BORN JANUARY 25TH, 1968 in Penticton, BC, Canada he attended the local secondary school between 1981 and '86 then played junior hockey for the Summerland Buckaroos in the BCJHL (1986, '88), Prince George Spruce Kings (1987) in the PCJHL, and Kelowna Packers in the BCJHL (1989). A 187cm (6'2") 100kg defenseman, he played NCAA Division 1 for 3 seasons at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (1989-94), completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and attending a Vancouver Canucks training camp in '92.
Over 3 seasons, he played in 4 leagues and 7 different clubs — the Memphis Riverkings, Wichita Thunder, Tulsa Oilers and Dallas Freeze in the CHL; Roanoke Valley Rampage and later as Huntsville Blast in the ECHL; the Atlanta Knights in the IHL; and the West Palm Beach Blaze in 1995. The Blaze were SuHL champions that year and he was selected to the SuHL All-Star Team that defeated the French National Team, 3-0, in a 3-game exhibition series.
He then moved to Australia where, like so many before him, he played for the Macquarie Bears — Ryan Switzer, Dubravco Andrlon, Dave Emblem, David Turik, Adam McGuinness, Glena Foll, Gary Doré to name a few. He won a Goodall Cup representing NSW in 1999, then another 3 years later with the Sydney Bears in the AIHL.
He had played hockey for 30 years when he left the Bears in 2004 to become a founding board member of the Brisbane Blue Tongues Ice Hockey Association Inc, later to be renamed the Gold Coast Blue Tongues. He was foundation captain when the team was admitted to the AIHL as part of the 2005 expansion. In the years that followed, the club attracted a number of former NHL players, including forward Rob Zamuner and Tyrone Garner, with mixed success. They made the AIHL finals for the first and only time in 2009, losing the semi to the Newcastle North Stars.
He remained there for 7 seasons until 2011, retiring as a player in 2010 after 37 years of organised hockey, about one-third of which was played Down Under. The year after he left, the club's license was suspended and eventually expired. He played 85 games in the AIHL for an average of 0.6 goals a game and represented Australia in 3 Division II World Championships — 2004 in Jaca, 2005 in Zagreb, 2006 in Auckland — winning a silver and two bronze medals.
He launched PuckNopener to raise money through puckNopener.com for the Blue Tongues while donating 10 percent of profits to Parkinsons Disease charities. He still lives on the Gold Coast, plays local hockey and works as Senior Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Advisor at Alder Constructions.
Ross Carpenter, 'Burke, Don (1968 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/legends-2/bio_burke.html, accessed online .