Each year Surf Life Saving Australia hosts a National Awards of Excellence to recognise the hard work, selflessness and enthusiasm of its volunteers.

Surf Life Saving Australia’s 2018 National Awards of Excellence will be held at the Art Gallery of NSW, Saturday 27 October 2018.

Tickets will be on sale from late August.

2017 AWARD WINNERS, HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES, LIFE MEMBERS AND MERITORIOUS AWARD WINNERS

DHL CLUB OF THE YEAR


Venus Bay SLSC, VIC

Venus Bay SLSC has been successful in providing lifesaving services in a remote environment and with a diverse membership base. To rise to these challenges the club runs a continuous improvement program which focuses on growth, whilst maintaining the ability to provide lifesaving services at a highly hazardous beach. Lifesaving operations have shown a decrease in the number of rescues by 600%, an increase of 17% in total number of hours patrolled and a record number of education based lifesaving awards.

DHL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR


Caroline Kearney, Grange SLSC, SA

Caroline is a humble member with a huge leadership potential which was recognized by SLSSA in her nomination to attend the National Leadership College in 2016. She is the Grange SLSC Coach for all members of the club across activities and events including First Aid, R&R, Champion Lifesaver and Champion Patrol. Caroline demonstrated her leadership and initiative in introducing a social program for female members over 15 in the aim to drive retention and engagement in SLS in sport and community.

DHL SURF LIFESAVER OF THE YEAR


Scott Summers, Sunshine Beach SLSC, QLD

In 2016/17 Scott was honoured with the Sunshine Coast Branch and Queensland Operations Support Member of the Year Award. As a Facilitator, Scott has led and coordinated multiple courses and established the highest number of active patrolling members and award holders in the club’s history. Scott’s tireless efforts on behalf of Sunshine Beach SLSC includes the sourcing of grants, supporters and sponsors to commission the upgrade of club equipment and resources in order to improve patrolling services for both active volunteer members andthe local community.

DHL LIFEGUARD OF THE YEAR


Max Pettigrove, Sunshine Coast Lifeguard Service, QLD

Max joined the Lifeguard Service as an 18 year old patrolling beaches in the Noosa Region. To date he has completed over 25,000 hours of service in 31 years. Max is locally renowned for the time he devotes to mentoring new staff and is a role model for his peers with his positive attitude, professionalism, presentation and beach presence setting a benchmark to aspire towards. As a mentor Max facilitates fitness training and ocean knowledge sessions for all lifeguards and is also one of the first lifeguards in QLD to complete the Remote Pilot Aerial Surveillance course.

COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAM OF THE YEAR


Combined Nipper Seahorse Program, Wide Bay Capricorn Branch, QLD

Elliott Heads, Moore Park and Bundaberg SLSC’s have been working together to deliver the inaugural Seahorse Nipper Program for children with disabilities. There were 16 children in the program, and 40 members from the three clubs who took on various roles. The feedback received post-program showed it was highly successful and it is envisaged that via word of mouth the next program will see an increase in applications. Providing the opportunity for children to experience this type of activity was overwhelmingly positive and brought a profound sense of inclusiveness to the community.

ASSESSOR OF THE YEAR


Stephanie Reindel, Bonbeach LSC, VIC

Stephanie’s friendly and engaging approach to training and assessing has been fantastic for the lifesaving community in Victoria. They have seen a substantial increase in the number of trainers and assessor, with 6 new trainers and 10 new assessors and initiatives to network and work together. Introduction of the CALD program is her most rewarding achievement to date; working with 17 children to increase their swimming skills and competence.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR


Rachel Englund, Carlton Park SLSC, TAS

Rachel is an incredibly motivated and passionate lifesaver with a strong desire to share her skills with others. A naturally gifted trainer both at a club, regional and state level, Rachel ensures that members receive the best quality training. A highlight for 2016/17 is her role as the lead Trainer and Camp Administrator for the SLST Lifesaving Development Camp.

