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Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) acknowledges the sentencing today of former General Manager, Matthew Hanks, to 3 years and 3 months in custody for fraudulently obtaining a large sum of money from the organisation before resigning in July 2016.

As a volunteer, community-based organisation, SLSNSW welcomes the conclusion of the lengthy criminal proceedings and the findings by the Court that Mr Hanks intentionally  took advantage of his position to defraud Surf Life Saving NSW

SLSNSW has been cooperating with Police investigations since charges were laid in 2019 against the former senior manager. After pleading guilty to some of the charges, the conclusion of the proceedings today is a welcome relief for the organisation and its 75,000 volunteers.

“We are extremely glad this is finally over,” said Surf Life Saving NSW President George Shales OAM. “Our volunteers, partners and the community deserve to have their trust fully restored in our iconic movement which has been negatively impacted by the selfish actions of one former employee who abused his position within the organisation.”

Over the course of the last five and a half years, SLSNSW has kept members and stakeholders fully informed and we thank them for their support during this difficult period.

Along with pursuing civil and criminal actions, extensive internal and external management processes and systems have been implemented since 2016 to ensure the necessary governance and financial processes are in place so that such a situation cannot occur in future.

“On behalf of the Board of Surf Life Saving NSW, I want to thank all our members, clubs, staff, partners and the public for their ongoing support and we look forward to putting this disappointing chapter behind us as we continue to protect and serve the community,” he said.

Friday 18 February 2022