Skip to main content

To know where you’re going you sometimes need to look back, and for one Central Coast club this important understanding brought to life one of the outstanding local stories of the Second World War, and in the process earned them the 2018 Initiative of the Year Award.

At last weekend’s Awards of Excellence in Sydney Terrigal SLSC were recognised for their significant effort to track down and present their original female lifesavers with their Bronze Medallions.

In the early 1940s, seventy three male club members from Terrigal set off overseas to serve their country, while those women left behind full of a burning desire to aid both the war effort and their community, decided to organise patrols and get their bronze medallions.

Thanks to their efforts no lives were lost during the War Years.

“These women for us were just pictures on the wall, and we didn’t believe when we started this project, that we would find any alive, as they were aged well into their 90s,” said Terrigal SLSC historian Cathy Cole.

Unfortunately due to prevailing social attitudes the 20 young women, despite passing the training requirements and assessment by the then SLSCC President Dr. EA. Martin,  never received their formal qualifications.

Years of research in the archives finally came to fruition last December when six remaining women and their families were belatedly, and rightfully, given their Bronze Medallion in a stunning ceremony that was 18 months in the making.

Six of these original lifesavers managed to attend the ceremony where they were joined by over 200 of the group’s descendants. 

“It was joyful research to understand who these women were and why they did what they did to push the glass ceiling, and was just an honour to see it all come together on the day. 

 “The whole club supported the initiative, and it was just fantastic to see the women be so full of pride for their achievements 75 years ago,” said Cathy Cole.

The 2018 SLSNSW Awards of Excellence are proudly supported by Port Authority of New South Wales with almost 400 of Surf Life Saving’s most outstanding lifesavers, athletes, educators, coaches, and administrators from around the state gathering at Dockside, Cockle Bay to celebrate the season that was.

Terrigal SLSC proudly accepted the award for Initiative of the Year at the NSW Awards of Excellence 

For a full list of all the winners, and to see photographs from the night, please visit the SLSNSW Awards of Excellence Event Page or our social media channels


Wednesday 29 August 2018