The Winners of The SCV Awards 2019

And The Winners Are: 2019 SCV Awards

Vote For In The 2019 SCV Awards


The nominations are in for the SCV Awards! Below you will find those who have been nominated and a short blurb explaining why they have been nominated by a member of the community.  Please read through those nominations and vote for who you think should win the award after the descriptions!

We would like to help recognise those members in our community for outstanding achievement. We aim to bring all aspects of the climbing community together by recognising those members who have contributed significantly giving up their time and devotion to climbing in Victoria.

Please note, as these are the SCV Awards, you must be an SCV member to vote and there will be one vote per person per category.

Voting has now closed for 2019!  The awards will be presented at the AGM held later in the year.

View the category descriptions here.

Climber of the Year (Male)

Russell Harrison

I’d like to nominate Russell Harrison for Athlete of the Year. Not because he has had some amazing result in competition but because he has had an amazing breakthrough with himself.

Russell put aside the idea of certain achievements for a long time after a life changing event until recently. Going to the World Paraclimbing Championships in 2018 on at the same time as the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria and seeing for himself what COULD be achieved for so many people with so many different disabilities encouraged him to “give it a go” himself.

Since becoming a founding member of Adaptive Climbing Victoria, starting to climb just before Christmas and attending the NSW and Vic State Titles, being accepted onto the Australian Paraclimbing Team and then attending his first international event in New Zealand he then took flight overseas to the Imst, Austria Paraclimbing Masters and the World Paraclimbing Championships in Briancon, France.

It is more than results that inspire, it is the new lease on life and direction he has gained. Fitness, diet, learning, pride and taking control of something out of your control is inspiring in itself and worthy of “Athlete of the year”.

Campbell Harrison

Campbell has once again shown such a dedication to competition climbing here in Australia and across the World Cup circuit overseas this year. Bouldering, Lead and Speed training and competing his way across the world in the World Cups and recently the World Championships in Japan that now sees him ranked number 1 combined athlete for Australia.


Climber of the Year (Female)

Oceana Mackenzie

Oceana Mackenzie has had an outstanding year on the international competition scene. At nearly all speed events she has bested her own time continually resetting the Australian Female Speed record which currently sits at 9.12seconds. In addition to this, she finished 29th at the World Championships a mere 9 places from making the top 20 who would compete for the combined title. Oceana’s dedication to the sport sees her travelling frequently to constantly improve her training. Oceana has set her sites on the Olympics and has set a clear path to ensure she reaches that goal.


Young Climber of the Year (Junior/Youth Male)

Ned Middlehurst

Ned has competed at a high level in the last 12 months, including the Youth Olympics, Open World Cups and both Youth and Open World Championships.

He is a member of the Australian Open Lead, Speed and Boulder teams and the Youth Boulder and Speed teams.

His best results include:

Oct 2018 Youth Olympics combined – 20th
May 2019 Aust Youth Nationals boulder/speed/overall – 1st
May 2019 -new Australian Speed record (8.83sec)

National Ranking (2018):
Junior: Boulder 1st, Lead 2nd, Speed 1st
Open: Lead 4th, Boulder 11th, Speed 2nd

He strives to always give his best both at training and competition and aims to support others where he can. Ned provides mentor-ship to younger climbers through his coaching role at Bayside Rock.

As a result of his commitment he has been nominated as both the Victorian Team Captain and Australian Youth Team Captain this year. This has allowed him to show his value to climbing as a sport as well as a community.

Young Climber of the Year (Junior/Youth Female)

Zoe Puglisi

Zoe has achieved amazing things in her short 2 years of climbing. This year Zoe travelled interstate to gain competition experience across Australia, winning the Tasmania State Titles and placing 2nd in WA. At her first ever national competition Zoe placed 10th overall out of 13 Australian competitors however this year at the youth nationals Zoe blew everyone away by winning speed climbing at both the Victorian state titles and Nationals and placing 3rd overall in the competition. Not only has Zoe been successful in a competition setting but has been breaking personal in the gym by being the youngest climber to redpoint our grade 26 climb.