SURF SPORTS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR


Jake Lynch, Newport SLSC, NSW

Newport SLSC’s Jake Lynch made history when he became the first Australian to win the Sprint/Flag double at a World Life Saving event. He was also a member of the Beach Sprint Relay team that secured the silver medal. Jake has also won a gold medal in the World Interclub Challenge wearing the familiar cap of Newport.

SURF SPORTS YOUTH ATHLETE OF THE YEAR


Jemma Smith, Umina SLSC, NSW

Co-Captain of the Youth Team at the World Titles, Jemma’s leadership and athleticism was rewarded with three gold medal wins. She clocked an impressive 21 medals at the Central Coast Championships, 12 at the NSW Titles, and 3 at Aussies. Jemma was also a finalist in the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series and won the Open IronWoman title at the Summer of Surf Series.

SURF SPORTS COACH OF THE YEAR


Jock Campbell, Wanda SLSC, NSW

At the World Life Saving Championships, Aussie titles and NSW Championships, Jock’s athletes won half of the gold medals on offer. Jock became the first ever beach coach to complete the Surf Life Saving Australia Performance Coaching Certificate, while in December he completed the IAAF Level 4 Athletics Coaching Course. Jock’s greatest strength is to develop his athletes not just as runners, but also as people. This is reflected by the high esteem in which he is held by those he has coached.

SURF SPORTS OFFICIAL OF THE YEAR


Carolyn Wilson, Secret Harbor SLSC, WA

Carolyn is an outstanding ambassador for SLS and officiating at all levels. She has mentored up and coming officials at over 12 carnivals and has held officiating positions at a club, state and national level. Carolyn is the back to back winner of SLSWA’s Official of the Year. She is a positive, engaging and truly inspiring representative of Surf Sports, officiating and SLS in general. Carolyn is the Area Referee at Youth and Aussie Titles.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE


Andrew Bowden, Bronte SLSC, NSW

Andrew is a highly decorated surf lifesaver with a remarkable record as an elite athlete. A member of Bronte SLSC, Andrew has won 15 Individual Open Australian Titles, 7 Open Team Australian Titles and 2 Open Tube Rescue Australian Titles as a rescue swimmer. His distinguished representative career includes winning 5 gold medals at World Titles with the Australian Lifesaving Team between 2008-2014. Andrew was the Australian Lifesaving Team Captain in 2013 that won the Be Ne (Orange) and German Cups, for the first time.

Andrew has been the Head Coach and Team Manager of the SLSNSW Team in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and a
mentor for young athletes in the Australian Youth Life Saving Team. He retired from National and International Open competition in 2016.

Andrew’s contribution to bring the SLSA and RLSSA International Team into one consolidated Australian Life Saving Team is one of major significance, including his individual efforts through holding joint membership
with Bronte SLSC and the Hills District RLSS Club.

Andrew has also been a key player in the merging of the two National Pool Championships into one Life Saving Championships from 2018, which will have long term advantages for SLS membership. His patrol achievements include the Surf Life Saving Meritorious Award with Bronze Insert in 2005 for a rescue at Bronte Beach in treacherous conditions.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE


Geoff Waters, Anglesea SLSC, VIC (1946-2017)

Geoff joined Point Leo SLSC in 1962, gaining his Bronze in 1963 and quickly following up with an Instructors qualification. He gained a reputation as coach and mentor with his first national medal in 63/64 as a competitor, a podium finish in 1969 and his first of many gold medals as a coach. He won 15 gold, 13 silver and 15 bronze medals over his career. Geoff made a significant and sustained contribution to coaching R&R at all levels for over 50 years. He focused on the development of youth at the elite competition level to sustain R&R as an ongoing part of sport, along with being a driving force of other aspects such as coaching, mentoring and officiating.

Geoff took up the role of Club Captain in 1967, with his efforts and skills enabling the club to dominate the Victorian scene for many years. In addition to club activities Geoff found himself active at the State Centre. He was Secretary for the Board of Examiners for many years gaining a reputation as a strong leader, continuing to extend his coaching skills and establishing a national reputation in this area.

