Clubbie Profile August: Joanne Massey

Our Clubbie Profile for the Month of August is Joanne Massey from Towradgi SLSC. The Director of Education for the Illawarra Branch has been working tirelessly over the off season with her team educating the community and members about surf safety.

Name: Joanne Massey

Surf Life Saving Club: Towradgi SLSC

Volunteer Hours: Patrol approx. 50 per season – Branch Education 15+hrs per week

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?
I first joined Surf Life Saving at four years old as a nipper at Fairy Meadow SLSC, re-joined as an adult at North Wollongong and completed my Bronze Medallion.

Tell us about the Education Development Day in the Illawarra you recently held.
The Education Development Day was an initiative to engage and motivate members to join our education team. The initial focus was on education team opportunities, branch and state support, opportunities for involvement, community education and building pride!

As the Director of Education for the Illawarra Branch, how is your team shaping up for this season?
We have 11 new training officers being mentored at the beginning of the new season and we are putting a lot of focus on our pre-season meeting, making sure it adds value and strength to our team. We will have over 80 Trainers/Assessors and Facilitators for our 17 clubs this season delivering training to our members.

How have you brought surf education into Illawarra schools?
Surf Education is a growing part of our education portfolio. We have presented basic surf safety tips to a number of pre-schools over the off-season as well as being involved in community days at local primary schools. We recently visited Douglas Park Public School and had a great response from all involved – we presented as part of their ‘local heroes’ week.

If a clubbie is looking to be part of the education and training area in Surf Life Saving, how would you encourage them?
I encourage any member to get involved in our education and training. There are so many pathways and opportunities available. The awards they receive to train and assess are nationally recognised units of competency and are part of the Cert IV TAE (Training and Assessment) which is a very sought-after accreditation in the workplace. You can assist with community education and a vast array of member training opportunities.

What are your goals within Surf Life Saving?
I have a few goals that I would like to achieve…I would love to continue our mentoring program, ensuring we have a succession plan for the Illawarra in Training and Education, make some achievements within the Director of Education role and one day step back and enjoy some rest and relaxation on the beach!

Why do you volunteer as a lifesaver?
To make a difference essentially. Knowing that you can save lives, educate the public and help everyone to have an enjoyable and safe experience at the beach.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why?
My hubby Stu! He consistently achieves success through Surf Life Saving. He is wonderful in his role as Duty Officer and has received a Meritorious Award a few years back for a difficult rescue. He was the one who started me on the training and education pathway. His awards list is extensive and he still continues to develop new skills as updates and changes are made.

What is your best clubbie memory?
I would have to say being the Under 13 Flag champion, I'm still very proud of my efforts on that day. Any of the surf boat carnivals I’ve competed in – I have met a great group of girls from these carnivals whom I have formed lifelong friendships with.

Favourite beach that isn’t yours?
North Wollongong. It’s where I did my bronze, met my hubby and have a lot of great memories from there.

Anything else you would like to add…
I’m proud to wear the red and yellow, it’s such an iconic symbol that stands for so much in our Australian culture!

Photo above: Illawarra Branch Education Development Day - Nth Wollongong

Photo: Joanne and her team at Douglas Park Public School

Fri 28 Aug 2015