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North Bondi SLSC Life Member, Stewart Bailey has been recognised by the Rotary Districts of NSW at their annual Rotary Emergency Service Community Awards (RESCA), taking out the Surf Life Saving NSW category.

Stewart was one in a group of four very deserving finalists, being named the overall winner ahead of South Coast Branch Deputy President, James Connoly, Far North Coast Emergency Services Coordinator, Jimmy Keough, and Port Macquarie Lifeguard Supervisor, James Turnham.

With over four decades of voluntary service to emergency services with Surf Life Saving, including being one of the first Jet Rescue Boat drivers (JRB), an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) driver and radio operator, Stewart’s commitment to his community is without question.

He boasts many years of training and assessing lifesavers including Bronze Medallion, IRB, radio and helicopter crew, and has over 35 years of dedicated service to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, with over 1780 flight hours.

He has been a loyal operator, ambassador and advocate for the service in many roles, and was previously awarded a bravery medal from the Royal Humane Society for a rescue at Clovelly.

“I was surprised I was even nominated, and even more so when I actually won,” he said.

“Your local surf club is like your extended family. There’s a lot of people there who make it worthwhile.

“I enjoy it because it’s unpredictable. One day could be an average day, and the next you could be getting calls every few minutes.”

RESCA is the only time all Emergency Services personnel, both paid and volunteer, are recognised in a combined awards program.

It is a community-nominated Award which reflects the reputation and esteem in which the finalists are held by their local communities.

Thursday 19 August 2021