SLSA Awards Five Surf Life Savers with Life Membership
Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is pleased to announce that five surf lifesaving members have been awarded SLSA’s highest honour of Life Membership.
SLSA Life Membership is given to members who go above and beyond in their duties and responsibilities in Surf Life Saving (SLS), and who have shown distinguished voluntary service to the movement over a sustained period of at least 20 years.
“These members have shown fantastic contribution to the Surf Life Saving movement over many years and I congratulate each member on being awarded with SLSA’s highest honour,” said SLSA President Graham Ford AM.
“I commend them on their service and dedication to the movement and their communities.”
SLSA congratulates Geraldine Miller (Bulli SLSC, NSW), Jennifer Kenny (Cudgen Headland SLSC, NSW), Norman Farmer ESM (Mordialloc LSC, Vic), Christine Hopton OAM (Avalon Beach SLSC, NSW) and Colin Laing (the Entrance SLSC, NSW) on their well-deserved appointments and for their continued dedication to the movement.
These SLSA life members will be formally recognised at a Life Members dinner at the 2020 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships and the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence.
The latest recipients takes the overall tally of SLSA Life Members to 296.
Geraldine Miller, Bulli SLSC, NSW
Geraldine has paved the way in coaching for females in SLS across the whole movement.
Geraldine has made a unique and significant contribution to women in Surf Life Saving, including being the lead contributor to the SLS Female Athlete Handbook, which was first published in September 2004.
Geraldine co-ordinated research from many different fields (medical and athletic) to develop a wholistic understanding of female athletes in SLS and provide advice on the best management strategies to optimise athlete performance and wellbeing.
Geraldine also served as the only female member on the Board of Surf Sports and is credited with introducing the ski leg to the ironwoman event.
Geraldine has dedicated and continues to give countless hours to clubs and branches, running clinics for athletes and competitors and serving as a surf sports official.
She is credited with going beyond the expectations of a surf sports coach which is proven by the success her athletes have had at major Championships and the testimony of her athletes.
Jennifer Kenny, Cudgen Headland SLSC, NSW
Jenny Kenny has continuously volunteered her service to Surf Life Saving at a national, State and club level for nearly 40 years.
Jenny was one of the first females to gain her Bronze medallion in 1980 when women were formally recognised as proficient surf lifesavers. Jenny’s commitment to the Surf Life Saving movement is evident through her recent decision to re-sit her Bronze medallion.
Jenny has been involved in all aspects of the movement, from being a patrolling member, to a member of the club executive, a trainer and assessor, and within surf sports as both a competitor and official.
Jenny is a trail blazer for the involvement of women in surf lifesaving, firstly in Tasmania and later at a national level.
Jenny has been a leader in many areas both at a state and national level by being the first female Manager of Lifesaving in Tasmania and as a member of the SLSA National Board of Lifesaving.
Jenny’s achievements and contributions to SLS Tasmania have been recognised having been awarded Assessor of the Year, as well as Official of the Year on several occasions. In recognition of her outstanding commitment to SLS in Tasmania, she was awarded Life membership of SLS Tasmania in 2006.
In 2013 Jenny joined both the Queensland Officials Board and the NSW Far North Coast Branch Officials Board, where she has undertaken numerous roles at local branch and state levels both in NSW and QLD including Area Referee, Deputy Referee and Referee.
Jenny also has an outstanding record of achievement as an official at the Australian Championships with appointments of Chief Judge and Area Referee for – U17, U19 and Open Female areas, as well as Youth Championships Referee.
Norman Farmer ESM, Mordialloc LSC, VIC
Norm Farmer has been involved in SLS for over 40 years and has contributed at a Club, State, National and International level.
Norm is credited with a significant contribution to the amalgamation of Royal Life Saving Victoria and Surf Life Saving Victoria, which resulted in the formation of Life Saving Victoria and its entry into the Emergency Services Sector of Victoria.
Norm has been at the forefront of developments in the understanding of coastal safety and his commitment at a State, National and International level to the reduction of drownings is outstanding. He has authored numerous papers on drowning prevention and coastal environmental sustainability and developed standards for swimming pools. Norm drove the national research agenda at a time when very few people were thinking at this level. Norm pursued these issues which contributed to a more highly developed understanding of the potential impacts of global warming on coastal safety and the risks associated for local Surf Lifesaving Clubs.
Norm’s International contribution in the area of drowning, is both unique, sustained and distinguished. For a period in excess of 20 years he has been a driving force behind the World Conference on Drowning Prevention as well as serving as Chair of the Rescue and Education Commission, Chair of the Business Commission and more recently as President of the Asia Pacific Region and as Vice President of International Lifesaving Federation.
Christine Hopton OAM, Avalon Beach SLSC, NSW
Christine Hopton has been an outstanding club member, serving as the Vice-President of her club for eight years as well as 10 years on the Board of Management. She has contributed to her Branch where she served as President as well as being appointed as an Independent Director on the Board of Surf Life Saving Australia, becoming only the second female director to be appointed to the Board of SLSA in its history.
Christine has contributed to the development of women in surf lifesaving through running the National Leadership College (NLC) and dedicating her time to contribute to the NLC Program through mentoring young female lifesavers.
She attended and spoke at numerous SLS leadership courses and seminars and was also on the selection committee for the prestigious SLSA Club of the Year Award.
Appointed as a Director of the Surf Life Saving Foundation, Christine’s skill sets in Communication and Marketing helped the Foundation to look at sponsors and contributors in a different way which enabled a much more structured approach to this part of Surf Life Saving. Christine was the only Female Director to be appointed to this position.
Appointed to the Chair of the Nomination Committee, Christine lead the committee that was responsible for putting forward recommendations for the new appointments of Independent Directors and senior positions for the Advisory Committees.
Colin Laing, The Entrance SLSC, NSW
Colin Laing has been a member of the Surf Life Saving movement since 1958 and has been actively involved in all levels of lifesaving throughout this time.
In 2019 Colin became one of very few people in Surf Life Saving History to achieve 60 continuous years of patrols.
Colin’s commitment to supporting and developing volunteers within surf lifesaving has been numerous and as such, The Entrance SLSC and community have benefitted with many new members joining at the back of Colin’s efforts.
He has won numerous Branch, State and National medals and has held many positions within his club ranging from President to Club Trainer and Surf Sports Coach. Col has also held many positions within the Branch, from Assessor, to Branch Coach, as well as Branch and State Surf Sports official.
Impressively, Col is a Life Member of both The Entrance Surf Life Saving Club, and a Life Member of North Entrance, as well as a Life Member of Surf Life Saving Central Coast and a Life Member of Surf Life Saving NSW. He was the foundation President of North Entrance SLSC in 1976 and is still an active member of that club today.
Surf Life Saving Central Coast (SLSCC) is extremely lucky to have Colin Laing within its ranks as he has spent countless hours coaching and training younger members to save lives on the Central Coast beaches.
Through being an assessor, Col has also ensured that the skills and knowledge of new members is in accordance with Surf Life Saving’s best practices and procedures.
His contribution to the North Entrance Club has created an enormous respect from not only the club’s members, but also from members of other clubs right across the Branch, State and Country.
In 1986 he was awarded an Outstanding Service Medal from Wyong Council for services to Surf Lifesaving.
NEW SLSA Life Members:
Geraldine Miller (Bulli SLSC, NSW)
Jennifer Kenny (Cudgen Headland, NSW)
Norman Farmer ESM (Mordialloc LSC, Vic)
Christine Hopton OAM (Avalon Beach SLSC, NSW)
Colin Laing (the Entrance SLSC, NSW)
For a full list of SLSA Life Members click here.