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On behalf of the Surf Life Saving NSW and Surf Life Saving Services Board and staff, I would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and New Year.

Christmas is a time for celebrating what’s important in our lives and to be thankful for all that we have. It’s a time to take stock of the things we have achieved personally and professionally during the year. Importantly, it’s a time for us to reflect on what it means to be a proud member of Surf Life Saving.

For volunteer surf lifesavers, Christmas is a time to think about the community in which we live and serve. It’s a time to consider what support we can provide to others and to be grateful for the support we receive from the communities in which we live. This is what the spirit of Surf Life Saving is all about.

This Christmas period is shaping up to be one of the hottest and driest we have had in many years. This brings more people to our beaches and greater responsibility for all of us on patrol – keeping people safe so they can return to their families.

Summer presents challenges not just for lifesavers on the coast. Spare a thought for those on the land and in the bush who are struggling with crippling drought conditions and terrible bushfires. I know many of our clubs are getting behind food collection drives and have staged bushfire relief charity events. I urge everyone to support those in need in any way you can.

Please stay safe, look after your fellow club members and enjoy your time on the beach.

Thank you for your contribution and commitment to Surf Life Saving in 2019. We look forward to your continuing involvement in 2020 and beyond.

All the best for a happy Christmas and new year,