Zoe’s passion for climbing has extended to attending four outdoor climbing expeditions organised by Gravity Worx’s owner Glen Buchanan to further explore the world of climbing. Such an improvement in such a short period of time can only be attributed to Zoe’s persistent hard work and powerful passion for the sport of rock climbing. I have had the pleasure of coaching Zoe from her very first climbing experience and I can say with confidence that the rock climbing community is lucky to have such a passionate and dedicated climbing in their midst.

Zoe is completely driven and independent with her training, she is always the first one in before training, warming up properly and carefully and the last to leave. She takes control of her training by coming into the gym solo to work on autobelays and the IFSC speed route whilst also organising her own bouldering and route sessions outside training times with her other young climbing companions. Zoe has a great sense of humour and is a powerful presence in the youth squad training sessions. She is a leader in her training and is always encouraging of her peers. Zoe’s maturity and resilience as a young climber is astounding and I do believe she is a young woman who I will never see give up and will always continue to work as hard as she possibly can. Zoe would be an absolutely deserving candidate for this award.

Maya Stasiuk

Maya has worked hard over the years at Bayside Rock in the youth squad with Sarah Davis and this year with Campbell Harrison. Consistently wins her age group in bouldering and lead. Winning the combined in Nationals this year she is a force of nature and only in youth C. Can’t wait to see her grow over the years.

Gym of the Year

Gravity Worx

In the last year Gravity Worx has been committed to introducing new climbers to the sport whilst also providing for those who are currently wedded to climbing as a sport. By setting more than 3 new routes every week they have been providing climbers consistently with new climbs to test themselves on every week. They also offer technique classes every wednesday evening for adults of all skill levels to join. Plus, a specific womens group with discounted entry and coaching every friday night which has brought about a great cohort of local female climbers. The gym has continued to grow its youth squad with 3 different levels now available to young people on 4 different days of the week. GW youth squad took home four podiums at youth nations with one of GW youth squad members making the national team being the first from a gym other than bayside in the last 10 years.

Gravityworx is a relatively young gym, having opened for less than years. The youth squad from the gym has continued to make waves with significant podium achievements across most age catergories and gender at various State Titles and at the National Youth Climbing Championships in Sydney this year. This achievement should be celebrated. Glenn and his team have made this possible.

The Rock Adventure Centre

The Rock is the home of climbing in Geelong. It has a range of bouldering and roped climbing for beginners to elite climbers. There are 3 prominent training squads amongst the regular cohort of climbers, a children’s squats, a teens squad and a competition squad. Alongside the formally coached groups there are also regular introductory courses for adults, current and new climbers.

The route setting is always engaging with new climbs weekly. The gym provides a safe place to meet climbers and rope or boulder safely! It has a wonderful community feel that has brought so many individuals together over the past 18 years building a strong group of climbers for both indoor and outdoor adventures.

There is no gym quite like the rock from the featured walls and unique rope climbed to the friendly staff and customers.

Bayside Rock

From the youth squads to the open athletes eg, Campbell, Ned, James, Sarah, Oceania, Maya to name a few, you can’t find a stronger group of talent. One of the hardest working youth programs available!

La Roca

The team at LaRoca have created a fantastic, welcoming space with a distinct vibe that makes you want to go regularly. They should be acknowledged for generously comitting their time, space and money to the climbing community and investing to create diverse and challenging setting that caters for all abilities. The owners Les and Des are always around, up for a friendly chat and make a damn fine cup of coffee!

Coach of the Year

Moriah Broadbent Hogan

Moriah is a crusher coach who works tirelessly supporting and encouraging her youth squad team, including supporting them in competitions during her weekends, and training them in the evenings during the week. She tirelessly prepares training schedules for her kids, and spends hours every week setting new climbs for them to train on. Not only is she extremely dedicated, she is also a fierce role model for the younger generation, with many young women training under her and competing in competitions around Australia.

