SurfCom Week Profile: Lhyriel Smith

Lhyriel Smith of Garie SLSC is a 23 year old with a unique passion for surf lifesaving.

Name: Lhyriel Smith

Age: 23

Club: Garie SLSC

Occupation: Honours Nursing Student and Senior Peer Leader at UTS and Mental Health Undergraduate Nurse at Campbelltown Hospital.

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why? I joined in October 2011 when I got my Bronze Medallion. When I started I was originally competing in Long Distance Triathlons and I thought joining a surf club would improve my ocean swims. I also wanted to generally get involved in the community. Ever since that day, I continue to fall more in love with the beach and what Surf Life Saving has to offer on-and-off the beach.

Why are you a volunteer SurfCom operator? Because its another opportunity for me to learn new skills and acquire knowledge. I personally enjoy having the opportunity to take a leadership role in coordinating incidents, including information gathering, liaising with senior operators, contacting Emergency Services and documentation. You really feel as if you are part of something big making a difference, ensuring patrons on the beach are attended to promptly and safely.

How many hours in total (not just this season) have you volunteered for SurfCom? 115

What do you enjoy most about being an operator? There are so many things I enjoy about being a SurfCom operator, but what I enjoy most would be the experience, as no two days are the same. You get to patrol with amazing lifesavers, share in some good old banter and assist in saving lives remotely.

In what other ways are you involved in Surf Lifesaving? I currently hold various positions within Garie SLSC, these include; Race Secretary (2013/2014 and 2014/2015), Youth Mentor as part of the Youth Engagement Program and active patrolling member of a sensational patrol captained by Brad Taylor, who’s been involved in Lifesaving for over 40 years. In addition, I am currently a Trainee Crew on Surf Rescue 30.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why? Coming from a small club in the Royal National Park, members are much like family to me, especially in reference to Annie Bretherton. Where do I start? …Ever since we met in 2011 she has been aspiring to, and achieving remarkable feats, much like superwoman I reckon. Through Annie’s commitments to lifesaving, she has taught me that even when your cup is overflowing, you always have room for more lifesaving in your life. She is truly a character of influence, innovation, generosity and humility. Annie is currently a Patrol Captain and Youth Advisor at Garie SLSC. In addition she attended the SLSA National Leadership College and won Lifesaver of the Year for SLS Sydney Branch this year (2014). She has continued to give back to lifesaving by facilitating SLSNSW 18-25s Development Network Program held last weekend. I’m so proud, yet so fortunate to have a role model as Annie leading the way.

Anything else you’d like to add or advice you have for people thinking about coming an operator? Life is what you make it! Harness every opportunity available to you! I personally would hate to look back 5 years from now and think… “I should have given it a go, what was I waiting for?”…Be an advocate for your own individual journey within lifesaving; learn new skills, connect with likeminded people and have fun in the process. Before you decide SurfCom is not for you, give it a go! I speak on behalf of the SurfCom team when I say this; we are all looking forward to meeting you, and sharing our passion for keeping NSW beaches safe!

Fri 28 Nov 2014