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We all know them – members who care, give up their time and want to make a difference. The Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence celebrate the incredible people in our organisation and the impact they have on their clubs, its members and their local communities.

As we edge closer to our Awards ceremony, set to take place at Luna Park on Saturday, August 27 from 7pm, we highlight some of the inspirational people who are being recognised for their contribution to the community through Surf Life Saving.


The Education category is made up of four awards; Trainer of the Year, Assessor of the Year, Facilitator of the Year and Community Education Program of the Year.

These awards are pivotal in highlighting those who are crucial in the development, progression and, ultimately, achievement of members young and old in their journey to gain awards through their surf club.

It takes a special kind of person to be an educator, not least because of how important their role is in the context of the wider movement.

“I think you just need to be adaptable; you’re dealing with people from a wide variety of ages and backgrounds,” Trainer of the Year finalist, Stephen Foggett said.

“They’re all motivated to learn, but often require different styles. You’re dealing one minute with teenagers with short attention spans, then emergency theatre anaesthetists the next.

“People are all starting from a different base within the context of the course, and it’s your job to bring them all up to the reasonable standard.”

Stephen has been a trainer for five years, but his role in Surf Life Saving isn’t limited to the beach. Earlier this year, the Hunter Branch Director of Lifesaving was at the forefront of the region’s flood response – showing the flexibility and devotion of our membership.

“It’s not something we ever wanted to brag about, but we’ve certainly had some practice (dealing with floods),” he said, light-heartedly.

“We were very lucky to have a great group of club captains and we could coordinate very easily through that.

“I had a background in that area, it wasn’t anything too new to me.”

Joining Stephen among the decorated list of finalists is Trina Jensen from Kiama Downs SLSC, who will contest the Assessor of the Year category as the South Coast Branch winner.

Trina’s dedication to the movement is without question, having been an active patrolling member for 33 years, with a 100% patrol record at that, while she has been assessing for 29 of those years.

Like Stephen, she understands the intricacies of education don’t allow for any ‘black and white, this is how it has to be done’ methodologies, and that in her role, she always keeps one very important thing in mind.

“There are no small awards, every role has its place and no matter what it is, it’s important,” she said.

Trina Jensen KDSLSC
Trina Jensen

“I think I just have that passion to see the younger people come through. I’ve made a lot of good friends through Surf Life Saving, but it’s the educating I enjoy.

“I come from a nursing background, health education, so just to see people learning things, getting their awards, progressing, and then wanting to get more awards, that’s what I like.

“I haven’t come across an educator who isn’t enthusiastic.”

The Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence take place on Saturday 27 August from 7pm at Luna Park. Keep up to date with the night and the award winners for each category by following us on social media.

Trainer of the Year Finalists:

Phillip Harvey – Byron Bay SLSC

Glynis Treuer – Woolgoolga SLSC

Brienna Elford – South West Rocks SLSC

Stephen Foggett – Redhead SLSC

Pam Edmonds – Umina SLSC

Angela Shanahan – Warriewood SLSC

Nicole Cooney – South Maroubra SLSC

Jackie Percy – Bellambi SLSC

Cooper Avis – Gerringong SLSC

Kerryn Granger – Pambula SLSC

Assessor of the Year Finalists:

Paul Stiff – Tacking Point SLSC

Terry Mortimer – Ballina Lighthouse & Lismore SLSC

Gregory Williams – Birubi Point SLSC

Tim Pittolo – Terrigal SLSC

John Dulieu – Warriewood SLSC

Stewart Wells – Clovelly SLSC

Craig St George – Bellambi SLSC

Trina Jensen – Kiama Downs SLSC

Facilitator of the Year Finalists:

Michael Pontefract – Evans Head-Casino SLSC

Kim Rayner – Tacking Point SLSC

Ross Blowers – Blackhead SLSC

Gail Henderson – Redhead SLSC

Paul Dowdell – Shelly Beach SLSC

Ross James – Mona Vale SLSC

Glen Clarke – Clovelly SLSC

Jayson Norris – Windang SLSC

Bruce O’Sullivan – Mollymook SLSC

Community Education Program of the Year Finalists:

Cudgen Headland SLSC

Healthy Change Challenge – Merewether SLSC

Walk for Youth Mental Health – Terrigal SLSC

Education Team – North Narrabeen SLSC

Project Libertas – Coogee SLSC

All-Ability Nippers Program – Bellambi SLSC

Thursday 18 August 2022