Cairns Hockey welcomes Kym McPhee -Smith as new General Manager – Operations

Kym McPhee-Smith appointed as Cairns Hockey new GM – Operations

Kym McPhee-Smith Resume

Cairns Hockey is excited to announce today that Kym McPhee- Smith has been appointed as the new Cairns Hockey – General Manager – Operations.

Kym says “I am really excited to join the Cairns Hockey family as the General Manager – Operations. Clearly and openly I have no experience or background knowledge of hockey other than I have enjoyed watching it in the past. However, I love that it is a sport that all family members can enjoy, and I appreciate that you can enjoy and play hockey from very young and into your senior years.

Growing up in Cairns I have been involved with and participated in many sports and I love all sports; netball, touch, basketball, swimming, rugby league, AFL, athletics, softball, and dance, so I am confident I will love hockey.

I hope to bring my experience of sports management and business development of over 9 years to Cairns Hockey to further advance its current dominance in the sporting space.

I see many amazing opportunities in particular to grow our grass roots programs, expand on supporting partnerships and extend on other revenue avenues.

I look forward to working collaboratively with our hard-working clubs to further enhance communication and efficiency.

I am extremely excited to work alongside Julie McNeil who has been amazing for Cairns Hockey and inspirational with her development of the Aspire to be Deadly Program and obtaining multi-million dollar funding for facilities upgrades. I will appreciate her wealth of hockey knowledge and experience.

I am looking forward to the opportunity of meeting those Cairns Hockey Board members who I am yet to meet, staff and club committees and I am extremely enthusiastic to do so. I am looking forward to getting to know the Cairns Hockey community and its members. “

Dr Robert Pozzi – President of Cairns Hockey Association says
“Cairns Hockey is very fortunate to have been able to entice a very high-quality sporting administrator into this role. Kym brings her experience and high -level skills into this role and I can see great things ahead for Cairns Hockey. We are building a great team here.

Kym joins Julie McNeil in her position as General Manager – Community Partnerships/Aspire and Governance who will be driving the Aspire to be Deadly team and building strong community support partnerships as part of her new role.

Kym will also work with the Cairns Hockey Board and support Matt Cook who has been appointed as Regional Coaching Director driving the Skill Development, Talent Pathways/Representative Program and Academy Programs. Matt Cook is an emerging coach at the national level and having access to Matt is beneficial to Cairns Hockey and the skills and experience he brings returning from 2 years in Belgium. We have also appointed Mili Arrotea from Argentina who will drive the recruitment programs. “

Cairns Hockey is looking forward to a great 2020.


Recruitment Officer – Mili Arrotea

• Mili Arrotea has been appointed CHA Recruitment Officer and has started in her full time role
• Mili can be contacted at-
• Mili will work out of the CHA office 365 Lake Street Cairns North phone 40532308
• Recruitment and Junior Programs in 2020
• Cairns Hockey Board has been working with a Recruitment advisory group through 2019 and recommendations have been discussed and accepted and new Recruitment style programs will be rolled out in 2020
• Cairns Hockey has committed to these programs with the announcement of Mili Arrotea as the new Recruitment Officer who will be specializing in building relationships and broadening support into local Primary Schools in support of club recruitment programs.
• Mili is working hard to begin this strategy by contacting and making appointments to meet the PE teachers at school and work to have a hockey presence and support the 2020 Recruitment Programs and Introductory Programs
• More information will be shared on this program very soon – Exciting Times ahead
• Junior Committee is now reporting directly to the Cairns Hockey Board and will be responsible for our Primary Programs and competition
• Mili will be working with this committee as direct support and reporting to the new GM-Operations
• Matt will be assisting Mili in her development.
• Mili will be delivering a school holiday programs – more information on this very soon

