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 congratulates the award winners for the 2017 National Awards of Excellence.

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


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.