Awards of Excellence

Past Winners

Assessor of the Year: Jim Wills, Forster (MNC)

Jim has put a significant amount of effort into the development of documentation for the SLSNSW Advanced First Aid Course. He is an active mentor for both trainers and assessors within the Branch in several key awards (which there is a critical shortage), and has completed a large proportion of the branch assessments and proficiencies. Jim has a very detailed knowledge of all SLSNSW awards, and has no hesitation in transferring his skills as a Doctor within the wider community. His quality of assessment and the amount of assessments undertaken makes him a worthy candidate for this award.

Trainer of the Year: Kaye Norris, Windang (ILL)

Kaye has made a significant contribution to the delivery of higher awards and was a SLSNSW Representative attending the new Silver Medallion Aquatic Rescue Award. Kaye is continually up skilling her qualifications, and through this has increased the quality and number of key awards within her club and branch. Her foresight in recognising the lack of IRB Crew and Driver awards has seen a significant increase in these awards at her club and branch, and meeting the clubs Patrol Service Agreements obligations.

Facilitator of the Year: Richard Walker, North Entrance (CC)

Richard is a facilitator in a diverse number of courses and is committed to the betterment of education in general, and ensuring all trainers and assessors adhere to VET Standards. Whilst is still a patrolling member, he conducts training to members to further increase the lifesaving skills and abilities of patrol members at two surf clubs. His quality of facilitating, encouragement and support of new facilitators, and the education team in general makes him a worthy candidate for this award.

Outstanding Media Service to SLSNSW: Andrew Edmunds, (FSC)

As Director of Lifesaving and Branch Duty Officer Andrew has a crucial role to play in the organisation and has done a considerable amount of work to position Surf Life Savers as a valuable community asset, and generally create a safer environment for the beach going public to enjoy. Throughout the peak Christmas period, Andrew provided regular updates on local and national radio, continually promoting surf safety messages and updates. Andrew has helped ensure that Far South Coast members are recognised, and now have a significant platform to draw on to help source sponsors, apply for funding and demonstrate their capabilities. The Far South Coast Branch of Surf Life Saving is held in very high regard by the community, and Andrew has been instrumental in building that reputation.

Administrator of the Year: Doug Lucas, Long Reef (SNB)

Doug is a very worthy recipient of the Administrator of the Year. The judging panel noted he seemed to almost single-handedly run Long Reef SLSC fulfilling roles of President, Registrar, Chief Assessor, Vice Club Captain, and Assistant Secretary. Throughout the 2011/12 season Doug performed over 1000 hours in administration, 50 hours running courses and 150 hours examining and assessing courses. His involvement didn’t stop there, with Doug also recording an immense number of patrols, totalling 480.25 hours.

Team of the Year: U15's, Byron Bay (FNC)

The Byron Bay Under 15 age group has an extremely impressive record competing at local, state and national events, however what set them apart as a truly outstanding team was their wider commitment to Surf Life Saving. The judges noted this group had helped organise social events for their club including Dance night, trips to theme parks and ten pin bowling, all designed to build a strong team environment. Collectively the group performed an impressive 538.75 patrol hours at their club and at neighbouring clubs when required. The team and the entire Byron Bay SLSC is to be congratulated on how involved this group is not only in high level competition but also active patrolling and within member development activities.

Initiative of the Year: LNC Rapid Response Jet Ski and Pontoon - Lower North Coast Branch, Support Operations Team

The public, in conjunction with the Support Operations Team of Lower North Coast RWC were the driving force behind this initiative.The RWC Pontoon project at the Forster Marina provides a secure, weatherproof, quick response floating storage facility for the RWC and associated gear. It is cost effective, provides good exposure for the Surf lifesaving and allows one operator to provide a timely initial response to an aquatic emergency. It also provides easy access for general patrolling. The ski and all essential equipment are securely stored on the pontoon for easy operation.

Masters Athlete of the Year: Paul Lemmon, Terrigal (CC)

Season 2011-2012 saw Paul dominate every event he contested. He was undefeated in swim & ironman events. This season he took interest in pool rescue events and made a clean sweep at the 2011 Australian Surf Life Saving Pool Rescue Championships in the 40-44 age division. He is a champion athlete who epitomises all the good in surf life saving – dedicated, respectful and a tremendous role model as an athlete for our younger members. Paul also volunteers many hours towards coaching & training many of Terrigal’s highly successful athletes. This season Paul won 5 gold at the Branch Champs, 5 Gold at the National Pool Rescue Champs, 3 gold at the State Masters and 3 gold at the Aussies. There was also a swag of other medals that Paul picked up over the season

Country Athlete of the Year: Josh Brown, Byron Bay (FNC)

Josh’s love of surf sports and his commitment to training has seen him achieve outstanding results as a country competitor in both individual & team events. Josh was selected in the Far North Coast Branch Team, the NSW Surf Life Saving Interstate Team and the NSW High Performance Squad. He gained selection in a number of representative teams and his greatest achievement was winning 4 medals at the 2012 Australian Championships, 3 of those in individual events.

