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New Life Members honoured at gala dinner


From left to right: Jean Burling OAM, Richard Lytham, Col White with SLSA President, Graham Ford

150 guests were on hand to honour three new Life Members of Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), at the annual Life Members Dinner.

Jean Burling OAM (Cottesloe, WA), Richard Lytham (Collaroy, NSW) and Col White (Queenscliff, NSW), joined the illustrious group of Surf Life Saving (SLS) members granted life membership.

The dinner, held at the Sofitel Broadbeach, also served as an official farewell for former president of SLSA, Ron Rankin AM.

Jean Burling OAM
Cottesloe SLSC, WA

Jean has been an outstanding contributor to life saving since the day she joined Cottesloe Ladies Surf Club in 1957. Jean’s voluntary service has been ongoing for decades. She has given a huge amount of her personal time, money, energy, knowledge and expertise to surf life saving.

Jean has been involved in community service via surf lifesaving for 52 years and has made many significant contributions to her Club, State, nationally and internationally, personally instructing and training many hundreds of people in water safety, rescues, resuscitation and first aid.

The most rewarding aspect of Jean’s involvement with SLS WA has been her contribution to youth development. During her time with Surf, Jean’s noticed the young members develop unique characteristics and life skills.

Jean is very involved as a competition official, having officiated for over 25 years. In her current role as announcers’ co-ordinator for SLSWA and SLSA, her enthusiasm and organisation has seen new officials become involved with the commentary team, particularly some younger members.

Richard Lytham
Collaroy SLSC, NSW

Richard Lytham joined Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club in 1984 gaining his Bronze Medallion in February that year, and has been a member for 27 years. He was a late starter in surf life saving not achieving the award until he was 38 years of age.

Since commencing in SLS he has remained actively and conspicuously involved. He started membership of a Club Committee in 1985 only one year after attaining his award. He was a member of the Club Executive Committee for eleven years, 3 years as President, Chairman of Ways and Means Committee for 7 years and on the Premises Committee for 9 years.

His contribution to the Collaroy Club earned him Distinguished Service Membership in the 86/87 season and Life Membership in the 07/08 season. Richie is also a Life Member of Sydney Northern Beaches Branch and Surf Life Saving New South Wales.  

He was a member of the Club Executive Committee for eleven years, 3 years as President, Chairman of Ways and Means Committee for 7 years and on the Premises Committee for 9 years.

His leadership was the catalyst for the expansion and construction of Club storage facilities and members’ premises, and to the setting up of the inaugural NSW Masters Carnival at Collaroy, now called the East Coast Masters.

Col White
Queenscliff SLSC, NSW

Col first joined the SLS movement at City of Perth SLSC in 1953, before shifting to Trigg Island in 1955. Col spent 7 years at Trigg, and then transferred to his current Club; Queenscliff, NSW.

From an early age Col was an outstanding life saver as is evidenced by his Bravery Award in 1957. Col held positions of significance at the Queenscliff Club including a 3 year term as Club President, 8 years as Deputy President and 2 years as Club Captain. Col received Distinguished Service from Queenscliff SLSC in 1986; Queenscliff Life Membership in 1989 and Sydney Northern Beaches Life Membership in 1991.

Col has influenced generations of young people in the ideals of the Community and Surf Life Saving, many of whom are still active within the Club and readily acknowledge the debt they owe to him.

Col’s involvement and service to the Branch has seen him perform many varied duties in the areas of officialdom, coaching, selecting, examining and representation. Col was a prominent member of the Branch judiciary; he had a reputation of being hard but fair in an area when tough decisions had to be made. Col was awarded Branch Examiner of the Year in 98/99 and Branch Coach of the Year in 01/02.