Moriah has coached the Gravityworx’s Hangtime Youth Squad with outstanding success at various State Titles and at the recent National Youth Climbing Championships. Her commitment to the development of the squad is commendable; she is always seeking for ways to innovate and improve her coaching.

Sarah Davis

Sarah is an outstanding coach that not only helped Oceana Mackenzie make it to her first IFSC World Cup Final, but also Maya Stasiuk to two gold medals and one silver at the 2019 Australian Youth Nationals. Sarah’s experience as an international competitor and qualified exercise physiologist gives her a unique perspective that she has maximised to lead her athletes to exceptional results.

Ryan Lindsay

Ryan stepped into the role of coach at Bayside Rock with the sudden and unexpected departure of the previous coach and has taken the group to a whole new level. So many kids they had to start more classes to keep up with them. Ryan is showing a true talent for coaching and can’t wait to see the future talent come through.

Team of the Year

Gravity Worx Hang Time Youth Squad

Gravity Worx hang time youth squad has grown over the past year enormously. The program is only 2.5 years old and has already grown to over 100 kids who participate in one of four different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced and competition) across four days, some even attending classes twice a week. At the Victorian state titles this year Gravity Worx Hang Time Youth Squad won a total of 5 medals!

Furthermore at the Victorian Speed Titles, which were held at Gravity Worx, the youth squad accounted for 13 medals (out of a total of 19 medals). The Gravity Worx Youth Squad program encourages children of all skill levels and ages to enjoy the great sport of climbing and provides a fun and safe environment for children to learn about competitions. Each year during term 3 we hold a “Club Championships” to introduce young climbers to competitions but to also have a great deal of fun! The program is unlike any other and is continuing to evolve and improve everyday.

Volunteer of the Year

Riley Edwards

Riley has single handedly run and grown the Climbing Qts group this past year. Their time is all volunteered, and they organize 2 events a month for the queer climbing community. Riley goes above and beyond to make climbing accessible to the queer community, running monthly meetups, specific events, and meeting with people individually if they are apprehensive. They work tirelessly to ensure anyone who is interested in climbing and getting active has the access and support to do so, which can often be a huge barrier for the queer community. Riley has made climbing more inclusive, diverse and accepting.

Riley Edwards has co-founded ClimbingQTs (a LGBTQIA+ friendly social climbing club) in 2018 and has been absolutely integral in running the group, organising events, trips and learning opportunities for queer and gender diverse climbers, as well as, promoting understanding and advocating for inclusivity and diversity within the larger climbing community.

Riley has assisted in organising and facilitating a range of events for ClimbingQTs, including social bouldering and climbing meet-ups, an educational outdoor climbing camp at Arapiles (in collaboration with The Climbing Company), a lead-climbing course (through Hardrock Climbing), a social outdoor bouldering trip, as well as, an upcoming ‘Climbing with Pride’ event (in collaboration with RMIT Outdoors Club).

Riley is a passionate and hard-working LGBTQIA+ ambassador and volunteer within the climbing community.

Katie Kaminsky

Katie is the leader of the adaptive climbing committee. Her passion for promoting equality and accessibility of this sport for people of all abilities has resulted in fantastic progress this year alone. This includes several come and try days for individuals with adaptive needs to climb for the first time. As well as promoting and facilitating the inclusion of adaptive categories in our state competitions.

She works tirelessly to make climbing more accessible to all and does it all without complaining and powering on through barriers like a champ!

Mike Tomkins

Mike has worked tirelessly to assist the development of the ‘ACAV’ in response to the Grampians Climbing bans in 2019. This includes the alignment of ACAV within the larger ACA network, and credit should also be given to nation-wide efforts of all volunteers who represent access to outdoor climbing venues. Mike has devoted huge amounts of his personal time to defend the position of Victorian climbers, which has been publicly tarnished. Mike has kept a level head and provided a voice of reason during a time that has shaken many Victorian climbers. His work and leadership has provided hope for Victorian climbers and their families to have outdoor experiences in some of the most amazing climbing destinations in the world. Thank you Mike for your many hours of work to help regain access to a place held dear in the hearts of Victorian climbers.

