On the latest episode of Surf Studio, we chat to Gary Driscoll from Lifesavers with Pride on the recent Pride in Sport award that Gary won for his efforts in promoting inclusive beaches, we chat to the Tasmanian Lifesaver of the Year, Nic Canales about his recent involvement in the marine rescue efforts to save hundreds of beached pilot whales on the west coast of Tasmania and finally we chat to Rhiannon Brinckman about the recent Queensland “Beach to Bush” program that taught vital beach safety knowledge to over 8,000 rural students.
First up we chat to Chair of “Lifesavers with Pride”, Gary Driscoll from North Bondi SLSC about his “Out Role Model of the Year” award won at the 2020 Pride in Sport Awards and the Proud Beaches initiative.
“One of the things that I always say is that Surf Life Saving will only be truly diverse and inclusive when us as the members accurately reflect those people that are on the beach,” Gary said.
“We want to see the multicultural, we want to see indigenous, we want to see LGBQT, we want to see grey hair, we want to see the youngsters, we want the disabled to join us.
“We want everyone to be a part of surf lifesaving and it doesn’t matter what your forte is, like a community as a whole, everyone can contribute to that,” he added.
Tasmanian “Lifesaver of the Year”, Nic Canales from Penguin SLSC was recently involved in the marine rescue efforts off the coast of West Tasmania to save hundreds of beached whales.
“Heading down I wasn’t quite sure what our role would be and how involved we might be, because obviously it’s quite a different task… But quickly we provided an advanced capability that they found invaluable,” Nic said of getting the call up from SLS Tasmania for the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife rescue operation.
“Quite a few times especially in the first few days when the whales were still coming into the harbour, they were in really inaccessible places that only our IRB’s and our skilful drivers could get into… we were able to manage to save a lot more whales that way or prevent them from beaching themselves again.
“That was terrific to get down there and help and use our skills in a different way than the typical rescues, but it was also good to get out in the community and promote surf lifesaving and how we are adaptable and can operate in many different environments, not just on our beaches doing rescues.”
And finally, we head north to Queensland to chat to Rhiannon Brinckman from Southport SLSC, about the recent “Beach to Bush” program that travelled to rural schools throughout Queensland teaching students beach and water safety skills.
“We drove past a barrel farm and I said to the guys let’s pull over to get a photo.
“All of a sudden we see this car coming towards us and they said, ‘hey we saw you guys from our house, and we saw these bright red and yellow uniforms and we didn’t know what was going on’. And I said, ‘we’re here on ‘Beach to Bush’ and we’re here to spread the message on beach and water safety’.
“They said ‘how good, well let’s push these barrels together’, so they pushed the barrels together, we got on top and they helped us get one of the most iconic photos of the Beach to Bush trip.”
To find out more about each of these stories make sure to tune into episode twelve of Surf Studio this Wednesday night on the SLSA website and SLSA Facebook page.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email email@example.com