Geoff was the main driving force in Point Leo gaining the rights to host the National Titles in 1985 and was integral to establishing the Helicopter Rescue Service in 1978.He was active in the National R&R panel which he chaired for seven years, and was a wealth of knowledge in R&R. Geoff also coordinated coaching clinics, sharing his expertise across the movement in Victoria and around Australia.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA LIFE MEMBER


Terence Boardman OAM, Queenscliff SLSC, NSW

Terence gained his Bronze Medallion in 1977 at Queenscliff SLSC, progressing onto his Gold Medallion in 1986. He currently holds an outstanding
129 Lifesaving awards and has held many positions on the Queenscliff SLSC Committee since joining the club. He has patrolled over 2,000 hours since 1977 and has held positions such as Patrol Captain, IRB Captain, Vice Club Captain, Chief Instructor, Trainer, Assessor and Facilitator. Terry’s lifelong commitment to Lifesaving is evident in the number of awards he holds and is still proficient in.

Terence has had a significant impact on Surf Life Saving. As Honorary Secretary he lobbied over several years for women to be admitted as active members within the movement. That lobbying brought pressure to bear and women were finally admitted to membership in July 1980.

Terry’s has been officiating for SLSA Surf Sport events for over 31 years, since the World Lifesaving Championships in 1986 and continues to give his time and passion to the successful delivery of SLSA events.

He has been awarded SLSA Life Membership in recognition of his long-term commitments and achievements.

SURF LIFE SAVING AUSTRALIA LIFE MEMBER


Kevin Larkins, Torquay SLSC, VIC

Kevin has made an outstanding and conspicuous contribution to the SLS organisation, in particular through the development of youth and leadership. He joined Surf Life Saving in 1988 as a nipper parent at Mullaloo SLSC in Western Australia where his skills and abilities were quickly recognised. He was appointed Director of Junior Activities in 1991, Vice President in 1992 and then President in 1997 which he held until he moved back to Melbourne in 2001.

Kevin was a major influence in the restructuring and development of Mullaloo SLSC. During his period as Vice President and President, he oversaw the rewriting of the Constitution to allow full member involvement. Kevin was awarded the National Volunteer of the Year at the SLSA Awards of Excellence and WA Volunteer of the Year in 2000.

Kevin’s passion for leadership and people development led him to be part of the team running the SLSA National Leadership College and Masterclass programs. Kevin was elected Chair of the Education and Development Committee following the restructure of the SLSA Operational Boards, a position he held until 2016. His contribution is unique yet it is outstanding and has impacted so many members of the organisation in a positive and supportive manner.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Sorrento SLSC, WA

It was just on 7am on the 6th of November, on the first abalone patrol of the season when Sorrento SLSC members identified that a man was drifting face down in the water. A SLS Jet Ski was first responder on scene, he was quickly joined by an IRB team who managed to get the fisherman onboard despite huge swells. CPR was commenced immediately, continuing unceasingly until the patient was on shore and in the care of an ambulance. Sadly, the man passed away in hospital three days later.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Mullaloo SLSC, WA

A busy beach and hazardous conditions faced patrol members on Mullaloo Beach on the 25th of December 2016. Members were alerted to a man retrieved from the surf with suspected spinal injuries. Upon arrival the team assessed
the man whilst the ambulance arrived. Their treatment was specifically focused on neutral spinal alignment and peripheral checks. The call was made to administer ‘green stick’ medication. The team’s swift action and knowledge aided the man’s short and long-term prognosis.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


North Wollongong SLSC, NSW

The 2nd of January 2017 was a long cold day on the beach in North Wollongong. Just on flags down Patrol #4 were alerted to a rescue at the north end of the beach. There appeared to be several people in trouble, so the IRB was launched into the water, first reaching a young male, who was frothing at the mouth and unconscious. They brought him back to shore where a doctor performed CPR and was able to resuscitate him. The IRB returned to retrieve
a second male. Meanwhile two other team patrol members of the team had retrieved two more male swimmers from the surf. Four lives were saved by the selfless actions of Patrol #4 on this day.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Secret Harbour SLSC, WA