Regional Coaching Director – Matt Cook

• Matt Cook – our new RCD – incorporating Skill Development/Talent Pathways/Academy and Rep Programs – building capacities and broadening opportunities
• The old role of RCD has been reimagined and refreshed with a focus on all things coaching being driven by Matt
• Cairns Hockey is very confident that as Matt becomes more comfortable in this new role, Cairns Hockey will see some innovations as well as ensuring the capacity building is available and prioritized across the association.
• HPAG – Higher Performance Advisory Group will have oversight of these programs and will support Matt through these changes including providing the mentor assistance from David as mentioned below.
• New information on Rep Team programs are being developed and will be available in the New Year to broaden communication/information and transparency and we hope this will ensure the challenges identified in 2019 are addressed in a managed way.
• New Coaching and skill Development Programs designed to deliver skill development start this weekend
• Open Championships are back with Cairns teams being able to represent and we are hopeful this will spark interest through Over 18 members once again
• Queensland 16 and Under development camp is being held in Cairns in December and Matt is hard at work coordinating this and providing as many local opportunities as possible
• Queensland Squad members are under preparation programs for trials which will continue into 2020
• Singapore Development Squad is continuing with an expansion of invited players from Townsville and Mackay
• 2020 Program details will be shared as they are finalized
• Looking forward to some great times ahead

New Role for David McNeil

• Cairns Hockey is very excited to confirm a new role which David McNeil will fill within the organization. David has held the role as RCD for almost a decade and during this time built a platform from which CHA’s has strengthened and built capacity across skill development, coaching and training and talent pathways and competition matters. David has left a strong legacy of high quality delivery and innovative practices from which Matt Cook can benefit. David will continue to mentor and support Matt in the coaching area and mentor him through the next year or 2 across his professional and technical development and support. This mentoring support will be a part time role of about 10 hours a week and also includes assisting Matt Cook with the mentor support to our new Recruitment Officer position as well.

On behalf of the CHA Board/Clubs and Members, we sincerely thank David McNeil for your service in the role of RCD and the additional competition area which was a constant challenge. His commitment and service to Cairns Hockey in these areas has significantly contributed to the advancement of the organization and hockey across the region.

More about the new role for David McNeil

• Cairns Hockey is strengthening their partnerships and collaborations with Hockey Australia and part of this collaboration is developing an excellence program for Northern Australia through Aspire to be Deadly with mainstream links as well. The expansion of Aspire to be Deadly requires a complete restructure of the existing program and David will in part move into Aspire to support the advancing needs including-
• Assisting and Mentoring Wes Ferns to build his capacity in delivering high quality regional programs
• Assisting and increasing coach education and training across Aspire Program in particular ongoing professional development to staff/supporters and mentors in particular – working with Jess and Lisa to build their coaching capacities and personal growth potential
• Delivering where required additional skill based training to support the talent pathways program connected into the Aspire Program
• Work with GM – Community Partnerships/Aspire and Governance to develop a strategy to deliver a strong excellence program through Aspire and create accelerated learning program as part of the Excellence Programs attached to the Cairns Aspire Performance and Well Being Centre
• Assist with coach education to deliver modified training programs for those within the program to build capacity
• Special projects as required
• Promote Aspire and support the delivery of its outcomes
• This is also a part time position.

These are exciting time to be involved in this program and we welcome David into the Aspire Program and look forward to building a high quality excellence program to support the Aspire outcomes. Aspire will be moving upstairs into old clubhouse and there will be some renovations planned to ensure this space becomes a safe place for indigenous participants and as we develop this can become a community support hub for broader under-represented groups. This will mean some disruption across the next few months.

Barbie Simonis – Admin Support – 3 days a week

• Barbie has been working 1 day a week and Janice has been doing additional hours in the transition
• Barbie has agreed to work Monday/Wednesday and Friday starting 25th November 2019
• GM -Operations and CHA Board will oversee this area to ensure CHA is supported
• Barbie’s role will be supporting the CHA programs and running the facility booking schedule.
• Barbie will be managing the email address




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