National Volunteer Week Profile - Donald Hay

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we’ll be profiling our members to ask them about volunteering and why they give their time to wear the red and yellow uniform.

Donald Hay from Pambula SLSC has been a surf lifesaver since 1980 and believes giving your time as a volunteer, doing something you love will make you a happier person. See below what Don says about being a lifesaver and volunteering.

Volunteering Australia’s slogan for National Volunteer Week is ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’. What does this mean to you?

There is something special about being able to give the most basic of things; time. To be able to make time for the benefit of others is time not wasted and to be able to spend that time doing something you love goes a long way to making you a happier person.

Why do you volunteer?

I enjoy being able to use the skills I have learnt through surf life saving as part of a like-minded team to provide a very valuable service to the community.

What's the favourite thing about being a volunteer?

I would have to say engaging with the public to provide a safe day at the beach for them and their family.

Apart from being a surf lifesaver, what other volunteer roles do you undertake?

I have held a lot of positions on our committee including the president’s position for 17 years. Surf Life Saving and Pambula SLSC have been a major part of my life and there has been little room for any other volunteering.

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?

This is my 37th year as an active surf lifesaver. I joined in 1980 as a 15 year old and loved the surf so someone suggested surf lifesaving and from day one I never looked back.

What ways do you contribute to Surf Life Saving as a volunteer?

I have undertaken many roles within Surf Life Saving which include a committee member, official, and chairman of the new building committee for 14 years. I have also been part of our club’s callout team for 37 years providing an after-hours rescue service, I am a Duty Officer for the Far South Coast Branch and hold my IRB and RWC Facilitator awards and help out with raffles as well as writing grant submissions.

What would you tell someone to encourage them to become a surf lifesaver?

If you enjoy the beach, the ocean, being part of a great team and providing service to the community then look no further than your local Surf Life Saving Club.

Favourite moment as a volunteer in Surf Life Saving?

There are many great moments from my time as a surf lifesaver but two stand out. Patrolling with my wife Maria and son Jack, the three of us loved wearing the red and yellow at the beach we love.

The other was the opening of our new clubhouse in 2008 after 14 years of lobbying, fundraising and hard work. Building a public building on public land with public money is no doubt the hardest thing I have ever done in Surf Life Saving, but by far one of the most rewarding.

Anything additional you would like to add?

I would like to thank all the other people who volunteer in this country. You enlighten the lives of others through your actions and this makes you a special person indeed.

Wed 10 May 2017