Australia Day

26 January 2015

185 days to go

Daphne Pirie AO MBE

Daphne Pirie AO MBE


Sportswoman, administrator and women's advocate

Daphne Pirie is an inspirational sportswoman and administrator who has worked tirelessly in a voluntary capacity for over 60 years to promote and further the cause of women in sport. Having enjoyed sporting success on the athletic track, hockey pitch, and golf course at an elite open level and international masters championships, Daphne proudly captained both the Queensland Open Athletic team and the Queensland Women’s Hockey team. Daphne’s greatest moment in her hockey career was being selected Vice Captain of the Australian team.

Daphne is a passionate patron of Gold Coast Recreation and Sport, Queensland Sporting Wheelies and founding president of Womensport Queensland. Her vision is to encourage female athletes while advancing and communicating the outstanding achievements of Queensland sportswomen. Honoured with 10 life memberships and patron of numerous sporting organisations, Daphne’s commitment never wanes.

Three generations of the Pirie family are employed by Pirie Enterprises, a family business Daphne founded with her husband in 1959.

Daphne has received many honours including:

  • Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), 2012
  • Queensland Great, 2012
  • Gold Coast Sporting Hall of Fame Spirit of Sport Medal, 2012
  • selected as number 34 in Tweed’s 100 Greatest Sporting Heroes, 2012
  • International Olympic Committee Women and Sport Award Oceania, 2011
  • Daphne Pirie Aquatic Centre unveiled at the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre, 2011
  • Queensland Academy of Sport Ambassador, 2011
  • honoured by the Queensland Government celebrating 150 years of Our Women – our State, 2010
  • named as one of eight Brisbane Sportswomen in the Brisbane Museum’s “Brisbane’s Wonderwomen in Sport”, 2010
  • interviewed by the National Library Canberra for the inaugural Oral History of Australian Sport, 2008
  • Hockey Queensland Distinguished Player Award (inaugural inductee), 2008
  • inaugural Daphne Pirie Scholarship presented by the Athlete Coach Support Services of the Queensland Academy of Sport, 2008
  • The Bulletin’s “Smart People making a significant contribution to Australian Life” finalist, 2006
  • Hockey Queensland Hall of Fame, 2006
  • Womensport Queensland Contribution to Sport Award – 50 years service (inaugural winner), 2006
  • The Australian Centenary of Federation Medal, 2001
  • The Australian Sports Medal, 2000
  • chosen to be the first person to carry the Sydney 2000 Olympic Queen’s Baton on the Gold Coast, 2000
  • Member of the British Empire Medal (MBE), 1989
  • The Bicentennial Medal, 1988
  • The Australia Day Council Sports Medal, 1984 and 1988.