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Congratulations to the Surf Life Saving NSW members who have been recognised on the 2024 Australia Day Honour list.

Peter ‘Cuz’ Kirkwood from Maroubra has been awarded an AM for significant service to Surf Life Saving. An esteemed coach and mentor, Cuz has had a profound impact on surf sports and lifesaving both nationally and overseas.

Among those receiving OAMs for services to Surf Life Saving were SLSNSW board member Kerry Clancy from Sawtell, the first female Branch president in NSW and a staunch supporter of youth development, both as a teacher and a lifesaving volunteer.

Michele Bootes from Pambula SLSC, a life member of the Far South Coast Branch and a pioneer of inclusive programs, was recognised for her many years of service to the training and education space, while Cathy Cole from Terrigal SLSC, who has been a fierce advocate for recognising the contributions of women in the history of our movement, was also recognised.

SLSNSW life member, Warren Lupica from Shelly Beach SLSC – a former club president and current Patron and historian, was also recognised with an OAM after nearly six decades as a volunteer on the Central Coast.

Rita Taylor, club historian and life member of Garie SLSC, former swim star and Bronte SLSC President, Warren Riley, and Arthur McCarroll, former president of North Steyne SLSC and a Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Life Member, were all also awarded an OAM for their service.

Kate Munro, a long service member of North Steyne SLSC, received an OAM for her dedication and commitment to youth services, while the late Brian Green, who was a member of various clubs on the northern beaches, and Robert Johnson from Bermagui SLSC also received OAMs for their service to other areas.

Andrew McKellar (left) and Brian Wilcox (right).

In addition, two SLSNSW members, Brian Wilcox and Andrew McKellar, have been awarded the prestigious Emergency Service Medal.

The Emergency Service Medal acknowledges distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.

Established in 1999, all state emergency services and voluntary emergency organisations are eligible for the award. Last year was the first year SLSNSW members were eligible for the award.

Brian has been a patrolling member of Forster SLSC on the state’s Lower North Coast for three decades and an invaluable contributor to all levels of lifesaving in that time. His dedication to lifesaving and after-hours rescue efforts have already been recognised previously with both the National Medal and national Emergency Medal.

He previously served as Deputy President of Surf Life Saving NSW, as well as Acting President, he was the Lower North Coast Branch President and has held a variety of Assessor and Training roles – ones which have contributed to the development of the region’s future lifesavers.

Andrew, meanwhile, is a veteran of 20 years at Elouera SLSC and continues to serve as a key frontline emergency responder, contributing heavily to lifesaving efforts in the Bate Bay and more broadly across the state, where he has been part of SLSNSW’s flood and bushfire responses.

His technical expertise and organisational focus ensures his club, where he serves as Director of Lifesaving, as well as Sydney Branch and also SLSNSW are prepared to respond to emergencies as they arise. In his roles on the Branch and NSW Lifesaving Standing Committees, he confirms his dedication to developing exceptional lifesavers.

“On behalf of the Surf Life Saving NSW Board, I would like to congratulate all those who received Australia Day Honours,” SLSNSW President, Peter Agnew ESM said.

“We are delighted by the number of people who received awards from within the ranks of the Surf Life Saving movement.

“We are extremely fortunate to have people of such high calibre working hard to keep NSW beaches and coastal waterways safe.”

Friday 26 January 2024