Australian field hockey players Grace Stewart and Jake Harvie were each crowned Sports Star of the Year 2023 at this week’s Curtin Sports Awards ceremony.
Held at the TL Robertson Library, the annual event celebrates the sporting achievements and contributions of high-performing student athletes, volunteers, and sporting clubs at Curtin University.
In winning the major awards, Stewart and Harvie join the likes of previous winners such as AFL stars Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw, and former Hockeyroos Captain Emily Chalker.
Born in Gerringong, New South Wales, Stewart made her Hockeyroos debut in 2016 at the TPG International Series in Singapore.
She was selected to compete in the Olympic Games the same year and has since been named Hockeyroos co-captain.
Harvie, meanwhile, has hockey in his blood. The grandson of triple Olympic hockey representative Gordon Pearce, Harvie debuted for the Kookaburras in 2017 before winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
When not representing their country in the sporting arenas, Stewart and Harvie study teaching and physiotherapy respectively at Curtin.
Curtin Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne praised the duo’s commitment to their sport and studies, saying they were both very deserving Sports Stars of the Year.
“The Curtin Sports Awards aim to recognise high-performance, which Grace and Jake both clearly exhibit by reaching the pinnacle of their chosen sports,” Professor Hayne.
“They should both be very proud of chasing and achieving their sporting dreams, all while also maintaining their university studies.”
The ceremony also saw Perth Wildcats legend Jesse Wagstaff inducted into the Vice-Chancellor’s Elite Athlete Alumni.
Wagstaff completed a Master of Business Administration at Curtin during the early years of his basketball career, which has seen the 6’8 power forward win six National Basketball League championships and play more than 400 games — second in Wildcats history behind only Ricky Grace.
Other 2023 award winners included volleyball player Jed Walker, who was not only named Uni Sport Athlete of the Year for representing Curtin University at a Uni Sport /International University Sports Federation sanction event, but also won the University Half Blues award, alongside Judo athlete Thomas Knights.
“Our student athletes, volunteers and sporting clubs add so much to the University, so it’s wonderful to be able to formally acknowledge them with this annual awards ceremony,” Professor Hayne said.
“Congratulations and thanks to all of the winners and finalists, and to everyone who help make Curtin’s sporting community so vibrant and successful.”
Curtin Sports Awards 2023
- Sports Star of the Year: Grace Stewart (Hockey, female competition), Jake Harvie (Hockey, male competition)
Awarded to the students whose sporting achievements and sense of fair play in competition have been deemed to be of the highest level.
- Vice Chancellor’s Alumni Inductee – Elite Athlete: Jesse Wagstaff
Awarded to a Curtin University graduate who has excelled as an elite athlete.
- Sports Club Excellence Award: Curtin Swordfish Fencing Club
Awarded to the Curtin sporting club which has demonstrated excellence both on and off the field for the year of the award.
- Sports Club Development Award: Curtin Panthers Netball Club
This award recognises a club’s commitment to the growth of their club and their sport on the Curtin University campus.
- John Curtin Club Award: Curtin Swordfish Fencing Club, Curtin Panthers Netball Club
This award goes to the club that aims to be a beacon for positive change, embracing the challenges and opportunities of our times to advance understanding and change lives for the better.
- UniSport Athlete of the Year Award: Jed Walker (Volleyball)
Awarded to Curtin’s most outstanding athlete who represented Curtin University at a Uni Sport /FISU sanction event
- Volunteer of the Year Award: Conall Hansford
Awarded to the volunteer (member of a Curtin University-affiliated sporting club) who achieved great things off the field, excelling in the areas of coaching, refereeing, club/event administration and delivery.
- Curtin Colours Award: Anna Cana (Hockey), Alex Chua (Volleyball), Bec Revill (Hockey), Dillon Grace (Touch Rugby), Janice Stevens (Hockey), Patrick Steber (Volleyball)
Award aims to recognise and celebrate Curtin University students, staff or alumni who have achieved a high level of sporting excellence in their chosen sport.
- University Half Blues: Jed Walker (Volleyball), Thomas Knight (Judo)
Curtin Half-Blues are awarded to sportsmen and sportswomen in recognition of their outstanding sporting achievements at State and/or University competitions and for enhancing the reputation of university sport.
- Patron of Sport: Evan Nicholas
Awarded for sharp insight and unwavering commitment to representative sport, and for demonstrating considerable influence in supporting Curtin Sport initiatives and developments.
- Housing Cup Competition: St Catherine’s College
- Interfaculty Competition: Faculty of Science and Engineering