Skip to main content

Congratulations to members of Surf Life Saving in NSW who have been honoured in the Australia Day awards.

Wanda SLSC Life Member Michael Brannock has received an OAM for Service to Surf Life Saving. Michael has held roles including President, Deputy President, Club Captain and Boat Captain during his six decades of service as a volunteer. He is a current carnival official and he was awarded Cronulla Senior of the Year in 2016 and an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

North Bondi President (2014-2019) Mark Cotter OAM has been recognised for Service to Surf Life Saving and has held many roles at the club since becoming a volunteer surf lifesaver in 1985. He is a Life Member of North Bondi, and Sydney Branch and was one of the driving forces behind establishing a pilot Bronze Medallion course for returned ADF service personnel, an initiative that won the club the SLSA Innovation of the Year Award in 2020.

Dee Why SLSC’s Adrienne Lowe has been awarded an OAM for Service to Surf Life Saving. A highly experienced and skilled educator, Adrienne has trained countless volunteers in Lifesaving and first aid awards and has held just about every role at her club, including President from 2007-2010.

Adrienne is the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch Director of Education and has volunteered at Branch level as a Surfcom operator, Duty Officer, Carnival Official and sits on a range of selection panels for member recognition awards at both Branch and State level. Adrienne has been a volunteer Beach to Bush surf awareness presenter since 2003.

For Service to Surf Life Saving, the late Laurence March has been posthumously awarded an OAM. He was a Life Member of Merewether SLSC and the Hunter Branch. He gained his Bronze Medallion in 1949 and was a founding member and crewman with the rescue helicopter service in 1976 and was a strong advocate for the introduction of power craft as rescue equipment.

Cooks Hill SLSC Life Member John Mayo OAM has been recognised for Service to Surf Life Saving. His passion for inclusion is demonstrated in his role as coordinator and founder of the Same Wave Nippers program and a coordinator and facilitator of immigrant/refugee and indigenous outreach programs in the Hunter.  John was the Hunter Branch Lifesaver of the Year in 2018.

James Small OAM has been recognised for Service to Surf Life Saving in both NSW and Qld, having been an outstanding patrol member of Mollymook SLSC, Maroubra SLSC and Greenmount/Tweed Heads. James was the South Coast Branch Lifesaver of the Year in 2003 and received a Commendation for Brave Conduct in 2012.

Others receiving awards on Australia Day 2022 include Dr Denis Gordon OAM, who was the Honorary Medical Officer at Swansea Belmont SLSC from 1965-2018 and Brian Rudder OAM, a former honorary member of Stockton SLSC.

For the first time, five outstanding Surf Life Saving NSW members have been awarded the Emergency Services Medal.

Stewart Bailey, Jimmy Keough, Garry Meredith, Richard Lissenden and Tony Rettke have been honoured.

The Emergency Services Medal recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.

Established in 1999, all state emergency services and voluntary emergency organisations are eligible for the award.

With over four decades of voluntary service to emergency services with Surf Life Saving, including being one of the first Jet Rescue Boat drivers (JRB), an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) driver and radio operator, Stewart’s commitment to his community is without question.

The North Bondi SLSC volunteer boasts many years of training and assessing lifesavers including Bronze Medallion, IRB, radio and helicopter crew, and has over 35 years of dedicated service to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, with over 1780 flight hours.

He has been a loyal operator, ambassador and advocate for the service in many roles, and was previously awarded a bravery medal from the Royal Humane Society for a rescue at Clovelly. Last year, he was recognised by the Rotary Districts of NSW at their annual Rotary Emergency Service Community Awards (RESCA).

His fellow volunteer, Jimmy, too, has been a loyal advocate for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter from the Lismore base on the state’s Far North Coast.

He has been at the forefront of emergency management operations with Surf Life Saving Far North Coast at a local, branch and state level. As the region’s Emergency Services Officer, he has long coordinated the support operations teams, as well as response and management of incidents, among other things.

Garry has also contributed heavily to Surf Life Saving on the Far North Coast, mentor, leader assessor and facilitator and is available 24/7 to undertake emergency response duties, regularly relieving as the Emergency Services Officer.

He has been a Duty Officer in the branch for over 20 years and was the recipient of the Support Operations Member of the Year Award at the Surf Life Saving NSW Awards of Excellence in August 2021.

In Maroubra, Richard has been an active patrolling volunteer for nearly four decades and is an integral member as the Chairperson of the Rescue Crew of the Sydney Branch Offshore Rescue Boat – Surf Rescue 30 (SR30) which is a specialist surf lifesaving volunteer rescue vessel.

He has been a member of the Surf Life Saving Branch emergency callout team for more than 30 years and has volunteered more than 4,000 hours as an emergency responder.

His contribution towards emergency management, training and education of new and existing members has been paramount to the success of the organisation.

Also integral to the success of the organisation, Tony – based on the Far South Coast as the Branch’s standing President – has been a consistent and powerful advocate to Surf Life Saving.

His strength in the surf, skills and knowledge are exemplary among lifesavers and he has the rare honour of receiving two high ranking nationally recognised Meritorious Awards – the SLSA Meritorious Award with Silver Medallion Insert for the 2008 Tathra Wharf Tragedy and the SLSA Meritorious Award with Bronze Medallion Insert for the 2017 rescue of a rock fisherman off Tathra’s Kianinny Bay.

Wednesday 26 January 2022