SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND
ISSUE 3 | AUTUMN 2014
Season in review Volunteer lifesavers pack up after a busy summer
SURF SPORTS More than 4,000 athletes hit the beach for SLSQâ€™s State Championships
Rescue of the Month Queensland lifesavers win prestigious national award BEYOND PATROL | 1
WELCOME Welcome to the Autumn edition of Beyond Patrol. This particular issue comes to you at a time of reflection and planning for Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), as the peak summer months come to a close and we begin looking ahead to the winter season. On Sunday 27th April the volunteer patrol season across most of Queensland came to a close, with lifesavers from Forrest Beach down to Rainbow Bay packing up the red and yellow flags until September. At the same time, our volunteer members in North Queensland have only just returned to the beaches for their season, and will patrol from Port Douglas to Mission Beach through to the final weekend in November. It’s certainly an exciting time for SLSQ and our members as we look to build upon the success of the summer season, and
lay a strong foundation throughout the winter months for the sustained, longterm, growth and development of our organisation. Importantly SLSQ continues to work closely with stakeholders at all levels as we seek to enhance service delivery and build upon our reputation as the state’s peak authority on coastal safety and aquatic rescue. While the 2013/14 summer season has officially finished, it is pertinent to note that our work does not stop there. In fact SLSQ is more committed than ever to extending our work on the beach, in the air and out in the community as we strive to save lives and break the drowning cycle.
As with any organisation, there will no doubt be challenges along the way, but there will also be wonderful opportunities ahead as we continue to develop key frameworks for the future all centred around achieving our overall vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters.’ Yours in lifesaving,
John Brennan OAM CEO, Surf Life Saving Queensland
I encourage you to read ahead about the summer that was, and some of the initiatives that SLSQ is embracing and working towards moving forward.
Surf Life Saving Queensland 18 Manning Street, South Brisbane, QLD, 4101 t. 07 3846 8000 | w. lifesaving.com.au Beyond Patrol staff and contributers Writers/Editors: Cameron Ward, Saira Manns Designers: Chloe Koklas, Hannah West
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SLSQ MEMORIAL DAY Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) marked the end of its volunteer patrol season on Sunday 27 April with its second annual Memorial Day to farewell those who have lost their lives in the surf this season. Since SLSQ’s annual reporting period commenced on 1 July 2013, there have been six preventable beach-related drownings across the state. Investigations have revealed that all of these deaths occurred at locations away from the red and yellow flags – a worrying statistic that SLSQ is working hard to address moving forward. SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan OAM said the Memorial Day provided a chance for surf lifesavers across the state to join together and pay their respects to those people, while reflecting on the end of the peak summer season. The annual ceremony is also an opportunity to remember those from within the surf lifesaving family who have passed away throughout the past 12 months.
Mr Brennan said that surf life saving had also lost some of its “family” members this season.
media, members of the community and various other local stakeholders to participate.
Memorial Day provided a chance for surf lifesavers across the state to join together and pay their respects … while reflecting on the end of the peak summer season.
Participating clubs included Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club (Point Danger Branch), Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Club (South Coast Branch), Coolum Beach Surf Life Saving Club (Sunshine Coast Branch), Yeppoon Surf Life Saving Club (Wide Bay Capricorn Branch) and Picnic Bay Surf Life Saving Club (North Barrier Branch).
“This is also an important opportunity to honour their great work and dedication to this cause and a chance for their fellow surf lifesavers to say goodbye.” Five surf life saving clubs from across the state held official ceremonies to mark the occasion and pay their respects, inviting life members, government representatives,
The ceremonies included short speeches to mark the occasion, followed by the laying of a red and yellow wreath at sea by club members and a minute of silence. SLSQ’s Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter performed a fly-over at the Gold and Sunshine Coast ceremonies as a mark of respect.
“Each and every year we strive for zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters but, tragically, this hasn’t occurred this season,” Mr Brennan said. “Six people have drowned on our state’s beaches this season which, as far as we’re concerned, is simply six too many. This means there are six sets of families and friends who will never see their loved ones again. “The most unfortunate part is that all of these drownings occurred outside the red and yellow flagged areas. It really reinforces the need for people to take a moment and think about their personal safety before entering the water at an unpatrolled location,” he said.
