Shelley Oates-Wilding
“Good things come to those who know what they want”


Olympic kayaker and Physical Education teacher Shelley (Michelle) Oates-Wilding has proven many times over that life is what you make of it. After graduating from UC in 1990, Shelley fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming an Olympic athlete. Competing as a sprint kayaker Shelley placed eighth in the K-4 500 meter event in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, started her family and then competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

"Being an athlete throughout my time at UC, I remember how accommodating the teachers and students were which made my time in Canberra extremely enjoyable and a wonderful foundation for any pursuit," Shelley says.

After starting a family, Shelley continued to enjoy the life as an athlete, motivational speaker and physical education lecturer and teacher. Still wanting to expand her horizons and knowledge Shelley lived, worked and trained around the world including Atlanta, Sydney, Queensland, Italy and now Hawaii.

Setting up with her family in Hawaii she has now founded and operates a non-profit organisation, Ikaika Hawaii with a mission to perpetuate the development of inspirational Waterman and Women through positive water sport opportunities for the children of Hawaii. The organisation provides a pathway for children to develop physically and mentally as champion people and athletes through "waterman's activities". With these goals in mind, Ikaika Hawaii offers holistic programs for Hawaii's youth to learn and be inspired to strive for personal excellence, through to World and Olympic competition.

"I use everything I learnt from UC through my coaching and guiding kids to enjoy their personal journey to success through all paddle sports. I help them to see their talents, set goals, use time effectively and plan their lives!"

We love to see our UC alumni turn into stellar life coaches, passing on their talents and knowledge to future generations.