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Surf Life Saving NSW members have been recognised for their outstanding efforts and service to Surf Life Saving in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List and in local council awards.

Congratulations to members of Surf Life Saving NSW who received recognition in this year’s Australia Day Honour list. They include:

Georgina Byron AM who has been a Nipper Age Manager at Bronte SLSC and heads up a number of charities including The Snow Foundation and Good360 Australia.

Graeme Crofts OAM who is a former patrolling member and Age Manager with Coffs Harbour SLSC and received his award for service to his community.

Merewether SLSC Life Member Laurence Graham who also received an OAM for service to Surf Life Saving and has held a multitude of roles at club and branch level.

Roger Sayers OAM from Avalon Beach SLSC who received his award for services to Surf Life Saving and is the longest serving Club Captain in the club’s history.

In addition to the Australia Day Honours, NSW surf lifesavers were recognised in local council awards, including the Randwick City Council Community Service Awards and the Ballina Shire Council Australia Day Awards, which respectivly honoured the Surf Rescue 30 Offshore Rescue Boat and the Ballina Offshore Rescue Boat Service crews.

In their 50th year of serving the Ballina community, the Ballina Offshore Rescue Boat Service thanked their supporters and said they looked forward to continuing their service well into the future.

Sydney based Surf Rescue 30 recieved the Australia Day Community Service Group Award for their ongoing outstanding service to the community.

Operating from its base at Malabar since 1969, the Service works to prevent aquatic related injury and drowning.

Nixy Krite, from Bondi SBLSC, said that Surf Rescue 30 was grateful to receive the award and the recognition that comes with it.

“We are a charitable service and passionate about the good work we do in protecting lives along the Randwick coastline,” Nixy said.

“We operate 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. Our services include lifesaving search and rescue, lifesaving services, water safety education and initiatives through training programs.

“I would like to thank Randwick Council for the Australia Day Community Service Group Award; we are humbled and excited that more people in the community will become more aware of the service we provide.”

The service is crewed by voluntary surf lifesavers predominantly from the Randwick Surf Clubs. 2019-2020 was a milestone year for the Service which marked 50 years of providing continuous volunteer service to the Randwick Community.

President of Surf Life Saving NSW, George Shales OAM, congratulated all the SLSNSW members who were recognised and honoured for their outstanding community service as part of the Australia Day Honours.

“On behalf of the Surf Life Saving NSW Board, I would like to congratulate all those who received Australia Day Honours,” George Shales said.

“We are delighted by the number of people who received awards from within the ranks of the Surf Life Saving movement.

“We are extremely fortunate to have people of such high calibre working hard to keep NSW beaches and coastal waterways safe,” he said.

Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

  • Ms Georgina Byron AM, Waverley NSW 2024.

Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division

  • Mr Laurence Geoffrey Graham OAM, New Lambton NSW 2305

  • Mr Roger Philip Sayers OAM Avalon Beach NSW 2107

  • Mr Graeme Phillip Crofts OAM, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450.

Australia Medal

Ms Georgina Byron AM, Waverley

For significant service to the community, and to social change initiatives.

Philanthropic and Community Service

  • Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, The Snow Foundation, since 2008.

  • Non-Executive Director, Good360 Australia, since 2015.

  • Chair, Family Foundations Network, Philanthropy Australia, since 2014

  • Non-Executive Director, St Catherine's School, since 2016.

  • Foundation Director, Montessori East School Foundation, 2010-2015

  • Board Director, Australian Women Donors Network, 2009-2011.

  • Ambassador Member, Uplifting Australia, since 2017

  • Nippers Age Manager, Bronte Surf Life Saving Club, since 2015.

  • Coach, Randwick Rugby Netball Association, 2011-2015.

Sydney Community Foundation

  • Non-Executive Director, since 2018.

  • Chair, Advisory Council, Sydney Women's Fund, since 2010.


  • Project Manager / Research Manager, David Jones, 2004-2008.

  • Business Line Manager and Product Manager, AMP, 1996-2003

Order of Australia Medal

Former member, Mr Graeme Phillip Crofts OAM, Coffs Harbour

For service to the community of Coffs Harbour.

  • Chair, Coffs Harbour Sports Advisory Council (COFFSAC), 2001-2015.

  • Volunteer Teacher, Aussie Helpers Volunteers for Isolated Students Education (AHVISE), since 2007.

  • Former Patrol Member 15 years, Coffs Harbour Surf Club and Former Age Manager with Nippers, 10 years.

  • Organiser, Kanga Cricket, 20 years.

  • Volunteer, Lions Club Youth of the Year and Mentor, North Coast Special Olympics Group.

Coffs Harbour Uniting Church

  • Soup Kitchen Volunteer, since 2006.

  • Chair, Soup Place Committee, since 2013.


  • School Teacher, New South Wales Department of Education, 1971-2006.

Awards and recognition include:

  • Coffs Harbour Citizen of the Year, 2017.

  • National Volunteer's Award, local electorate, 2016.

Mr Laurence Geoffrey Graham OAM, New Lambton

For service to surf lifesaving, and to the community.

Hunter Surf Life Saving, Surf Life Saving New South Wales

  • Former Chief Instructor.

  • Former Member, Board of Control, Newcastle Branch.

  • Former Zone Supervisor, Newcastle Branch.

Merewether Surf Life Saving Club - Surf Life Saving New South Wales

  • Medical Officer, since 1987.

  • Former Chief Instructor, 10 years.

  • Former Training Officer/Assessor.

  • Former Instructor.

  • Former Patrol Captain.

  • Former Patrol Member.

  • Life Member, 1997.

  • Member, since 1980.

  • 20 Year National Patrol Service Award, 2011.

  • 10 Year Assessing Service Certificate, 2005.

  • 25 Year Long Service Award, 2005.


  • Volunteer Pianist, since 1986, at a range of nursing homes including Scenic Lodge since 2015, Mayfield Aged Care, and John Hunter Hospital, 2006-2016.

  • Member, Merewether Historical Society, current.

  • Volunteer Cancer Councillor, since 1985.

  • Justice of the Peace, current.

  • Volunteer, Meals on Wheels, Adamstown Uniting Church, 1991-1999.

Mr Roger Philip Sayers OAM, Avalon Beach

For service to surf lifesaving.

Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club

  • Former and longest-serving Club Captain.

  • Former Patrol Captain.

  • Publicity Officer, current.

  • Chair, Heritage Committee, current.

  • Life Members and Service Honours Awards Committee Member, current.

  • Member, since 1985.

  • Life Member, 2007.


  • Executive Committee Member, Avalon Preservation Society.

  • Contributor, Pittwater Online News.

  • Member, Avalon Beach Historical Society.

Awards and recognition include:

  • 30 Year Long Service Award, Surf Lifesaving NSW, 2015.

  • Patrolman of the Year, Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 1991, 1992.

  • Norman Cook Award, Most Outstanding Member, Avalon Beach Surf Life Saving Club, 1994 and 1997.

  • President's Award for Outstanding Service, 1999.


Thursday 28 January 2021