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Surfers Paradise wins inaugural Rescue of the Month award Earlier this year Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) launched the Rescue of the Month award, a national initiative designed to pay tribute to the courageous and outstanding achievements that surf lifesavers perform on our coastal waterways each and every day across the peak summer months. In a major coup for Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ), the inaugural Rescue of the Month award was presented to Surfers Paradise Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) for its efforts on Sunday 15 December 2013, when the popular beach was at its busiest.
“Rescue of the Month will raise awareness of this initiative and showcase the great work our members do across Australia’s beaches and coastal waterways,” Mr Ford said. “Surfers Paradise SLSC should be incredibly proud that they were involved in the rescue deemed the most courageous that month,” he said.
Throughout the day, the Club’s Patrol 16 performed some 44 rescues, countless ‘assists’ and hundreds of other preventative actions to protect swimmers in the challenging surf and conditions.
Each month, the seven surf lifesaving states will award their respective Rescue of the Months, with local winners automatically nominated for SLSA’s national Rescue of the Month award.
“A strong northerly sweep and inshore trough, increasing in depth with a rising tide, required exceptional beach management by Patrol 16,” said SLSA chair of lifesaving Mark Fife OAM.
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan OAM also paid tribute to Surfers Paradise SLSC for winning the inaugural award.
Amongst those who played a key role was off-duty surf lifesaver Emily Schofield, who assisted 25 individuals across four hours. The 17-year-old was presented with the inaugural award for Rescue of the Month on behalf of Surfers Paradise SLSC at a special presentation ceremony held at Parliament House in Canberra during February.
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SLSA president Graham Ford said the award was designed to recognise excellence in surf lifesaving and service delivery, measured against industry best practice and operating procedures.
“This award is a genuine reflection of the professionalism, training and dedication that each and every member of Patrol 16 displayed that day in what can only be described as challenging, difficult and unpredictable conditions,” Mr Brennan said. “For a Queensland club to be recognised as the first winner of this prestigious award is no doubt a wonderful achievement for our state, and certainly something which the club will look back on very proudly in the years to come,” Mr Brennan said.
Rescue of the Month winners: December 2013 – Surfers Paradise SLSC, QLD January 2014 – Yallingup Lifeguards, WA February 2014 – South Narrabeen SLSC, NSW March 2014 – Surfers Paradise SLSC, QLD
SLSQ playing a key role in disaster management and response For more than a century, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) and its members have patrolled our state’s coastline, protecting beachgoers and saving thousands of lives in the process. However, today, beach patrols are just one of many services that SLSQ performs out in the community. In fact, our operations and support services extend our reach far beyond the red and yellow flags. One of the biggest organisational developments in recent years has been the emergence of SLSQ as a genuine provider of 24-hour emergency response services. Much of this can be traced back to 2009 when SLSQ signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Queensland Government, which can see volunteer members tasked to assist the State Emergency Service with natural disasters and after-hour callouts. Importantly, SLSQ now has 24-hour Emergency Response Groups (ERGs) established and operating in all regions across the state. These ERGs are designed to provide an after-hours callout service to support other emergency response agencies through the provision of our skills and equipment during times of need. The benefits of these partnerships and forward planning certainly hit home in 2011 when SLSQ was tasked to provide emergency response and assistance during Brisbane’s devastating floods.
Our role as a key emergency response provider was formalised later that year when SLSQ was offered a position on the State Disaster Management Group to provide ongoing assistance, advice and resources to the state in the unfortunate event of another emergency situation.
