Surf Studio: Nicole Dwyer, Port Fairy SLSC
In episode four we take a trip down to Port Fairy SLSC on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria to chat to local lifesaver Nicole Dwyer about how she went from growing up on a sheep and cattle farm to running Nippers for her kids and many others in the area.
“I grew up in a little town called Bessiebelle, can’t say it’s a town it’s a community. There’s no shops or anything there and a population of maybe 50 people,” Dwyer said of growing up on sheep and cattle farm about half an hour inland from Port Fairy.
“We occasionally would come to the beach on a hot day, but that was maybe once or twice a month, so we weren’t as lucky as a lot of kids today.
“So I haven’t lived and breathed the ocean all my life, it’s only the last 25 years I suppose that I’ve become involved in Surf Life Saving.”
Not only is Nicole heavily involved in her local Surf Life Saving Club at Port Fairy as a Surf Boat Rower, Nippers Coordinator and lifesaver but she also gives her time to the local netball and football club as well as the local community bank.
“Our life is very hectic,” Nicole said of all her volunteer commitments.
“I volunteer for all the clubs and I just think that’s what you have to do when you live in a small community.
“But I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
On Australia Day in 2020, Nicole was recognised and rewarded for all her volunteer efforts within the local community as she was named Moyne Shire’s Citizen of the Year.
“That was a proud moment for myself, but you don’t do all these voluntary jobs to win these awards,” Nicole humbly said.
“When you do it gives you a chance to sit back and reflect what you have achieved for a few groups in the town.”
If winning an award for her voluntary service wasn’t enough, on the day she was accepting the award Nicole was volunteering at Port Fairy SLSC running the annual Australia Day Nippers carnival.
“So that was on Australia Day as well, which was a big day to juggle the award and then run the carnival,” Dwyer said.
“It was setting up early at seven o’clock in the patrol gear, and then running back home to quickly put on a dress and some makeup and hair, run to the awards, comeback get the patrol gear on and then back to the carnival.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org