Secret Harbour SLSC’s team were conducting a routine abalone patrol on the 6th of November 2016 in challenging conditions, with strong winds and large amounts of seaweed. There was a large volume of fishermen concentrated on the reef, when the team identified and attended to two fisherman who had been washed into the surging swell. The team acted bravely in rescuing both fishermen, returning them to safety.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Matt Goddard, Broulee Surfers SLSC, NSW

On the 26th of March 2017, Matt Goddard, a 14-year-old SRC member from Broulee Surfers SLSC was training on a race board when he noticed a man struggling to keep his head above water. He immediately went to the man’s aid. Matthew remained calm and successfully carried out the rescue in challenging conditions, on a board not designed for this purpose. His maturity beyond his years allowed him to provide reassurance and keep the man calm throughout.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Sue Dean, Public Member, Middle Rock, NSW

Sue Dean was walking along the beach on the 5th of January when she noticed a man and his daughter caught in a rip at Middle Rock. She reacted quickly, grabbed a body board from a bystander and went to their assistance. In the difficult conditions Sue lost the board but was not deterred. She continued on to reach them in the water and assisted the father in holding onto the daughter until lifeguards arrived.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Phil Traves and Tony Worton, Camden Haven SLSC, NSW

On 15th of April 2017, the Camden Haven team were alerted to a female swimmer in trouble 200 metres offshore. Tony and Phil launched the IRB immediately whilst the remaining team travelled by car with the lifesaving equipment. High swells more than 3 metres made it
difficult to spot the swimmer. With the help of the team onshore they were able to locate her, but not before battling a huge wave. The crew successfully pulled the woman aboard and safely returned her to shore and waiting
of 18.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Jennifer Webb, Killcare SLSC, NSW

On Easter Monday, the 17th of April 2017, Jennifer was on her third day of patrol and keeping an eye on the beach when she noticed a man enter the ocean and get swept 80m out in a flash rip. The brave 17-year-old grabbed a rescue tube and used the rip to her advantage, reaching the man who was in severe distress and pulling him to the surface. She remained calm, securing the rescue tube and used an incoming set to bring him back to shore.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Steve and Sam Carroll, Floreat SLSC, WA

On the 15th of April 2017, father and son Steve and Sam Carroll, put their own lives at risk to perform the rescue of a woman off Gnaraloo Bay. The woman had drifted in a dingy 700 metres offshore. Panicked she had abandoned the dingy and was exhausted and in distress far from shore. Steve and Sam responded and together they were able to reach the woman and provide reassurance, before towing her back to the safety of shore.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Rachel Eddy, Kurrawa SLSC, QLD

On the 4th of March 2017, Rachel had already finished her volunteer shift at Kurrawa Beach and was beginning her evening shift upstairs when two people ran into the club shouting for assistance to family members in trouble in the surf. Rachel didn’t hesitate, racing to assist she
retrieved a rescue board from a member of the public and made two separate trips fully clothed to retrieve the swimmers who were 80 metres offshore and stuck in a rip current. Rachel’s quick thinking and willingness to act, prevented two fatalities, returning the two grateful family members to shore safely.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Robert Lemon, Noosa Heads SLSC, QLD

Robert ‘RJ’ Lemon was on the rocks when he noticed his friend Sam in distress while spearfishing 80 metres offshore at Noosa Heads on 26th of June 2017. He responded
immediately, swimming over to assist. His friend was surrounded by large amounts of blood, and on arrival he discovered a stingray barb had penetrated the knee and Sam was fighting to stay above the surface with the ray fighting to swim away. RJ helped him back to the rocks, with gear and the stingray attached, then thinking quickly he secured a knife to sever the barb and prevent further damage before paramedics arrived.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Teisha Towner, Queensland Regional Lifeguard Service, QLD

