As an athlete he won the 1954 Vancouver Commonwealth Games Gold Medal for his native New Zealand in the 220 yards and silver in the 440 yards. In 1950 while still a Junior he won an Auckland Commonwealth Games bronze medal.
He was New Zealand sprint champion and medallist on numerous occasions over a number of distances.
Don was also a winger in the Otago (New Zealand) Rugby Union team which won the Ranfurly Shield in 1957.
He was a Life Member of Athletics Australia, Queensland Athletics, Thompson Estate-Eastern Suburbs Athletics Club and of the Queensland Rugby Union.
Don was Treasurer of the Queensland Rugby Union for 13 years and of Queensland Athletics also for 13 years
He was the Track Referee for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, Assistant Track Referee for the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games and Chairman of the Jury for the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and the Track Referee at numerous National and State Championships.
He was a successful senior coach in Athletics and Rugby Union and a founding member of the Australian Track & Field Coaches Association.
Don also refereed a number of International Rugby matches involving Queensland and Overseas touring teams.
He was the foundation President of the Brisbane Athletics Officials Club and honorary Auditor for the Oceania Athletics Association and honorary auditor of numerous sporting clubs.
He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his contributions to Athletics and Rugby. He is the father of Sue Pavish (nee Jowett) Olympian 353 - another sprinter as one would expect.