Staff & Board


Scott Sharples, Executive Officer
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Scott has over 10 years’ experience in the South East Queensland sporting landscape and joined Paddle Queensland in November 2019. Prior to joining Paddle Queensland, Scott held senior management, marketing and communication roles within the media industry spanning over 14 years.

Scott is actively involved in Queensland’s sporting landscape as a participant, coach, official, volunteer and provides insight, guidance, resources, assets, board and committee oversight, as well as strategic and financial management advice to member clubs through challenging situations.

Scott has Diploma of Business Administration, Management and Operations and is responsible for the general management, governance and staffing of the office to support the promotion, development and growth of paddle sports across Queensland to ensure our vision of ‘More people paddling, More of the time’.

Board of Directors

Chair: Julian Norton-Smith
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Henry Friend
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Justin Appi
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Ke’ale Dorries
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Annie Bryce
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Kath Protheroe
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Director Profiles

Julian Norton-Smith (Representative Director)

Julian has 20 years of experience as an elite sportsman, he has worked as an elite level coach/manager for 16 years. He has a Bachelor of Business Degree majoring in Marketing and Sports Management. Julian further, has extensive experience in athlete development, relationship building, strategic planning, brand marketing, project management, stakeholder engagement, contract negotiation and media relations. He is very proactive in event management, grant/sponsorship application writing and developing elite sporting programs. He also has experience running events for Paddle Qld (state ocean racing championships) and the #PPMG2016 open water swimming event.

Julian has 10 years of experience as head coach / manager at two of Gold Coast’s top surf clubs and lead Qld’s state teams. He forms strong partnerships with key personnel to ensure the highest quality of services to clients and the bodies he supports.

Henry Friend (Representative Director)

Henry is a leader, company director and engaged stakeholder within the Manufacturing industry. His business acumen is demonstrated through company growth, strategic execution and commercially oriented solutions. He is currently studying a Master in Business Administration (MBA) at Deakin University and a Diploma of Governance with the ICDA. Henry is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Henry is an enthusiastic whitewater paddler and has been privileged to journey through rivers across Australia and the globe. His favourite paddling memories include paddling the remote Herbert (FNQ) and Franklin rivers (TAS), organising the Snowy River Extreme Race and developing his skills in C1 and Squirtboating. As such, he is a strong advocate for recreational paddlers to the PQ Board.

In 2018, he was nominated as a Queensland Youth Volunteer of the Year in recognition of the support he provides to the paddling community. Henry also serves in a non-executive capacity for other non-for-profits.

Henry is currently on the PQ Board, having completed one term (2 years) on the Board.

Justin Appi (Representative Director)

Justin has a broad background in the IT sector having held a number of leadership and consulting roles across a range of industries. For the past 10 years Justin has been focussed on running and growing his own business based on the Gold Coast.

Justin holds an MBA in IT Management and has a track record of delivering strategic business initiatives and managing large programs of work in a variety of commercial, operational and system-related disciplines. This experience means Justin has become adept at looking at both the big picture and the critical detail.

Justin’s first foray into paddling was in 2010 when he purchased a surf ski for personal fitness. Having been in and out of the sport and a variety of ski types over the years Justin has landed on a love for Ocean Ski paddling. He has been actively honing his downwind skills and fitness, usually on the water around 4 days a week, as well as competing in various open water events.

Paddling has not only bought physical and mental benefits but also camaraderie with an inspiring group of people in the paddling community and this has inspired Justin to give back to, and promote the sport.

Ke’ale Dorries (Representative Director)

Ke’ale has been a competitive athlete since she was only a nipper at the local surf club. Through the years, her sports evolved into outrigger paddling which then lead onto Stand Up Paddle Boarding. She has now been competing in SUP Racing and SUP Surfing for 12 years. 

Ke’ale has a Bachelors Degree in Business majoring in marketing. Ke’ale is an advocate for the sport of SUP and for women in sport. She is proactive in event management, running multiple races for the local SUP Clubs when she was still finishing high school. 

Annie Bryce (Special Skills Director)

Annie is the CEO of Edge Early Learning, a growing Early Childhood Education and Care business. She is leading a drive to inspire curious young minds and instil a passion for lifelong learning in children and their families.

Annie and her husband Paul took up paddling surf skis on the Brisbane River in early 2019 and they both quickly found a love for the sport.

Annie is a UK and Australian admitted lawyer. She holds an MBA from Deakin University, a Joint Honours degree in Business Management and Marketing (Newcastle University, UK) and is a Certificated Member of the Governance Institute of Australia. She is also proud to be part of the CBA’s “Women in Focus” Alumni.

She brings progressive and comprehensive legal and management expertise to PQ encompassing development and delivery of business goals and objectives, value creation, risk management and corporate governance.

Annie has a drive for positive engagement and delivery at all levels. She believes it is important to create solid pathways for people of all ages to enter and enjoy all paddle sports.

Kath Protheroe (Special Skills Director)

Kath is a Chartered Accountant and holds a double Degree in Exercise Science and Business and a Master of Commerce majoring in Accounting. She is the Group Accountant of large childcare provider and has worked in finance across a varied range of industries over the last 15 years. Kath excels in optimising financial resources, ensuring both short term financial goals and long-term aspirations can be achieved.  

Kath has always loved being active and getting involved in the running’s of voluntary community sport organisations. In the past Kath has represented Queensland in both Gridiron and Rowing and held a Treasurer position on her Gridiron team for several years.  Kath believes in the importance of giving back to the paddle community and in creating and supporting a solid grassroots paddling program for people of all ages.

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