Importantly, SLSQ now has 24hour Emergency Response Groups (ERGs) established and operating in all regions across the state. More recently SLSQ’s experience was called upon to assist with severe flooding in Bundaberg during January 2013. The extensive operation saw surf lifesavers in the water, on the ground, and in the air across the region to provide emergency assistance and response. As part of this, surf lifesavers assisted stranded residents using rescue boats and the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service, administered first aid, and handed out food and water. Once the roads were open, additional volunteer surf lifesavers from the Sunshine Coast arrived to assist with the clean up and recovery process. Our resources were also used earlier this year to assist with emergency evacuations from Stradbroke Island following largescale bushfires across the community. Today, SLSQ is a member of various Local Disaster Management Groups (LDMG)
across the state which sees us work directly with councils and the Government in times of emergencies and disasters. This includes: • Member – State Disaster Management Group, State Disaster Coordination Group, Gold Coast City Council, Redland City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, Bundaberg Regional Council, Maryborough Regional Council, Gladstone Regional Council. • Observer – Brisbane City Council, Townsville City Council, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Cairns Regional Council. Importantly, SLSQ continues to work closely and regularly with key agencies, including the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, to determine how our resources and personnel can best be used during natural disasters and emergencies. Ideally, moving forward, SLSQ would like to be a member of all coastal Local Disaster Management Groups in Queensland. While SLSQ’s core service will always centre around patrolling Queensland’s beaches, the experience and expertise built up across more than a century of operations have positioned us well to play a key role in disaster response and management moving forward.
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Lifesaving programs provide pathways for younger members Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is an organisation built on the strength of its members. In fact, last year alone there were more than 30,000 surf lifesavers across Queensland, making SLSQ one of the largest volunteer-based community service organisations in Australia. SLSQ’s wide and diverse membership includes everything from active patrolling surf lifesavers and nippers, to volunteers assisting surf life saving clubs with administration and fundraising. There is no doubt that the long-term sustainability of SLSQ will be heavily influenced by the continued growth of this membership base and, with that in mind, the recruitment and retention of surf lifesavers at all levels remains a priority area for the organisation moving forward. One of the key challenges faced by SLSQ is ensuring that younger members are provided with sufficient pathways and development opportunities to keep them engaged, motivated and – most importantly – involved in the surf lifesaving movement for many years to come. For this reason, SLSQ is committed to providing leadership pathways for our members at all levels within the movement and, every year, a number of opportunities are offered for members to build on their personal and professional capabilities. This was the goal of two key initiatives which recently wrapped up in Queensland with successful results. In January, close to 70 of the state’s top junior surf lifesavers converged on Lake Moogerah in South East Queensland for the 2014 Breaka Youth Excellence Program.
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The annual three-day program seeks to provide a fun and supportive environment for young surf lifesavers, aged 15 to 17, to develop and harness their involvement, leadership and responsibility within the movement. Participants were taught a number of key skills and it’s hoped they will take this knowledge back to their respective clubs as they continue their personal and professional development in surf lifesaving. SLSQ membership development manager Brenda Lofthouse said the program was a great opportunity to engage with younger members from all across Queensland. “Traditionally speaking, the 15 to 17 years age group can be hard to retain within the movement as competing interests and other commitments begin to take their toll,” she said.
There is no doubt that the longterm sustainability of SLSQ will be heavily influenced by the continued growth of our membership base. “It’s a fun weekend for junior members but, importantly, it’s also a great opportunity to help develop some of their key skills that will keep them involved in the movement and encourage them to pursue leadership opportunities down the track,” she said. More recently, almost 50 surf lifesavers flocked to Brisbane across three days for the 2014 Leadership Excellence Program.
Targeting surf lifesavers aged 18-25, the program aims to refine and develop the skills of participants to further advance their respective careers at a club, branch and state level. Throughout the weekend, participants directly engage with, and learn from, lifesaving mentors and leaders who, preferably, are former graduates of the program. “The long-term goal is to provide our younger members from all corners of the state with professional development opportunities and a clear pathway to follow within surf lifesaving,” Ms Lofthouse said. “Ideally we want to develop strong lifesavers and leaders within the movement but, having said that, we also want to help these young adults develop into wellrounded and responsible individuals away from the beach as well. “It’s hoped that the skills and knowledge they learn through programs like this are not only directly transferred to grassroots leadership roles at their clubs, but also their personal and professional lives outside of surf lifesaving, which can only be a good thing. “At the end of the day, our younger members represent the future of the surf lifesaving movement and we’re certainly doing everything we can to ensure it’s in good hands moving forward,” Ms Lofthouse said.