Roisin Briscoe

Roisin spends hours keeping the Sport Climbing Victoria Website looking schmick!! Take a look at it, so impressive for a volunteer run organisation. This must take hours and it’s all done with love. Thank you Roisin.

Yvette Harrison

Yvette is an unsung hero of the community. You will have seen all the amazing social media that not only SCV puts out (facebook, instagram etc) but also the Team Aus page that keeps everyone up-to-date on our athletes competing internationally. Getting updates as they happen is extremely valuable for supporting our athletes from back home. Having travelled to many of the competitions to support various family members, she also provides most of the photos that are used in Australia of our athletes. This work is conducted year round as the media never sleeps.


Community Project of the Year

Adaptive Climbing Victoria

Adaptive Climbing Victoria has been been established by Katie Kaminsky to ensure climbing remains an exclusive sport to all. Conducting research in what adaptions need to be made, creating training for volunteers and running events for those with disabilities has been a few achievements of this organisation. Their efforts have seen a growth of Victorian climbers not only competing locally but also competing internationally. This will hopefully allow us to send a strong team to the National titles held later this year.

Adaptive Climbing Victoria (Katie Kaminsky, Jenny Curran, Nick, and Jo, at the minimum) have created an inclusive and welcoming opportunity to make climbing accessible to all different Victorians who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to try climbing. Organsing meetups is a project itself, but they also have to get special setting and equipment from the gyms (shoutout to Northwalls for being committed to the project), and organise heaps of volunteers to belay and support in unique ways. I’ve never seen such massive smiles on the faces of climbers and their support teams as I did at one of the first meet-ups. Way to go Adaptive Climbing! You most definitely rock.

Adaptive Climbing Victoria is a new group dedicated to the growth of Adaptive Climbing in Victoria. Run by volunteers the group have organised very successful “Come and Try” days and a special volunteer day for people wanting to know how to help belay people with adaptive needs.

Climbing QTs

Climbing qts is a group that gives queer, trans and gender diverse people a safe space to climb. The group is supportive and inclusive and provides a much needed space for queer people to be active in. This year, the group has run its first camp at arapiles, a lead course, events to raise awareness around pronouns and regular climbing meetups. The group is also able to provide new climbers with gear through donations. Climbing Qts has given me a space to climb where I can be myself, free of judgement

ClimbingQTs is an LGBTQIA+ friendly social club founded in 2018 where climbers have the opportunity to mix and socialise. All levels are welcome from beginner to advanced.

As a collective, ClimbingQTs came together after identifying the value of fostering and expanding self-respect of non-normative gender and sexual identities. This initiative aims to promote understanding by advocating for and creating trans and queer friendly climbing spaces and events.

ClimbingQTs aims to address the struggle and complexities of sport for people of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities and re-conceptualize the relationship between sport, gender identity and body image.

Queer sport spaces can be a welcome refuge from heterosexuality and cissexism as well as place of comfort. Given the heteronormativity of athletics and sport culture, ClimbingQTs aims to create space for this community to grow and diversify.

ClimbingQTs also seeks to address femme invisibility, racism, trans acceptance and fat phobia.

ClimbingQTs organises regular social and educational events with the aim of creating safe sports spaces for queer and gender diverse climbers, as well as to advocate for inclusivity and diversity within the larger climbing and sports community.

Leadership Award

Katie Kaminsky

Katie is the force behind the start up of Adaptive Climbing Victoria. She and the volunteer team behind her aim to bring our Adaptive Climbing group to the forefront of our sport.

Ascent of the Year

Ashlee Hendy

Ashlee Hendy has spent the year galavanting in America, accomplishing many big ascents. Of note is the send of Fight Club (5.13c – or 30 for the Ewbank graders) late in the trip in Washington.