Mrs Pauline Harvey-Short has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday 2019 Honours List and awarded the Order of Australia (OAM) for her lifelong dedication to education and advocating for girls’, and women’s sport.
An exceptional sportswoman and educator, Mrs Harvey-Short attended Girls Grammar from 1967 to 1971 and returned to the School in 1977 to teach in the Health and Physical Education department.
During her 41 years at the School, Mrs Harvey-Short has held positions including Head of Health and Physical Education, Director of Sport, Acting Dean of Administration, Associate Dean, and Dean of School before retiring from the position at the end of 2017. In 2018, she commenced in the role of School History and Culture Manager.
Few educators are as experienced in and passionate about the field of Health and Physical Education as Mrs Harvey-Short. A pioneer of girls’ sport in Queensland, Mrs Harvey-Short, in a voluntary capacity, served—and helped to establish—organisations that promote the health and wellbeing of girls and provide competitive sport opportunities for girls and women. Her contributions to community organisations include:
- Board Member, Bicentennial Youth Foundation (1988)
- Board Member, Womensport Queensland (1993–2009)
- President, Womensport Queensland (2007–2009)
- Chair of the Queensland Girls Secondary Schools Sports Association (QGSSSA) 110 Year Celebrations Committee (2017–2018).
From 1985 to 1996, she was the Chair of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Special Interest group—Women in Sport and Recreation. In this voluntary leadership role she sought to provide girls with positive role models, particularly sportswomen, so that girls would be encouraged to continue to play sport through their adult life. Mrs Harvey-Short fought to challenge societal trends to ensure that sport could be integrated into girls’ everyday lives so that they would have the opportunity to develop the attributes required to become skilled sportswomen—resilience, confidence, tough-mindedness and competitiveness—helping them to thrive as women in contemporary society.
Mrs Harvey-Short has and continues to inspire generations of girls and young women, teachers and other educators, coaches and sports leaders with the power of her example. The sheer force of her personality, the integrity and good sportsmanship for which she is known and her passion for everything she believes in are just as important as her worldly accomplishments.
Mrs Harvey-Short said she was surprised and humbled by the acknowledgment.
‘To be honoured for advocating for girls’ and women’s sport is a truly humbling experience. I’m so grateful for this award and extend my heartfelt thanks to my family and those, who through their support and encouragement have made possible this wonderful recognition.’
We congratulate Mrs Harvey-Short on this achievement and are so proud to have such a genuine legend in our midst.