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The influence of surf lifesavers in the wider community extends well beyond the beach and this has once again been acknowledged in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours Awards announced on Monday.

A number of current and former members received these prestigious honours including the late Bernard “Midget” Farrelly who was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to both surfing and Surf Life Saving.

The talented Northern Beaches surfer burst onto the global stage as the inaugural world champion in 1964 and in later years was a valued and respected member of both Palm Beach and Whale Beach Surf Life Saving Clubs.

Current President of Mollymook SLSC Rod Austin was among members who received Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to Surf Life Saving. Mr Austin has been a long term member of the South Coast club contributing at every level and is a well-respected member of the movement.

Central Coast lifesaving stalwart and Wamberal Life Member Peter James was named as an OAM for his ongoing contribution which has seen him serve in positions as diverse as club president, captain and a director for Central Coast Branch.

Grant McMah (North Bondi) was also honoured for a lifetime of contribution to Surf Life Saving which has included serving on numerous committee positions since joining the club in 1976. He also had an 11 season stint as president and received local community recognition.

From 2002-2006 Peter Pearce served as NSW President and has been a patrolling member since 1965. Over the years he has given sustained and dedicated service at every level and has been a loyal member of Burning Palms and Garie clubs.

Receiving awards for distinguished services to the community were John Anderson , Life Member of Cooks Hill SLSC; Mrs Marilyn Kinealy, who was secretary of The Lakes SLSC for several years; Frank Rigby , member and supporter of Stockton SLSC; Richard Tighe RFD RD, a former member of Queenscliff SLSC. All were honoured with Medals of the Order of Australia (OAM).

The final honour went to Dr Jamal Rifi , a Muslim leader who helped develop the ‘On the Same Wave’ program for SLSNSW following the Cronulla riots with him being named as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

SLSNSW would like to congratulate all these recipients for their much deserved recognition and acknowledge their efforts in not only surf saving but also to the wider community.

2017 Queen’s Birthday Honour Recipients

Bernard Farrelly AM

Rod Austin OAM

Peter James OAM

Grant McMah OAM

Peter Pearce OAM

Additionally there were a number of former members and supporters who were awarded honours for distinguished community service

Dr Jamal Rifi AM

John Anderson OAM

Marilyn Kinealy OAM

Frank Rigby OAM

Richard Tighe OAM


Friday 16 June 2017