The Leadership Excellence Program is about as much fun as you can have over three days! You make lifelong friends, learn about and contribute to the great organisation you’re a part of, and learn new skills you can take back to everyday life. I’d recommend it to anybody who is passionate about Surf Life Saving and up for a good time! - Brad Doughan, Alexandra Headlands Surf Life Saving Club (19 years old)
“I would recommend the Breaka Youth Excellence Program to everyone. It was one of the best experiences of my life. It has inspired me to look into organising smaller camps for my branch/club and also to participate in other surf programs when I am old enough” - Soraya Scott, Ellis Beach Surf Life Saving Club (16 years old) Proud Community Partner:
Watch the Breaka Youth Excellence Program video here
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First aid treatments – 12,047 Preventative actions – 430,823 Rescues (lives saved) – 3,445 Patrol hours – 350,535 8 | ISSUE 3
Volunteer lifesavers pack up the flags after a hectic season on our beaches After eight months of patrols, the red and yellow army of volunteer surf lifesavers has packed up the flags for the final time this summer as the 2013/14 patrol season officially came to a close on Sunday, 27 April (excluding North Queensland clubs, which will patrol local beaches throughout winter). More than 8,000 volunteer surf lifesavers have been kept busy watching over Queensland beaches on weekends and public holidays since the season kicked off on 21 September 2013, and they will now take a well-earned break over the winter months before the 2014/15 season commences towards the end of this year. It has been another hectic, and successful, season for SLSQ with our volunteer members logging more than 350,000 hours on patrol across summer. During this time, they performed a staggering 430,000 preventative actions, more than 12,000 first aid treatments and – most importantly – saving almost 3,500 lives in the process. Reflecting on the season gone, SLSQ lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor paid tribute to beachgoers and lifesavers alike after emerging from the peak Christmas and Easter holiday periods with no drownings on the state’s beaches. Importantly, Queensland recorded zero preventable beach-related drownings in December, January, February and April – some of the busiest months on the state’s coastline. “Traditionally speaking, the Christmas and Easter school holidays have been the worst periods on Queensland beaches for fatalities. So, to come away with zero
preventable drownings across those months is a wonderful result for our state and a genuine testament to the efforts of beachgoers, volunteer lifesavers and professional lifeguards so far this year,” Ms Lawlor said. “Having said that, there have still been a total of six preventable drownings on Queensland beaches since July last year and, as far as we’re concerned, that’s six too many. “Unfortunately, investigations revealed that all of these deaths occurred at unpatrolled locations and away from the red and yellow flags, which is certainly disappointing to see and obviously something that we’ll continue to address moving forward. “Our overarching goal as an organisation is to deliver ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’ and that’s exactly what we’ll strive towards,” Ms Lawlor said. It has certainly been another milestone season for the organisation, which has continued to experience strong growth and development both on and off the beach. In the air, SLSQ built upon the capacity of its Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service, with dedicated patrols operating on both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. The Westpac Helicopter remains a crucial element of SLSQ’s operations, supporting regular beach patrols and providing a 24-hour emergence response service. On the ground, SLSQ introduced new patrols at a number of locations across the state including Tallebudgera Creek and Southport Broadwater on the Gold Coast. The overarching benefits of these extended services were felt immediately with SLSQ lifesavers and lifeguards
combining to rescue more than 50 people at the Broadwater alone over the summer months. Once again SLSQ actively rolled out extended services and roving patrols across peak holiday periods to manage the influx in crowd numbers.
It has been another hectic, and successful, season for SLSQ with our volunteer members logging more than 350,000 hours on patrol across summer. Away from the beach, SLSQ’s community education team made waves, promoting surf safety and awareness as a crucial part of breaking the drowning cycle. This season SLSQ educated more than 300,000 people about surf safety, allowing them to make informed, and potentially lifesaving, decisions before even stepping onto a beach. But, while the majority of surf lifesavers across the state are preparing for a well-earned rest, our patrolling members in North Queensland have only just commenced their season, and will continue to patrol local beaches throughout the winter months. As we move forward SLSQ is more committed than ever to extending our work on the beach, in the air, and out in the community to protect swimmers and deliver on our vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’.
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Young nipper inspires lifesaving community Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has a diverse membership base, encompassing men, women and children from all walks and facets of life. Amongst those who pull on the red and yellow cap each year are mums, dads, children, grandparents, doctors, tradespeople, company CEOs and everyone in between.
