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A group of committed young surf lifesavers spent time over the Australia Day period patrolling beaches outside their area as part of the state’s best networking and developing opportunity for aspiring leaders within our movement.

The eleventh annual City Country Exchange targets lifesavers aged 18-25 who are either already in or have demonstrated potential to take on future leadership positions within their clubs or branches the chance to travel to Northern NSW if they’re based in the metropolitan areas or to Sydney if they based in regional areas.

During their respective visits, program participants were given a tour of emergency service facilities, participated in patrolling activities at Byron Bay, Ballina or South Maroubra and Bondi Beach, and have had the priceless opportunity of networking with other likeminded individuals.

Surf Life Saving NSW Member Services Officer Naomi Stevenson believes that the program is playing an important part in the development of the young lifesavers.

“The lifesaver exchange program continues to be an ongoing success with all the participants enjoying the chance to get outside their community and experience life on a different beach, and all the positive feedback we have been getting indicates that it is a worthwhile program,” she said.

Over the years many of the participants have gone on to senior leadership positions within their clubs and often cite this program as one of the first instances where they saw some of the opportunities that are available within Surf Life Saving.

It was a sentiment shared by the class of 2017.

“The 2017 SLSNSW city to country exchange was a fantastic opportunity to explore new beaches and support operations with new friends that share the same passion as me for Surf Life Saving,” said Matthew Calbert from Ocean Beach SLSC.

“It was a once in a life time opportunity that allowed me to learn new skills and meet new people through extraordinary activities such as the Westpac Helicopter, the Ballina Jetboat, multiple patrols, jet ski rides, archery, kayaking and much more.”

“The city to country exchange program this year completely surpassed my expectations. I went on the trip with an amazing bunch of people where we had nonstop fun together and I have learnt so much from them,” said Emily Harrison who is a member of Bronte SLSC.

“I was continually amazed by the strong sense of community in the country surf clubs we patrolled on, which I think is the most valuable quality of Surf Life Saving that clubs should always be striving to improve on.”

Samantha Law from Broulee Surfers SLSC appreciated the chance to experience patrolling in the Sydney environment believing it’s a good chance to further her own skills on the beach.

“It was a really enjoyable weekend but also an eye opener between country and city surf clubs and the different resources and ways to respond to incidents. I loved being able to meet with other lifesavers and get the chance to integrate into a busy patrol and visit the off shore rescue boat ,” she said.

Following the conclusion of the program two participants – one from each of the exchanges will be selected to travel to New Zealand in March where they will have an opportunity to work with the Surf Life Saving New Zealand community in a series of exercises and workshops.

City To Country Participants

Jade Heber – Ocean Beach SLSC

Matthew Calbert - Ocean Beach SLSC

Ryan Chiswell – Ocean Beach SLSC

Nick Hadzipasic – Long Reef SLSC

Danielle Edwards – North Steyne SLSC

Emily Harrison – Bronte SLSC

Charlie Pavlou – Maroubra SLSC

Brittaney Banks – North Bondi SLSC

Jarrod Tranter – North Cronulla SLSC


Anthony Turner

Nixy Krite

Michael Tuck

Country To City Participants

Emily Keith – Ballina SLSC

Tahl Collinson – Brunswick Heads SLSC

Mitchell Bailey – Tacking Point

Sarah Bugbird – Mereweather SLSC

Samantha Hallett – Caves Beach SLSC

Samantha Law – Broulee Surfers SLSC


Rosie Taliano

Andrew Edmonds

Chris Twine


Thursday 2 February 2017