Young Athlete of the Year: Rachelle King, Terrigal (CC)

This past season has been a spectacular year of achievements for Rachelle. Rachelle has exceptional skills in both pool rescue and surf events, achieving outstanding results in a huge variety of surf sports disciplines. She is a young lady who is very determined and gives 100% every time she races. She demonstrates great sportsmanship before, during & after every race and is a great role model for other younger lifesavers. This season Rachelle was selected in the Central Coast Branch Team and Branch, State and Australian High Performance Squad

This season Rachelle was: Selected in 2011 Australian Surf Life Saving Team – German Cup, Won 5 medals 2011 Australian Surf Life Saving Pool Rescue Championships, 10 medals 2011 NSW Surf Life Saving Pool Rescue Championships (including 9 Gold & breaking 3 Australian records, 6 medals 2012 NSW Surf Life Saving Championships (2 Gold & 4 Silver) and 3 medals 2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships (1 Gold & 2 Bronze)

Surf Sports Coach of the Year: Glen Lawrence, Byron Bay (FNC)

Glen is a Level 3 Coach and has been the Head Coach of Byron Bay SLSC for the past 25 years. This season Glen has been instrumental in a ‘stella’ season for the club with success at Branch, State and National level. He has been active in the development of a highly competitive team from junior’s right through to master’s athletes. Glen’s coaching abilities have been recognised by Far North Coast Surf Life Saving, North Coast Academy of Sport plus SLSNSW & SLSA where he regularly contributes to coaching courses. Glen’s ability to formulate coaching programs for all ages and abilities has gained him enormous respect within the movement.

Surf Sports Official of the Year: Don Van Keimpema, Shelley Beach, CC)

Donald is a motivated and knowledgeable official in all aspects of surf sports. He always makes himself available for Club, Branch, State, National & International events. Donald is a well skilled official and facilities at courses, travelling to Victoria & Western Australia as well as New South Wales locations. He is seen as a great mentor for officials at all levels in the organisation. Some of the important roles Donny has fulfilled this year include Referee 2011 NSW Pool Rescue Championships, Emergency Services Officer 2011 Australian IRB Championships, Referee 2011 Australian Pool Rescue Championships, Referee 2011 Coolangatta Gold, Chairman East Coast Surf Sports Festival, Presenter NSW Level 2 Officials Course, Deputy Referee 2012 NSW Open Championships, Member of the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships Events Management Committee, Chairperson Officials Assessment Team 2012 Australian Championships, Member of Working Group for age events (U12,U13,U14) for Pool Rescue Championships

Surf Sports Athlete of the Year: Max Brooks, Newport (SNB)

Max is a young surf sports athlete who has enormous all round talent, as well as dedication to training and competition. He is a very humble young man and his achievements this past season in individual and team events was outstanding. He has a great passion for team events and the pride he displayed in club results was inspirational to fellow club members. The highlight of the season was definitely his Australian Championships results, 7 medals won in total. The condensed program and Max’s commitment to racing in all team & individual events resulted in him going in a staggering 15 events.

Lifeguard of the Year: Ruben Roxburgh, Ballina Shire (FNC)

As the Ballina Shire Senior Head Lifeguard and Lifeguard Supervisor Ruben has a long standing career working as a lifeguard in which he has dedicated the last 13 years and has performed over 8000 hours of lifeguard duties. Committed to recruitment Ruben was used by The Australian Lifeguard Service in their recruitment, public relations for the 2012/13 season. Ruben also was a guest speaker at the lifeguard schools conducted at Camp Drew, Lennox Head where mentoring and development is provided for new and existing lifeguards.Actively promoting surf safety Ruben has started a professional surfing website which has lifesaving attributes and has been a surf reporter for a number of years with a regional ABC radio network. Ruben has performed many successful rescues such as the well-publicised rescue at Lighthouse Beach in October 2011 where he rescued a number of board-riders and swimmers in two separate rescues at the Ballina beach. Also he has been involved in incidents off-duty including CPR at Wategos Beach during a Surfing Competition.

Junior Lifesaver of the Year: Harrison Murphy, Lennox Head-Alstonville (FNC) & Samantha Hallett, Caves Beach (HUN)

Harrison is heavily involved in all aspects of Surf Life Saving, and is in his eighth year as a member at Lennox Head-Alstonville SLSC. Harrison currently assists his club and branch in a number of ways including fundraising, water safety, assisting with jet boat pack up as well as helping out junior club members with their skills and surf life saving knowledge. Harrison’s focus for the future is to continue developing his lifesaving and competition skills, and looks to initiate a buddy program within nippers at his club to develop younger members’ skills and confidence in the water.

Samantha has been an active member at Caves Beach, being involved in many aspects of surf life saving activity. Samantha assists junior members at the club to develop their skills in the water, and while on patrol assists younger children to understand the surf conditions and how to stay safe at the beach. Samantha is looking forward to gaining more skills in the education area, with goals to become an Age Manager and Training Officer so she can continue to share her skills and passion with other members at her club and within the surf life saving community. Samantha is passionate about the movement and is an outstanding young lifesaver.

