National Volunteer Week: Maddy Scutts

Our final National Volunteer Week profile is SurfCom volunteer Maddy Scutts from Ocean Beach SLSC. Since joining Surf Life Saving in 2006, Maddy has continued to develop her skills and now plays an important role in our communications network based in the State Operations Centre.

Name: Maddy Scutts

Club: Ocean Beach SLSC

Occupation: Student studying Marine Biology

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?
I joined nippers in 2006 at Ocean Beach as my parents were concerned about how far out I used to swim when they took me to the beach. I quickly learnt some basic surf safety and fell in love with lifesaving and haven’t missed a carnival or season since!

Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because of the rewards that come from it; things you would never receive anywhere else. The mateship, skills, experiences and pride you gain in this volunteer organisation does not compare to any other job in the world.

What do you like about volunteering at SurfCom?
Volunteering at SurfCom brings a whole new level of understanding to how SLSNSW works behind the scenes. Learning the details of operating procedures and getting to talk to the clubbies all over NSW is truly something unique in comparison to just patrolling your own beach. Even though the State Operations Centre in Belrose is not quite on the sand or walking distance to the water; with every incident call I receive, I feel like you're right there with the lifesavers, working as one team. It certainly gets the adrenaline pumping at times - keeping a calm voice over the air is a skill I picked up quickly!

Since working at SurfCom has your perspective of Surf Life Saving changed?
My first patrol as a rookie I recall thinking that talking to SurfCom is a nerve-wracking and scary task. But since volunteering at SurfCom over the last three years, my perspective has changed to believe that radio operators are clubbies just like everyone else. The importance of getting regular lifesavers off the beach and into the office is the perspective change they experience, and the further knowledge gained about operating procedures. I believe I have learnt more about Surf Life Saving in the State Operations Centre than I have on the beach in my seasons of patrolling!

How many hours in total have you volunteered for Surf Life Saving?
313 hours, 67.75 as a SurfCom operator!

What’s the favourite thing about being a volunteer?
The friends I have made at Ocean Beach, many other clubs, SurfCom and the experiences I have had over the last nine years have been all amazing. No other volunteer organisation could have so much variety of opportunities!

What would you tell someone to encourage them to become a Surf Life Saving volunteer?
Surf Lifesavers are classic Aussie icons, so why not become a part of our rich history and volunteer! You don't have to be as fit as the Bondi boys on TV to get involved, but be warned - once you get involved in Surf Life Saving, you will be willingly volunteering on the beach for many years to come!

Favourite moment as a volunteer in Surf Life Saving?
To pick just one is a hard task! The feeling after signing off the final club in the SurfCom system on a day of no lives lost and all incidents handled, I think that moment is more satisfying than winning any state or Aussie medal.

Anything additional you would like to add…
If SurfCom sounds interesting to you, and you have a voice for radio, get involved next season! It’s quickly become my favourite way to rack up patrol hours!

WIN! WIN! WIN! Don't forget to enter our National Volunteer Week competition and go in the running to win an Engine Swim prize pack. All you have to do is nominate a lifesaver you think deserves to be recognised. Tag a fellow clubbie on our Facebook page post and you could BOTH win. You have until midnight on the 17 May 2015.

Top photo: Maddy (left) with her SurfCom volunteer clubbies.

Maddy enjoying herself with her Ocean Beach mates.

Fri 15 May 2015