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Awarded for service to Sport and Recreation
Entered on roll: 2007
Julie Kent was born in Hobart and is known throughout Tasmania as one of the State’s pre-eminent sportspeople. She began diving at the age of 12 and such was her natural talent that she represented Tasmania at the Australian titles for the first time two months later.
The determination to achieve her goals in her chosen sport has made Julie a standout in the sporting history of Tasmania. In the 1980s, Tasmania was not known for developing sports stars in the pool. To pursue her dream, from age 14, of being an Olympic diver, Julie had to train at the outdoor Hobart Olympic Pool, through all seasons. The lack of appropriate year-round training facilities led Julie to move to Canada in her teens. The move resulted in Julie becoming World Junior Champion in 1983 and representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and 1986 and the Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988.
Julie has not only been an exceptionally successful sports person, she has given a lot back to her sport. She actively supported the development of the Tattersalls Hobart Aquatic Centre, with a purpose-built, indoor diving facility and has used the centre to coach young divers.
Since retiring from competitive diving, Julie has been actively involved with Olympic fundraising and as president of the Tasmanian Olympic Council from 1996-2000 Julie assisted in raising funds to help other Tasmanian sportspeople to compete in the Olympic and Commonwealth Games. She is an outstanding mentor to young people and an excellent role model.
Julie has held numerous positions on a variety of sporting committees, all with the aim of seeing young Tasmanians being given the opportunity to compete at the highest level in their chosen sport.
As Executive Director of Variety, the children’s charity, Julie plays a key role in raising funds to improve the quality of life of special needs children in Tasmania. Events such as TasBash and Teen Face of Tasmania have become important fundraisers that help draw communities together.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution and achievements in diving, Julie has been named the Hobart City Council Citizen of the Year, the Confederation of Australian Sport Junior Female Athlete of the Year (1983), was the 2000 Australian Sports Medal recipient, and has been inducted into the Tasmanian Sporting Hall of Fame. She is a Life Member of the Tasmanian Diving Association and the Hobart Springboard Diving Club, and was a irector of Diving Australia for eight years.
Julie was the Australian Olympic Team Manager, Diving, for the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She continues to be an exemplary ambassador for her sport and is currently a selector for Diving Australia.