The annual Australia Day Honours have recognised Australian Canoeing’s Life Member Sue Natoli (VIC) for her services to canoeing and Australian Canoeing congratulates Sue on her Award.
Sue Natoli has been very involved in canoeing in Australia and internationally and has been a stalwart of event management for Canoe Slalom in Australia for 20 years with her national and international efforts highly regarded around the Paddling World. The time and financial commitment Sue Natoli has made and continues to make in a voluntary capacity to the sport of Canoe Slalom is immense.
In a congratulatory note to Sue Natoli, Australian Canoeing’s president Andrea McQuitty said: “Congratulations on receiving an OAM in recognition of your many years of exceptional service and dedication to slalom. The contribution that you have made to slalom has benefited generations of paddlers and it is hard to imagine where the sport would be without the time and care that you have provided. It is wonderful that you have been recognised in this way and we hope that you are able to celebrate this well-deserved award with your family today.”
Sue Natoli and husband David are parents to three adult children and two, nearly teenaged foster children. The voluntary commitment she continues to make towards Canoe Slalom is mirrored in her personal life. She is very involved in supporting her family, the schools and different clubs and activities they are involved in and she will always put herself out to support others.
An incredibly generous person, Sue Natoli is always willing to share her time, skills and knowledge. From when the Natoli family first became involved in slalom canoeing in the early 1990’s, Sue was consistently involved in helping run the events.
From the early days of judging, compiling and sorting body numbers on the banks of the Yarra River, Sue Natoli became increasingly involved in supporting and influencing the progress of the sport through her membership on State, National and International Slalom Committees as well as leading the organisation of numerous National and International Slalom events.
Her approach to Canoe Slalom is progressive and analytical. She continues to be a strong advocate for gender equality within the sport as well as supporting the growth of the sport in new communities around the world.
Sue holds her International Canoeing Federation (ICF) Technical Official accreditation since 1998 and 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.
She 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 and facilitating some major changes in the sport, including increased participation of women, increased participation of nations, increased professionalism of the conduct of international Canoe Slalom events and technical officials, 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.
She 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 – officiated at 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 games, including Chief of Scoring at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also officiated at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where she was the Assistant Chief Judge
Awards that Sue has received from Australian Canoeing include:
- 2015 Life Membership
- 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.
See the full Australia Day 2018 Honours List here.