Ballina-Lighthouse Clubbie Crowned State’s Top Facilitator

Ballina’s Rod Balkin had plenty to celebrate at the 2015 NSW Awards of Excellence ceremony in Sydney after he was crowned Facilitator of the Year.

Rod has previously achieved recognition in his community for his services to lifesaving and education when he was awarded the 2013 Ballina Shire Volunteer of the Year at the annual Australia Day awards, and has earned this award for his ongoing commitment to lifesaving on the Far North Coast.

In 2014/15, he has been a major contributor to increasing the number of qualified Facilitators and assessors in the Far North Coast Branch through his ongoing mentoring of members.

He continues to demonstrate commitment and consistency in transferring vital lifesaving experience and knowledge through quality education and training to members. Known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the awards he teaches, Rod is also a confident user of the latest resources.

His sense of humour and quick wit allow him to keep everyone from the youngest to the oldest member of the course actively engaged. Rod has an excellent track-record of passing on his knowledge and his course candidates demonstrate a high level of competency.

“It’s an honour to win this award as it has been a really big year on the Far North Coast in terms of increasing our facilitator intake. We’re definitely keeping busy with a lot of new courses coming up,” Mr Balkin said.

“For me personally earning life membership at my club has been a highlight this. We’re a team up there and we all strive together to achieve what’s best for everyone. I’d like to thank my wife Sharon for being so supportive. Our family are all lifesavers as we love being involved within the community.

In addition to his faciliting duties, Rod continues to be a valuable asset on the beach having completed over 60 hours of patrolling duties this season as well as being a member of the emergency on call roster. Rod earned his 20 year patrol service award at the club this season and has recorded a remarked 100% patrol attendance each year.

The 2015 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly presented by Stramit Building Products. Almost 350 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathered at Sydney’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel for a night of celebration.

For a full list of all the winners and to see photographs from the night please visit the SLSNSW Awards of Excellence Event Page or our social media channels

Photograph - Rod Balkin is all smiles after his win at the 2015 Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence.

Mon 31 Aug 2015