National Volunteer Week: Steven Kudzius

Our third National Volunteer Week profile is Steven Kudzius from Fingal Rovers SLSC. Steven is in his first season of being the club President and believes volunteering is the key to living happily.

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

In today's fast pace lifestyle it is easy to overlook the value of giving. To give ones “time” is to give a non-replaceable commodity; however the importance of giving this “time” with no expectation of reward is in fact a personal reward that leads to living happily.

When did you join Surf Life Saving?

I joined in late 2004 and have loved being involved since.

Why do you volunteer?

I believe volunteering to a cause that has a positive outcome is worth the investment. It is rewarding spending time with people that have the same ideology and passion to make the world a better place.

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

This season I took the role as President of Fingal Rovers Surf Life Saving Club. I am also an active patrolling member, coordinator of Fingal’s emergency after-hours call team, IRB Captain, Publicity Officer, Branch delegate, Gear Steward and new Member Liaison Officer. I also work with a team on fundraising, capital works management to finish the club renovation and youth development.

We are lucky at Fingal to have a strong Indigenous community that actively support Fingal Rovers SLSC and in turn Fingal Rovers SLSC supports the Juraki Indigenous Surf Titles of which I help coordinate.

This season I have also been actively involved in two critical rescues that had two fatalities but in the same breath some great outcomes.

What's the favourite thing about been a volunteer?

I enjoy standing shoulder to shoulder with great people and building a long lasting friendship with them. I have found soon after meeting a lot of the volunteers they become one of my best friends and a person I can trust and rely on.

What would you tell someone to encourage them to become a Surf Life Saving volunteer?

Surf Life Saving is an extremely diverse and unique organisation. The ocean is something that links every continent and with that we all share something in common no matter where we are from. I have had the pleasure of volunteering my time with so many great people. Everyone has a story and everyone has something to teach you. I like that no matter what skill set you have, there is a position for you in surf lifesaving.

The training and life skills through the extensive list of courses that Surf Life Saving offers is something that helps in day to day life and also is looked upon favourably when seeking employment.

For parents with kids of all ages the surf lifesaving community is one that is safe and promotes a healthy life style. Teaching children water safety is a skill that they will carry for life.

Favourite moment as a volunteer in Surf Life Saving?

There are so many great moments; it’s difficult to quantify a favourite as each event is so diverse from the other however neither has less significance or favouritism. One of the great moments that stands out for me is Good Friday this year where I was part of a team of dedicated members that gave a soon to be father the chance to be there for the birth of his beautiful child and in the same rescue a child was able to wake up on Easter morning with her family.

Anything additional you would like to add?

I would like to thank each and every person that volunteers time in Surf Life Saving.
Each person willing to give is an important part to the great work we do. Thank you to the people on the beach, those carrying out administrative tasks, the families and loved ones standing behind those who volunteer, people and businesses making donations and all others not mentioned. All those people should proud of what we do and share in the success that we as a collective have. It's easy to recognise those who carry out the rescues but without the background support this would not be a possibility.

Photo credit: Tweed Daily News

Wed 11 May 2016