Young Lifesaver of the Year: Jeremy Kuiper, Fairy Meadow (ILL)

Jeremy stood out from a worthy field of recipients – and is the Club Captain at Fairy Meadow which is a vital role in the successful operations within the club. This season he has performed 131.5 patrol hours, has been involved in the serious rescue of a Jet Ski rider, and was involved at club and branch meetings. Jeremy also undertook community engagement programs by lecturing at the University of Wollongong Campus East, and as a result 15 new members were recruited to Fairy Meadow SLSC.The judges agreed he was a role model for young lifesavers, and worthy of the Young Lifesaver of the Year award.

Rescue of the Year: Sam Fleeting, Bronte (SYD)

There was a surfer in trouble in heavy surf.

Sam immediately volunteered to enter the surf on a rescue board and proceeded to battle through the horrendous conditions. The light by this stage was also rapidly diminishing, making it even more critical that the rescue be carried out swiftly. Club members took up positions to help survey the rescue and provide direction to Sam.

Sam managed to position himself between the patient and the rock shelf and tried to communicate advice the surfer would need to make his own way back to the beach. The patient and Sam however were hit by a large set and the patient disappeared from sight. Sam was also knocked from his board and onto the rock shelf. Sam composed himself and went back out to continue searching for the patient who by this stage was in great danger.

The patient was now heading towards Tamarama Beach and therefore clambered back onto the rock shelf and ran across the rocks to assist the patient into Tamarama Beach where he ensured that the patient was ok. Sam’s actions on this day showed incredible bravery and skill to ensure the safe rescue of the patient. Sam’s actions on this day ultimately prevented a tragedy from occurring.

Volunteer of the Year: Andrew Edmunds, Broulee Surfers (FSC)

Andrew is a lifelong member of Broulee Surfers SLSC. Last year Andrew completed 138 patrol hours at Broulee, more than 100 of which were voluntary. Andrew is also the Branch Director of Lifesaving for Far South Coast, Media Liaison, Publicity Officer, member of the Branch RWC Call Out team and is the Branch call out duty officer. Incredibly, Andrew’s role in coordinating call-out operations saw him complete close to 500 additional hours of service and be endorsed by SLSA as a contributor to 4 meritorious awards during the season. On top of his frontline role on the beach and during callouts Andrew successfully lobbied the local Eurobodalla Shire Council to install rip safety signs in a prominent location at Moruya break wall following a number of rescues and fatalities there. Andrew is a lifetime surf lifesaver and volunteer, and it’s our pleasure to award the 2012 SLSNSW Volunteer of the year to him

Lifesaver of the Year: Andy Cross, South Narrabeen (SNB)

Andrew Cross has been a member for 20 years and has completed over 1200 patrol hours in his career to date, including 353 patrol hours last season. Andrew took part in over 35 rescues during the season and is also an RWC operator for his branch. Andrew has 36 SLS awards including his Gold Medallion (Advanced Lifesaving) attained in 2008 and four Silver Medallions. Andrew has a passion for educating not only surf lifesavers but also the wider community to promote a safe beach environment. He has taken part in South Narrabeen’s annual “Bush to Beach” program, in which they host over 50 indigenous children and elders from Brewarrina in their clubhouse for 4 days and provide education on aquatic safety. Andrew is a diligent surf lifesaver who is passionate about our core business and believes in leading our youth by example. He clearly has red and yellow running through his veins.

Club of the Year: Ballina Lighthouse-Lismore, (FNC)

Ballina Lighthouse and Lismore SLSC have made very positive changes This season. They are implementing an updated constitution, changes to the board of management structure and have recently received development consent for construction of new lifesaving facilities. The club has put in place a number of strategic plans to improve lifesaving, looking at all areas of the organisation including management and administration, participation and athlete development, as well as lifesaving and operations. Their submission not only reflected on their achievements but more importantly identified areas of continuous improvement such as greater recruitment of members, extending lifesaving coverage and ensuring the club’s long term sustainability.

Branch of the Year: Far South Coast Branch

The volunteer judging panel highlighted the Far South Coast Branch’s commitment to the SLSNSW emergency response system, and their initiative of recording all locations, assets used and the time it took for the branch to respond. Through the 13SURF system, Far South Coast volunteers responded to 60 incidents over 300 kilometres of coastline with an average response time to the scene of 12.1 minutes. The branch was also recognised for their involvement in night operations, with operators trained and endorsed at every club, and for their efforts in securing rescue equipment addressing known black spots within the Eurobodalla. Judges also praised the initiatives the branch implemented in training and development, including indigenous lifesaving programs, special nipper programs and combined training exercises designed to boost IRB crew and driver numbers. Member engagement initiatives such as a youth panel and various Facebook pages for clubs, members and the branch were also commended.