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Personal Development

The Queensland Academy of Sport’s Personal Development (PD) program is designed to optimise the sporting performance of Queensland categorised athletes by offering a range of varied services. These services include; orientation and induction into the high performance environment, personal and professional development opportunities, community engagement, wellbeing, education and studying advice and transitions out of sport.

The PD team offers these services to categorised Queensland athletes competing in a range of sports, including but not limited to; swimming, water polo, sailing, wheelchair rugby, rowing, triathlon, hockey, volleyball, softball, track and field, cycling, individual sports and the Prospecting for Gold (P4G) program.

Nationally, Personal Development is recognised as Personal Excellence by the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). As well as the AIS providing this service in Canberra, all state and territory institutes/academies of sport have advisors to replicate the nationwide program. In 1995, the Athlete Career and Education (ACE) program was developed to combat issues that were becoming more prevalent for the modern elite athlete. Over time, this type of program has evolved to be the leader in its field and is internationally recognised.

The challenge confronting many athletes is how to maintain a balance between sport and the rest of their lives. The PD program aims to support athletes in achieving this balance without compromising their sporting goals. Research shows that athletes with a balanced lifestyle are more likely to achieve their sporting goals, cope better with potential stresses such as injuries and have more confidence in what the future will hold after retiring from their sport.

The QAS PD team is composed of fully qualified personnel who are experts in the needs of elite athletes in both amateur and professional sports. Presently, there are five PD Advisors servicing up to 400 athletes.

Personal Development team

Liz Hepple

Liz Hepple

Liz Hepple – PD Advisor, High Performance Team 2

The longest serving PD Advisor at the QAS. Liz had a long and successful sporting career which saw her compete in cycling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and triathlon at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland. Since 1993, Liz has undertaken various roles at the QAS which have involved mentoring and coaching. Over the last 10 years Liz has been putting her Bachelor’s degree in Human Movement Studies and Graduate Certificate in Career Counselling for Elite Athletes to use in her role as PD Advisor. Liz continues to ride the famous Mt Cootha circuit daily, putting many younger cyclists through their paces.

Mark Knowles

Mark Knowles

Mark Knowles – Senior PD Advisor, High Performance Team 1

Mark has recently joined the team, and as a former elite athlete he has the skills and knowledge to give back and share his experiences. Mark was the long term Australian Kookaburras Hockey team captain and proudly played over 300 games for his country. Having represented Australia at the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, Mark has been crowned as an Olympic gold and bronze medallist. As a result of his captaincy, Mark developed a wealth of leadership qualities which are strongly admired amongst athletes and PD Advisors. Mark will continue to be active in the hockey community by playing and coaching in the Brisbane competition. In his spare time, Mark can be found 4x4ing along the Queensland coast and renovating his family home.

Annette Moore

Annette Moore

Annette Moore – PD Advisor, High Performance Team 3

Annette has been part of the PD team since 2014 and a member of the wider QAS team for over ten years. With a degree in Human Resources, Annette has also played a crucial role within the QAS HR Department for the past eight years. This knowledge and experience compliments her Graduate Certificate in Elite Athlete Mentoring and recognises Annette as an ideal PD Advisor for QAS athletes. Annette primarily works with the P4G Program and individual scholarship holders in her two days per week role. Outside of work, Annette loves spending time with her family and in particular, enjoys taking their camper trailer out for the weekend.

Mia Vriens

Mia Vriens

Mia Vriens – PD Advisor, High Performance Team 1

Mia has been a QAS PD advisor since August 2018. Mia comes from a tennis background and accepted a tennis scholarship to Florida State University back in 2011. Whilst representing her college in tennis, she obtained a degree in Sport Management with a minor in Psychology. Since returning to Australia in 2015, Mia has worked in a few different roles but decided she would like to get back into sport and put her leadership skills and sporting experience to use. She is also currently completing the Cert IV Elite Athlete Wellbeing Management. Outside of work, Mia loves weekend getaways to the beach and travelling back to Sydney when she can to spend time with her family.

James Henry

James Henry

James Henry – PD Advisor High Performance Team 2

James has recently joined the PD team, after a decade of working for cricket in a variety of roles at both state and national level. With a degree in Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, this knowledge and experience working in High Performance Sport couples well for James’s role as PD Advisor for QAS athletes. James will continue to be an active member within the cricket community and is a registered Level 3 High Performance Coach. In his spare time, James can be found exploring the beaches of the Sunshine Coast or planning his next travel adventure.

Last updated
5 April 2019