On the 1st of October 2016, Teisha was packing up after her Lifeguard shift when she noticed four people being swept out to sea in a strong rip. She responded quickly, rushing out on a rescue board just in time to find the two kids pushing the two adults under water in a panic. Remaining calm Teisha managed to get both kids onto the board, while the adults held on to the sides. Teisha’s calm thinking lead her to move all four to the rocks as she felt it would be difficult to get the swimmers all safely back to shore.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Jack NcNeil, Gold Coast Dusk Patrol, QLD

On the 24th of December 2016, the Gold Coast Dusk Patrol was alerted to a man in distress. He had been swept 100 metres out to sea in a strong rip current. Jack grabbed his rescue board and swiftly paddled out to retrieve the swimmer. The man had taken in a lot of water and was fatigued, making it a challenge to get him on the board and return him safely to shore.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Kaye Norris and Doug Hockey, Windang SLSC, NSW

Kaye and Doug were performing a routine inspection of the break wall at the Southern end of Windang beach on the 26th of December 2016, when they noticed six people in trouble. Doug entered the water with a rescue board, carefully navigating the break wall. Kaye quickly assessed the situation and radioed for further assistance before joining the efforts with a rescue tube. Doug and Kaye held the patients securely until the IRB arrived, and remained with them in the water while the IRB made three return trips to take the six swimmers safely to shore.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Bronte SLSC, NSW

Challenging conditions faced the patrol members of Bronte SLSC on the 25th of December 2016. A number of flash rips had developed quickly in
otherwise calm conditions and swimmers were being frequently dragged from the flagged area into the rips. Over the course of a 5-hour patrol, Bronte SLSC patrol members performed 66 rescues. It was agreed the swift and professional response of the patrol members prevented fatalities.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Lauren Pryor and Cale Callaghan, Australian Lifeguard Service, NSW

Rough conditions and short wave periods challenged Cale and Lauren on the 26th of December 2016. Three body boarders had been swept out of the flagged area needing assistance back to shore. Cale quickly went to their aid and returned them safely to shore. The patrol was then immediately alerted
to an elderly man in trouble, and Lauren entered the water with a rescue tube, finding the man unconscious she was assisted by Cale in getting him back
to shore. The pair immediately commenced CPR, and continued in attempts to resuscitate the man for 45 minutes, before the rescue helicopter arrived and he was air-lifted to the local hospital.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Bronte SLSC, NSW (2003)

All was well as swimmers lined up for the annual Bondi to Bronte swim on the 7th of December 2003. Conditions quickly deteriorated with a 6-8 foot swell developing on an outgoing tide, catching the participants at the rear of the field. Patrol members rescued 253 patients with 40 requiring first aid. This mass rescue was a true act of heroism.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Nicholas Lowe and Lochleigh Thompson, Helensburgh Stanwell Park, NSW

On Sunday the 6th of November 2016, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park Patrol noticed a paraglider stranded on the rocks in a large swell. Nicholas Lowe immediately launched the IRB, before determining it unsafe to perform the rescue from the sea. They returned to shore and Nicholas was joined by Lochleigh Thomson, as they climbed around the rocks to assist the paraglider. There were several ropes tangled around the patient, so in between the crashing waves, Nicholas cut the ropes to slowly release him. Once free, they safely climbed across the rocks back to the beach.

MERITORIOUS AWARD


Jayke Menefy, Mermaid Beach SLSC, QLD

12-year-old Nipper, Jayke Menefy was on holiday with his family at Teewah Beach on the 16th of April 2017, when they noticed a group distressed at the waters edge, and identified a man was caught in a rip current off the shore. Jayke grabbed his surfboard and paddled out to the swimmer, assisting him onto the board and managed to paddle parallel to the current, but couldn’t reach the shore. He was joined by two men on boogie boards, until a bystander
on the beach helped pull Jayke and the man to safety with string attached to a plastic container. Jayke acted with maturity beyond his years in the brave rescue of this patient.