More than 250 guests were on hand to honour Surf Life Saving’s best and bravest at the 2010 Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence, held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre on Saturday night.
Surf lifesavers and dignitaries from around the nation gathered to see David McLean from Marcoola Surf Life Saving Club in Queensland take out the prestigious DHL Surf Lifesaver of the Year award. McLean, who has been with Marcoola SLSC for 34 years, has played a key role in securing aerial surveillance on the Sunshine Coast during the 2010/11 season.
Other notable award winners on the night were Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club from Victoria who won the DHL Club of the Year award, and Lleam Rees from the Sunshine Coast who was awarded the DHL Lifeguard of the Year award.
In honour of his outstanding contribution to Ulverstone Surf Life Saving Club in Tasmania, Graeme Rollins took out the DHL Volunteer of the Year award. Rollins has been a key member of Ulverstone SLSC for over 26 years, and has led the advancement of education and mentoring within the club.
Thomas Nolan, from North Cottesloe SLSC in Western Australia, was rewarded for an outstanding season, taking out the Surf Sports Athlete of Year award. Nolan took out the open beach sprint title at a state and national level in 2010, and also won gold in both the beach sprint and flags at the 2009 International Surf Rescue Challenge in South Africa.
Surf Life Saving Australia CEO, Brett Williamson OAM, paid tribute to all the award winners on the night and the important role all surf lifesavers play in keeping our beaches safe.
“The Awards of Excellence is a great opportunity to honour those surf lifesavers, administrators, athletes, coaches and surf life saving clubs who work tirelessly to keep our beaches safe throughout the year.
“All of the winners here tonight have made a significant contribution to Surf Life Saving, whether that be at a club, state or national level. I congratulate all of them for their commitment and hard work,” said Williamson.
The evening also recognised those surf lifesavers who performed significant rescues on Australia’s coastline. A total of 10 individuals were awarded Meritorious Awards, including six heroic individuals from Tathra, NSW who showed extreme bravery in their attempts to save the lives of a father and his two young sons off Tathra Wharf in 2008.
The 2010 Awards of Excellence formed part of the inaugural Surf Life Saving Administration Conference, which provided an opportunity for all surf life saving clubs around Australia to hear from industry experts on a number of issues.
The award winners on the night were:
DHL Surf Lifesaver of the Year
David McLean – Marcoola SLSC, Queensland
DHL Club of the Year
Anglesea SLSC, Victoria (Commendation – Kurrawa SLSC, Queensland)
DHL Lifeguard of the Year
Lleam Rees – Australian Lifeguard Service, Queensland
DHL Volunteer of the Year
Graeme Rollins – Ulverstone SLSC, Tasmania
Trainer of the Year
Gary Carthew – City of Bunbury SLSC, Western Australia
Assessor of the Year
Larry Platt – Lennox Head-Alstonville SLSC, New South Wales
Athlete of the Year
Thomas Nolan – North Cottesloe SLSC, Western Australia
Surf Sports Coach of the Year
Rick Duncan – Trigg Island SLSC, Western Australia
Official of the Year
Paul Kenny – Carlton Park SLSC, Tasmania
Matthew Slattery – North Avoca SLSC, NSW
Ryan Young – Batemans Bay SLSC, NSW
Anthony McCabe, Cameron Rettke, Scott Meaker, Anthony Rettke and Shane Rettke – Tathra SLSC, NSW
Robert Brown (a non-member of SLSA) – Tathra, NSW
Joanne Lucas – Albany SLSC, Western Australia
Brock Curtis-Mathew (a non-member of SLSA) – Wollongbar, NSW
Surf Life Saving NSW – Surf Life Saving Emergency Response System
SLSA Hall of Fame
Rick Wright OAM