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It’s been an outstanding 12 months for North Avoca’s Matt Slattery who was recognised for his achievements as he topped a strong field to be crowned the 2018 DHL Surf Life Saver of the Year at the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence in Sydney last weekend.

He certainly has compiled an impressive resume over the years, and it was enough for him to see off the challenge of the other finalists from across the country.

The current club president who achieved his 20-year National Patrol Service Award in 2017 has also been the previous recipient of an SLSA Meritorious Award for bravery.

Some of the hats he has worn this season include; patrol captain at North Avoca, active Duty Officer for the Central Coast Branch, and 72 hours manning a Jet Ski this season.

He takes his responsibility as a “guardian of the surf” seriously and is renowned for his mentorship of the younger members of his patrol.

He is the public face of his club and often engages with the community sourcing sponsorship and works strongly to promote the educational aspect of surf lifesaving.

A modest man, Matt was blown away when his name was called out at the ceremony as he was when he took out the NSW Lifesaver of the Year title in August.

“This is very humbling experience to be awarded this honour. It’s been a great year and I’ve really enjoyed doing so much work with my club, but also to be part of the Central Coast Support Operations team who do so many great things for the community.”

“I’m ecstatic and honoured to win this award.

“Surf Life Saving is a big family for me. It’s the red and yellow family. Anywhere you go you can fit in and feel part of it, there’s something for everybody,” Slattery said.

Matt was more effervescent when asked to describe what the movement means to him.

One of Matt’s greatest strengths is his ability to keep his knowledge and skills current. He is not one to rest on his laurels, and it is this attitude of self-improvement that endears him to his fellow lifesavers.

Matt Slattery was named the 2018 DHL Australian Surf Lifesaver of the Year. He's pictured here in August with his NSW spoils.

Tuesday 30 October 2018