“Noah embodies everything that makes this wonderful movement of ours so great.” — John Brennan This diversity was reflected at SLSQ’s recent Queensland Surf Life Saving Championship events where surf lifesavers aged from under-11 right through to over-75 came together and lined up to compete under the overarching banners of mateship, camaraderie and mutual respect. While athletes came from all corners of the state to compete, they all had one thing in
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common – a shared passion for the surf and saving lives on our beaches.
a swim and learn new skills,” said the youngster.
In amongst the sea of young competitors who lined up at Kirra Beach for the 2014 Queensland Junior Championships was 10-year-old Noah Robinson from Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Club on the Gold Coast.
“I train six times a week at The Southport School, it’s hard work but it’s worth it,” he said.
Noah’s commitment to the sport and enjoyment of surf lifesaving is evident for all to see but, what makes his story so remarkable is the fact the 10-year-old was born without a hand. This setback has not stopped the inspirational nipper from matching it with some of the best. In fact, at the recent championships he finished 12th out of 30th in the surf swim final, before teaming up with club-mates to place 5th in the under-11 surf team event. “I’ve been a Nipper for six years – Mum signed me up and I really like it because I get to hang out with my friends, go for
SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan paid tribute to Noah and his impressive efforts. “He’s a really impressive boy and certainly an inspiration, not just to his fellow nippers and club-mates but to all surf lifesavers across the state,” he said. “Noah embodies everything that makes this wonderful movement of ours so great. “It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, or what challenges you face – if you love the beach and you want to get involved and give back to the community, then there’s a place for you in the surf lifesaving family,” he said.
Thousands of lifesavers compete at Queensland Championship events It was literally on for young and old when some of the state’s top competitors converged on North Kirra at the Gold Coast for Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Masters, Senior and Junior State Championships in March.
These championship events form just a small part of SLSQ’s annual sporting program which sees tens of thousands of athletes from all across the state line up at various carnivals every year to compete under the lifesaving banner.
The pinnacle sporting events on SLSQ’s calendar saw more than 4,000 surf lifesavers from all across Queensland put their fitness, skill and determination to the ultimate test across two weekends in their quest for state glory.
Each season SLSQ’s premier sporting events continue to grow in stature and participant numbers, demonstrating the increased popularity and expansion of competitive surf lifesaving.
The action kicked off on March 7 with the Masters competition before Queensland’s premier ironmen and women took centre stage at the Senior State Championships on March 8-9.
Sport is one of the foundations of the surf lifesaving movement; but unlike other sporting codes, the underlying purpose of our competition is to improve lifesaving skills and, ultimately, help keep our beaches safe. After three days of tough competition, Gold Coast’s Northcliffe comfortably walked away with top honours ahead of Sunshine Coast rival Mooloolaba and Currumbin. In the blue-ribbon iron events, it was Kurrawa’s Ky Hurst who claimed gold in the ironman final after a dominant swim leg, while Noosa’s Jordan Mercer capped off a strong carnival by taking out her first Queensland ironwoman title. The competition continued the following weekend when the state’s top nippers, aged 11-14, hit the surf and sand for SLSQ’s Junior State Championships across three days from March 14-16. Northcliffe again tasted success, taking out the overall title by just one point ahead of Maroochydore.
There’s no doubt that sport is one of the foundations of the surf lifesaving movement. From nippers to elite and professional ironmen and women, all of our members have the opportunity to participate in local, regional, state, national and international surf sports competitions. However, unlike other sporting codes, the underlying purpose of our competition is to improve lifesaving skills and, ultimately, help keep our beaches safe. Surf carnivals not only serve to promote a healthy lifestyle choice for our members, but also allow them to regularly practice and transfer some of the core skills of lifesaving into a competitive sporting arena. SLSQ surf sports manager Stuart Hogben said a lot of the skills performed in competitive events are the same skills that members may be required to carry out when doing their regular beach patrols. “Surf sports bring those vital skills and fitness elements into the competitive arena and helps recognise members who are not only world-class athletes, but also highly skilled surf lifesavers as well,” he said. Mr Hogben said that sporting competitions also serve as a key tool in the ongoing recruitment and retention of surf lifesavers, particularly nippers and younger members of the movement. “Our sporting competitions are a great way to keep kids motivated and involved in the movement and, most importantly, retain surf lifesavers on our beaches,” he said.
