Congratulations to members of Surf Life Saving in NSW who have been honoured in the Australia Day awards.

Dr Rob Brander has been awarded an AM for his service to coastal science and the community. A life member of Tamarama SLSC, ‘Dr Rips’ has been studying the science of rips for many years.

Co-patron and former president of North Bondi SLSC, Dr Gary Shiels also received an AM for services to town planning and the community.

Six SLSNSW members were also awarded Order of Australia Medals. Among them, Geoff Foreshaw’s six decades of service – in which time he has held down roles as Sydney Branch and Cronulla SLSC President – was recognised. Geoff is a life member of SLSNSW and the shire club he presided over between 1981 and 1985, and has been a patron of his branch for the past three years.

For his service to surf lifesaving, Barry Ezzy was recognised, having been an active member of the movement for four decades. He, too, is a Cronulla SLSC life member and has served as President, Patron and Patrol Captain over the years. A surf boat named after him currently resides at the club.

Rhonda Scruton was also recognised for service to surf lifesaving, having only recently stepped down as CEO of Hunter Branch – a position she held since 1996. She is a life member of branch and SLSNSW. Peter Woodhouse, a life member of Soldiers Beach SLSC, was recognised for his service to veterans.

Helen Bryan of Cape Hawke SLSC was recognised for her service to the Forster and Great Lakes community. She has been heavily involved in education and community development for several decades. Gary McKay, a former member of Newport SLSC on the Northern Beaches, was awarded an OAM for service to military history and to veterans.

In addition, three SLSNSW members have been awarded an Emergency Service Medal.

Gary Daly, Henry Scruton and Brad Taylor have been recognised.

The Emergency Service Medal recognises 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.

Gary has been involved in surf lifesaving for over 43 years and in that time has had a significant impact on the services provided across three distinct Sydney clubs, Sydney Branch and SLSNSW. Gary has over 32 years of patrolling experience and has been a Patrol Captain for 24 seasons.

Now at Coogee SLSC and a trainer and assessor for 38 years, Gary has been at the forefront of delivering Bronze Medallions, Radio Operators, IRB crew and Advanced Resuscitation courses. He has also mentored many new facilitators, ensuring that the quality of delivery has been at the highest level.

Henry, meanwhile, has been the President of Hunter Branch since 1996. He is also the Support Operations Coordinator where he trains, mentors and manages 19 Duty Officers and 35 Rescue Watercraft Operators.

Since gaining his Bronze Medallion in 1991, the Nobbys SLSC member has been active within the movement, continuing to upskill and gain further qualifications including his Certificate IV in Training and Assessing, and holding down several management roles.

Garie SLSC’s Brad Taylor was one of the founding members of emergency management in Surf Life Saving Sydney. He assisted in pioneering the Duty Officer system and the 24-hour emergency call out system as the Emergency Services Co-ordinator. This service was a lead service in surf lifesaving within Australia and laid the foundations of call-out and duty officer systems to come.

Brad has a compelling volunteer officer history and has held positions including President and Club Captain, while at branch level he has been Emergency Services Coordinator and Radio Supervisor. He was an integral part of the early IRB movement and spent many early years at carnivals at all levels of the organisations undertaking water safety.

Thursday 26 January 2023