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Our profile of the month for March is Jerrad Allen from Pacific Palms SLSC. The Club Captain has been heavily involved with the Lower North Coast based club for the last six years after returning to the movement through his children. Jerrad has a strong passion for lifesaving that began back in the 1980s as a Nipper and he continues to give back through his time with a particular interest in training new members.

When did you join Surf Life Saving and what appealed to you about it?

I originally joined Surf Life Saving in the late 80s, as a junior Nipper at Forster SLSC, and this is where I learned my surf skills.

I received my SRC and Bronze Medallion while a member of Forster and started patrolling there as well. For me this was a migration on the path from Nippers to patrolling member. I had the most fun though on the bus trips where we would camp at surf clubs up and down the coast; some friendships were made.

Obtaining my Bronze Medallion helped me get into lifeguarding at the local aquatic centre, which was one of my first jobs. This is where my work career started and I later left Surf Life Saving due to work commitments when I was 18.

I came back into the movement as an Age Manager at Cape Hawke when my kids turned 7 and 5 respectively before moving to Pacific Palms SLSC six years ago.

Tell us about your time in Surf Life Saving and what roles you have undertaken.

Joining Pacific Palms was great! I joined because I moved to the village with my growing family, plus the lifestyle and the water safety skills that I had learned as a kid was something that I wanted to pass on to my own children.

In my first season at ‘Palms’ I took over the Director of Surf Sports role which I would holdfor 4 years. In this role I looked after our clubs masters competition, Battle of the Boats, and Rock 2 Rock ocean swim and the Branch carnival in the season.

I have gained my Surf Sports Officials accreditation, and won the Lower North Coast Branch Rookie Official of the Year. I then went over to the Lifesaving role where I have been for the last 2 seasons. In 2015, I became Training Officer in IRB as our club and branch has been struggling in this area. This season I have put through 2 crew members and 2 drivers so far.

What are the key lessons that you’ve learnt from your time in Surf Life Saving?

Team work and communication are what I use heavily in the surf movement especially at carnivals and when in the Call Out Team. I also run my own businesses where working as a team and communicating helps make you successful.

What do you like about being Club Captain?

Meeting new people from around Surf Life Saving. This season alone I organised other clubs to come and take over our beach for two weekends of the holiday season, and this was great. I have met some great and exciting people from the Central Coast, with others wanting to come from other areas.

I have enjoyed trying to guide our club through another era and we also celebrated our 30th season this year.

Describe Pacific Palms SLSC and its members.

We are small club in a small village with very few patrolling members, and that brings out our family tendencies.

The small group is happy and willing to lend a hand, they all step up and help run the Battle of the Boats and the Rock 2 Rock ocean swim and are proud to support a large area for emergency call outs.

What has been your highlight of the 2016/17 season?

This year, I put out an invite to any clubs wanting to patrol our beach over the holiday season, which was to allow our members a couple of weeks off instead of being at the beach every weekend. This invitation was taken up by a few from Avoca Beach, and a whole lot from Ocean Beach. The response took me back to my youth, having new faces coming and learning about a new beach, and every new wave created new friends.

What are your goals within Surf Life Saving?

I have a few simple goals mainly I want my five children to learn how to be safe in or near the water, and to appreciate the aid of helping the community and giving for nothing. I hope that by doing this they will create long lasting friendships.

I would like to see the IRB crew brought back into the Bronze award, this will help our club in a regional country area that is struggling with numbers and have a lifesaving agreement to deal with and up hold. There are not enough members stepping up and wanting to take on the extra award.

What has been your best memory so far as a surf lifesaver?

There have been a few. My wife gaining her Bronze Medallion and then going on to gain her IRB Driver, ART and spinal. My eldest daughter gaining her Bronze and my eldest son his SRC, and having them both patrol with my wife and I.

My 2nd daughter swimming the cans, my 2nd and 3rd sons being introduced to the beach a week after they were born and being on patrol with us ever since. My family spending the time together on patrol over the years, and seeing them make friendships in the surf movement.

Who is someone you admire in the Surf Life Saving movement and why?

I really cannot single anyone out, there are lots of people that run their personal business and club or branch life, some do both. I guess I admire people who give back to the community like I do, and are in this movement for the benefit of the community and Surf Life Saving. There are people like my wife who have a baby then 2 weeks later she is on patrol just as extra eyes on the beach, she gets fitter making her way back out training. That is admirable, so I guess I can single out one, my wife.

Favourite beach that isn’t yours?

My home beach where I grew up; 1 mile beach Forster. Morning/ afternoon surfs were only over the hill from home, walking on this beach clears my head and relaxes me.