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Proud Government Partner:
SLSQ and Queensland Health team up to spread the surf safety message Throughout 2013/14 Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) professional lifeguards and volunteer surf lifesavers have combined to perform more than 3,000 rescues across the state. In a perfect world, this figure would be zero. Each year SLSQ invests a considerable amount of time, energy and resources into educating members of the public about beach safety. We do this on the back of an unrelenting belief that prevention is better than cure, and an educated swimmer is far less likely to end up like those three thousand people who needed rescuing this summer. Or, even worse, like the six people who have tragically drowned on Queensland beaches over the same period of time. With that in mind SLSQ is committed to spreading the surf safety message at all opportunities, and building on our array of community awareness programs will remain a key priority area for the organisation moving forward. Whether it’s through grassroots campaigning or facilitating on-beach educational sessions, SLSQ continues to engage with potential beachgoers at all levels in a bid to break the drowning cycle. One of SLSQ’s key educational and surf safety initiatives is the popular Beach Safe Schools Program, which has been proudly supported and funded by Queensland Health since 2011. The Beach Safe Schools Program seeks to deliver vital water and sun safety messages to primary school children through targeted classroom education sessions run by fully qualified surf lifesavers.
While the classroom sessions are intended to be fun, relaxed and engaging, they are ultimately designed to equip children with potentially lifesaving skills and provide them with the knowledge and strategies to effectively manage their own risks while in the ocean.
The Beach Safe Schools Program has seen lifesavers deliver 260 presentations to 112 primary schools across the state. Lifesavers also deliver vital sun safety messages, encouraging participants to ‘slip, slop, slap, seek and slide’ to help protect their skin against harmful UV rays, and enjoy their time on the beach for all of the right reasons. With thanks to ongoing support and funding from Queensland Health, SLSQ has been able to expand the program in recent years and provide additional trained presenters to roll out sessions in all corners of the state. Armed with beach signs and safety flags, surf lifesavers take students through a hands-on and interactive 60-minute session which includes an overview of potential dangers and strategies to stay safe at the beach. Lifesavers also provide a demonstration of basic surf rescue equipment and run through some simple first aid skills. Throughout the past 12 months, the Beach Safe Schools Program has seen lifesavers deliver 260 presentations to 112 primary schools across the state. Importantly, this has seen them directly engage with, and educate, more than
35,500 young children and potential beachgoers about the importance of surf safety. SLSQ community awareness manager Donna Walls said the organisation invested a considerable amount of time and resources into educational programs like the Beach Safe Schools Program in a bid to save lives away from the red and yellow flags. “There’s a great deal of work that SLSQ does behind the scenes to support the on-beach efforts of lifesavers, and help work towards our overall goal of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’,” Mrs Walls said. “Beach Safe Schools Program is one of our key surf safety and community awareness initiatives, directly reaching more than 30,000 school children each and every year. “The idea is to educate young children about surf safety before they’ve even set foot on the beach. “We want to give them the skills, knowledge and awareness to make educated decisions about their safety and, ultimately, reduce the chances of these kids putting themselves and possibly others at risk while in the surf. “It’s a lot of work for our team, but if our efforts can help save the lives of just one or two people in the process, it’s more than worth it. “Even simple messages like ‘always swim between the red and yellow flags’ and ‘put your hand up for help if you’re in trouble’ could potentially make a big difference down the track,” she said.
