Skip to main content

It’s a long way from Tamarama Beach to New York City – almost 16,000 kilometres in fact but one surf lifesaver recently had a leadership experience to remember in the city that never sleeps.

After a whirlwind trip across the pacific, William Chan is back on home soil having been selected as a youth representative at the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly where a historic declaration was made.

The UN Youth 2030 Strategy and UNICEF global education and training partnership “Generation Unlimited” was unveiled by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with much ceremony.

It’s an important document which reinforces the organisation’s commitment of working with young people to ensure they have access to and are engaged with education, training, or employment by 2030.

For a man who has long been a youth advocate and a passionate believer in creating equal opportunities for everyone regardless of their background it was music to William Chan’s ears.

“The opportunity to voice my experiences in community service to global leaders at the UN was surreal and an incredible honour. I’m very keen to share the youth development and leadership skills learnt back at my surf club,” said William Chan.

As someone who is a first generation Australian from Hong Kong, William whole heartedly embraced the Surf Life Saving lifestyle and is playing an important role in helping others make their mark in the movement.

“I’m passionate about the community outreach that Surf Life Saving promotes to youth, particularly in response to the crucial need for social inclusion, diversity, and education,” said William.

“It’s important to create a welcoming community for young people from abroad who have decided to call Australia home.”

As a previous recipient of the Tamarama SLSC Chief Instructor’s Award he helps newly arrived migrants, refugees, and international students understand surf safety and actively encourage them to develop their skills.

Tamarama Beach of course is one of the more challenging beaches in the Sydney Metropolitan Area, and mastering the waves here gives new Australians the confidence that they can handle the beach anywhere.

Additionally William has also played a supporting role on the panel that administers the Kirsty Boden Scholarships. These scholarships honour the memory of the late lifesaver and nurse who tragically passed away in London last year by providing financial assistance for migrants to complete their Bronze Medallion course and become patrolling surf lifesavers.

Leadership is second nature to William Chan who cut his teeth on the SLSNSW Development and Networking Program and facilitating the Junior Lifesaver of the Year Program.

He has also had international experience with the UN having served as a UNICEF Young Ambassador for Australia during the 25th anniversary on the Rights of the Child, and is building an impressive career outside the ocean.

William Chan feels at home on Tamarama Beach 


Tuesday 6 November 2018