 1972. Widely considered as one of the toughest players to play for Australia, his fierce defence of the goals is legendary, in an era of limited padding and protective gear. Paul was one of the first international goalkeepers to run out when defending penalty corners, his heroics becoming part of Australian Hockey folklore together with his training regime, often seen running 440 yard in his pads and full playing gear. Paul was selected in three Olympic Games, including 1964 in Tokyo as part of the team that won the bronze medal, 1968 in Mexico City where he won a silver medal, and 1972 in Munich. His performance in Mexico City was arguably his finest and made a huge contribution to the silver medal performance. Paul was selected in the first World Cup team that played in Barcelona in 1971.