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Local clubs benefiting from financial grants As the state’s peak authority on beach and coastal safety, Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is directly responsible for saving more than 3,000 lives each year. However our work does not stop there. In addition to beach safety, SLSQ’s lifesaving efforts also encompass education and training, community awareness, 24-hour emergency response, and membership development. With services that span from the sea to the sky and the beach to the bush, it can be easy to forget that SLSQ is a not-forprofit organisation which relies heavily on the generosity of local communities and the ongoing support of government and corporate partners. Our professional staff and volunteer members require extensive training, skills and equipment – all of which comes at a cost. Simply put, our efforts would not be possible without the financial support and contributions of a vast number of organisations and individual donors. Here, we take a closer look at how the Surf Life Saving Foundation’s Grant Seeking Unit, in collaboration with SLSQ, is providing support to local clubs and helping them secure vital grant funding through corporate and government partners. These grants have recently made a big difference to the operations of three Surf Life Saving Clubs across the state. Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club Since it was founded in 1922, the volunteer members of Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) have performed an average of 22 rescues each and every year, saving thousands of lives over the course of its 92year history. To this day the Club continues to provide the local community with a vital service, watching over residents and tourists alike on the popular Nielson’s Beach. In January 2013 ex-tropical cyclone Oswald produced a tornado off Bargara which caused wide-spread destruction across
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Bundaberg, including severe structural damage to the surf club’s roof. The damage was valued at more than $30,000 – a significant expense for the relatively small club and its membership. Bundaberg SLSC applied to the RACQ Foundation for financial assistance and, recognising their standing and importance within the community, they provided the club with $32,715 to cover the expense of the repairs. Importantly, the funding will allow the club to provide updated and adequate facilities to its members which, it’s hoped, will have a number of flow-on benefits for the recruitment and retention of volunteer surf lifesavers. Mackay Surf Life Saving Club Harbour Beach is one of Mackay’s most popular swimming spots, attracting more than 20,000 visitors each year; however, it is regularly polluted with natural debris, waste from maritime traffic, and human litter including glass and cigarette butts. With that in mind, the Mackay SLSC applied to the Mackay Regional Council and SITA Community Grants for funding to purchase a beach sweeper and regularly clean the area during the peak summer months. The application was successful and both organisations provided Mackay SLSC with individual grants of $5,000, allowing the club to move forward with its ‘Keep Harbour Beach Clean’ project. The successful outcome demonstrates the value of funding bodies partnering on a project to ensure long-term, positive, outcomes for local communities. By pooling funds, SITA and the Mackay Regional Council enabled a community project to proceed that would not have otherwise been possible. Moving forward, Mackay SLSC will now provide a regular cleaning service, which will be complemented by a public awareness and educational campaign spearheaded by local lifesavers.
Nobby’s Beach Surf Life Saving Club Gold Coast club Nobby’s Beach applied to the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing for financial support to implement a targeted membership recruitment and retention campaign. The club received more than $9,000 as part of the Queensland Government’s ‘Get in the Game’ funding initiative.
With services that span from the sea to the sky and the beach to the bush, it can be easy to forget that SLSQ is a not-forprofit organisation which relies heavily on the generosity of local communities and the ongoing support of government and corporate partners. Importantly, the funding has allowed Nobby’s Beach to increase its membership engagement, training and education, and assist with transitioning its junior nippers into fully-fledged patrolling surf lifesavers. Our youth are the future of the surf lifesaving movement in Queensland, and retaining this age group is paramount to the survival of clubs like Nobby’s Beach and the continuation of vital community services. Since receiving the funding, the Club has actively educated and up-skilled its membership base, delivering a wide range of courses and awards.
surf life saving SUPPORTERS Clubs honoured at state awards Surf Life Saving Supporters Clubs from around the state were honoured at the 2014 Keno & Clubs Queensland Awards of Excellence, in front of more than 1,200 people. The Surf Club Sunshine Beach was recognised as the Best Surf Life Saving Supporters Club (Small), while Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Supporters Club was acknowledged as the Best Surf Life Saving Supporters Club (Large). Ian McDonald (Noosa Heads) won Club Director of the Year.
It is the generous involvement of our partners that enables us to continue to keep our beaches safe. Surf Life Saving Queensland would like to thank these organisations for their ongoing support.
Surf Life Saving Supporters Clubs were also recognised in a number of other categories, with The Surf Club Mooloolaba named Best Event Facilities and Services, and Northcliffe Surf Life Saving Supporters Club also named Best Gaming Venue Small Club. Surf Life Saving Supporters Clubs play a key role boosting community involvement across the state. Importantly, they provide an additional and regular revenue stream for Surf Life Saving Clubs to inject into vital beach and patrol services.
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â€œThe proceeds we generate go towards the purchase of vital lifesaving equipment and also enable the ongoing support and work our surf lifesavers do in saving lives every day.â€?
ANYONE CAN SAVE A LIFE. LEARN FIRST AID. For course bookings and enquiries, contact: 1300 766 257 email@example.com www.alaq.com.au
Surf Life Saving Queensland is pleased to present the latest edition of our quarterly publication, Beyond Patrol. Here we take a look back a...