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Surf Life Saving NSW has announced four new members elected to the Board who will work with the current directors to govern and guide the volunteer organisation forward on behalf of its 75,000 members.

The SLSNSW State Council, comprising the Presidents from the 11 NSW branches voted on behalf of their clubs and members for four board positions including President, Deputy President, Director of Lifesaving and Director of Member Services.

Outgoing board members – President David Murray, Deputy President Brian Wilcox, Director of Lifesaving Stuart Harvey and Director of Member Services Trent Thomas, were thanked for their time, dedication and expert guidance by CEO Steven Pearce and newly elected President George Shales. 

“I want to sincerely thank the outgoing board members for the commitment and expertise they brought to the organisation and welcome the new directors. I look forward to working with the entire board team and support them to lead and govern this amazing organisation,” said Steve Pearce.

The primary role of the volunteer board is to drive the organisation forward to achieve the objectives outlined in the strategic plan by working with clubs and branches, with support from the staff of Surf Life Saving NSW.

Surf Life Saving NSW Board                                

  • President: George Shales                     

  • Deputy President: John Restuccia                    

  • Director of Lifesaving: Joel Wiseman                     

  • Director of Member Services: Kerry Clancy              

  • Director of Education: Anthony Waller       

  • Director of Surf Sport: Don van Keimpema

  • Director of Finance: Paul Bolton              

New Board Member profiles

George Shales, President

George Shales was elected President of Surf Life Saving NSW on Saturday 4 May by the NSW State Council, which consists of the 11 Branch Presidents. He brings with him 38 years of experience across a wide range of roles on the beach, in support operations and within administration both internal and external to Surf Life Saving. 

George gained his Bronze Medallion in 1981 at North Bondi SLSC. Since the 1980s, he has held a number of leadership and committee positions within his club and branch. He has played an active role as a patrolling surf lifesaver, a Duty Officer, Rescue Coordinator, SurfCom Operator, Offshore Rescue Boat crew member and surf sports competitor. He has supported member education as an Assessor and has been involved in member welfare programs through the peer support network.

In 2011 George was elected to the Surf Life Saving Sydney Director of Administration role which he held for five years before being elected Sydney Branch President. His term as Branch President concludes in June 2019.

In his time as Branch President, George collaborated with the 15 Sydney clubs to reshape Sydney Branch, lifting the professionalism by engaging key stakeholders and delivering an achievable and effective strategic plan that ensured the sustainability of the Branch. Other key areas of focus were to ensure the branch remained leaders in innovation and continued to look to the future.

In his new role, George says he will leverage off the great work already undertaken. He says he will continue to reshape the organisation to meet the needs of the members, key stakeholders, community and strategic partners.

This will be achieved by working with every level of the organisation, from the lifesavers on the beach to the Support Operations teams, clubs and branches right through to Surf Life Saving Australia.

He acknowledged the focus and hard work that the Board members preceding him contributed and says he will focus on the stability of the organisation internally and externally.

George continues to be an active surf lifesaver in his capacity as a Duty Officer and Rescue Coordinator as part of the Surf Life Saving Sydney Support Operations Team.

John Restuccia, Deputy President

John Restuccia is arguably one of the most dedicated surf lifesavers in NSW. As the newly elected SLSNSW Deputy President, he brings 35 years of lifesaving, surf sports and member services experience to the organisation. John was previously the NSW Director of Lifesaving between 2005 and 2017.

After gaining his Bronze Medallion in 1984 he held almost every club management position and multiple supervisory and board positions within the Sydney Branch. An all-rounder, John has been integral in moving forward committees and programs at a club, branch, state and national level.

He says since he first joined, he’s loved patrolling and everything Surf Life Saving stands for as a movement. His passion led him to become ingrained in development programs and lifesaving operations at all levels.

In 30 years, John achieved 100% patrol attendance at Maroubra SLSC in amongst gaining numerous advanced qualifications and volunteering with the Surf Life Saving Sydney Support Operations team and as a Duty Officer. 

As well as being heavily involved with the movement at a club, branch and state level, John sat on the national Board of Lifesaving from 2004 until 2016. He was also involved in the Nutri-grain Ironman Series as an official from 2006 until 2013 and sat on the national Lifesaver of the Year selection panel.

In the position as Deputy President John says he hopes to bring a diverse understanding to the Board, from core business to competition, education, membership and surf sports. He hopes to contribute positively as the organisation continues to evolve.

Joel Wiseman, Director of Lifesaving

Joel Wiseman joins the Board as the Director of Lifesaving. Joel gained his Bronze Medallion in 2005 at Yamba SLSC on the Far North Coast. In 2014 he transferred to North Cronulla SLSC after moving south in his career as an officer in the Australian Federal Police.

Joel’s wider representative involvement with the movement began with junior development at club and branch level. At 15 he was a participant in the Youth Opportunity Makers workshop and then moved into a leadership role as a facilitator of such programs.

A natural leader, Joel was elected to the role of Director of Education with his club at just 16 years old. He held the position until 2008 when he moved into the Club Vice-Captain role until 2010.

After relocating to Sydney, Joel took up a number of volunteer positions that would further develop his lifesaving capabilities and experience on the beach and also in Support Operations within the Surf Life Saving Sydney Branch. At just 28, he has held roles within the branch including Deputy Director of Lifesaving, Lifesaving Manager and continues to be an active Support Operations Manager and Duty Officer.

Joel took his strong knowledge of lifesaving and emergency management into the area of surf sports in 2008. As the Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator (SEMC), Joel has had the responsibility of overseeing and managing the work health and safety and incident coordination component at the NSW Championships, Interbranch Championships, IRB Championships and the Australian Championships.

In 2015 he was awarded Lifesaver of the Year at North Cronulla and in turn, Surf Life Saving Sydney Branch Member of the Year for his outstanding performance on and off the beach.

In his new role as a Director of Surf Life Saving NSW, Joel hopes to reinforce the organisation’s position as the peak body for beach and coastal water safety. He is also committed to expanding the profile in the community and ensuring patrolling members are sufficiently skilled, prepared and resourced. Additionally, he says he will continue to encourage participation and collaboration between SLSNSW and other NSW emergency services.

Kerry Clancy, Director of Member Services

Kerry Clancy joined the Surf Life Saving movement in 1993 when she completed her Bronze Medallion at Sawtell SLSC on the North Coast, joining her husband Kevin.

In her first year of club membership she took on the role of Junior Activities Chairperson for the North Coast Branch. Within three years she gained her officials accreditation, became a Branch Team Manager and delegate to SLSNSW.

Kerry has dedicated hundreds of hours to the development of our youngest members. She has held numerous positions on panels for the Junior Lifesaver of the Year at both her branch and state level. A dedicated competition official, she has spent 23 continuous years officiating at NSW Country and State carnivals.

Not only pivotal to Surf Life Saving on the North Coast, Kerry has contributed to a number of other local sporting, cultural and community groups and boards.

Paving the way for female representation in the organisation, she was the first woman to be elected to both the North Coast Branch and then to the Board of Surf Life Saving NSW in her previous role as Deputy President (2011-2017). 

In 2012 Kerry was recognised for her outstanding contribution to the organisation and awarded life membership of Sawtell SLSC. She was awarded SLSNSW life membership in 2013.

Kerry’s return to the SLSNSW Board as the Director of Member Services brings a wealth of experience, including five years in the same position at branch level and 46 years as a school teacher.  She says she hopes to further develop administrative support for members during her two-year term.

SLSNSW Board Of Directors
2019 SLSNSW Board (L-R) Director Member Services Kerry Clancy, Director Finance Paul Bolton, Director Lifesaving Joel Wiseman, President George Shales, Director Education Tony Waller, Deputy President John Restuccia, Director Surf Sports Donny van Keimpema