Page 1

SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND

ISSUE 4 | WINTER 2014

Helicopter Service Our ‘eye in the sky’ continues to save lives across Queensland

Summer Surf Girl A year of milestones for SLSQ’s iconic fundraising program


WELCOME Welcome to the Winter edition of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) quarterly publication, Beyond Patrol. Despite the cooler temperatures, it continues to be a busy period of time for SLSQ as we work towards delivering strategic programs designed to educate and protect beachgoers across the state. Upon reflection, there have certainly been many achievements and milestones for SLSQ across the past few months. Importantly, these have all been focused on one key objective: saving lives. This mission continues to drive our organisation and the wider surf lifesaving movement in Queensland, and remains the cornerstone of all decisions made both on and off the beach. While the summer months are well and truly behind us, our efforts have not diminished. In North Queensland,

volunteer surf lifesavers from Port Douglas to Mission Beach continue to patrol each weekend, while members of SLSQ’s Australian Lifeguard Service are also out in force, watching over beachgoers at more than 70 locations across the state. On a personal note, it was pleasing to see two long-term lifesavers formally recognised in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. Congratulations to Colin Neil OAM and Sue Neil OAM who were both awarded Order of Australia Medals for their service to surf lifesaving. Colin and Sue have been involved in the movement for more than two decades, and this award is a genuine reflection of their dedication to saving lives throughout this time.

‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters.’ This is an ambitious vision, but it’s not one we shy away from. Whether it’s on the beach, in the air, or out in the community, we will continue to investigate all avenues in a bid to save lives and protect Queenslanders. Yours in lifesaving,

John Brennan OAM CEO, Surf Life Saving Queensland

I encourage you to read ahead about some of the key initiatives that are currently being rolled out across the state as we continue working towards our overall vision of

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

2 | ISSUE 4


Queenslanders urged to dig deep in support of surf lifesavers SLSQ is encouraging the Queensland community to dig deep and support volunteer surf lifesavers in this year’s Surf Safe Appeal. Now in its 11th year, the annual fundraising drive will run across two weeks from September 1-14, with the ‘red and yellow army’ of volunteer surf lifesavers out doorknocking and street collecting during this period to raise vital funds for their respective clubs. SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan has called on the beach-going public to support the Appeal, with all funds raised going directly back to surf life saving clubs across the state. “We realise that times are tough for many Queenslanders, but any donation – no matter how big or small – can really go a long way towards saving lives on our beaches, especially ahead of the peak summer holiday period,” Mr Brennan said. “As a charity organisation, SLSQ relies heavily on the generosity of the community, government and corporate supporters

to ensure that we can continue to deliver the highest level of beach safety and education,” he said. It costs an estimated $25 million to run surf lifesaving services across Queensland each year, and community support and donations are vital to delivering these ongoing services. “To effectively set up a beach patrol, a surf life saving club must be provided with more than $60,000 worth of equipment, including inflatable rescue boats, surf rescue boards, rescue tubes and defibrillators,” he said. “Along with the cost associated in establishing a beach patrol, it costs $10,000 a year to maintain an active patrol and in excess of $2,000 to train a young lifesaver. “By donating, the community is effectively ensuring our volunteers have the right tools and training to do their job, which is to save lives,” Mr Brennan said. Last season, surf lifesavers performed more than 300,000 volunteer hours on patrol,

undertaking 494,710 preventative actions and saving some 3,536 lives in the process. “Since 1930, volunteer surf lifesavers have saved a staggering 127,763 lives on our beaches – that’s an overwhelming number of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives who would have otherwise drowned if not for the training and actions of our members,” Mr Brennan said. “Last season alone, more than 3,000 people were rescued by surf lifesavers; however, despite their best efforts, there were still seven beach-related drownings recorded across the state. “Simply put, this is seven too many and I implore Queenslanders to dig deep to help SLSQ continue working towards our overall goal of zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters.” Mr Brennan said that all funds raised would be reinvested back into lifesaving services in Queensland.

BEYOND PATROL | 3


SLSQ’S TRAINING COURSES PLACE LIFESAVERS IN THE COMMUNITY Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) is on a mission to transform every Queenslander into a lifesaver. Not necessarily someone who straps on the red and yellow cap to perform beach patrols, but rather someone with the knowledge and skills to respond accordingly and assist in times of injuries or accidents. Accidents can happen at any time and any place, and having the appropriate skills to respond accordingly in those first crucial minutes can literally be the difference between life and death. The Australian Lifesaving Academy Queensland is the commercial training arm of SLSQ, educating more than 5,000 people each year. A fully accredited Registered Training Organisation, the Academy offers a diverse range of first aid, CPR, emergency care and aquatic rescue training courses for corporate clients and individual members of the community.

“The first few minutes after a serious injury or accident are crucial, and having the basic first aid knowledge to respond accordingly ensures the victim can receive vital medical attention when they need it the most,” he said. On average, Mr Clark said approximately 55,000 Australians suffer a heart attack each and every year, while hundreds of thousands suffer an injury of some degree in workplace accidents. “It’s no exaggeration to say that knowing first aid and CPR can literally save lives in the right situation,” he said.

The Australian Lifesaving Academy Queensland is the commercial training arm of SLSQ, educating more than 5,000 people each year.

Like every facet of our organisation, the Academy exists with one goal in mind: to save lives.

Recently the Academy has partnered with a number of organisations to deliver vital training:

Its overarching purpose is to bring more than a century of lifesaving experience from the beach to the home, school or workplace; because we don’t believe the vital skills needed to save a life should be restricted to the sand or the surf.

• S t Laurence’s College in South Brisbane runs an annual cadet program for students interested in a career within the emergency services. This year, the

Academy delivered a first aid and CPR training course to approximately 30 students, who were also provided with an introduction to the surf lifesaving movement. • T he Academy recently delivered a first aid training course to staff at the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Queensland Branch). The Academy is now their preferred supplier of emergency care training and will conduct first aid and CPR courses with members and students from the Guild across Queensland. • A  irservices Australia is a governmentowned organisation which manages air traffic operations for more than 90 million passengers on more than four million flights every year. Its airport firefighters require training in emergency water rescue in the event that an airline disaster occurs in an aquatic environment. In July, the Academy designed and rolled out a pilot course with 16 of their training staff, which included rescue techniques and small powercraft operations. In turn, these trainers will now take this training module and deliver it to staff across Australia.

Training courses are delivered by experienced surf lifesavers and, importantly, all proceeds raised through the Academy are directly invested back into funding SLSQ’s beach patrols and community awareness initiatives across the state. Academy operations manager Ken Clark has urged people of all ages to undertake first aid and CPR training, saying it only takes a few hours to learn lifelong, and potentially lifesaving, skills. “Accidents can happen anywhere and, when they do, time is of the essence. It could be a heart attack, an accident at work, or maybe you’ll witness a car crash, but the odds are that eventually you’ll be in a situation where somebody really needs your help and assistance,” Mr Clark said.

4 | ISSUE 4

To find out more about the Australian Lifesaving Academy Queensland, please contact: Ken Clark, Operations Manager, on 1300 766 257 or bookings@alaq.com.au


Little Lifesavers make a splash across the state beach through a wide variety of games, sports and other educational initiatives. Initially launched at Brisbane’s South Bank in 1993, SLSQ has since expanded the program with regular sessions now held at several locations across Queensland, including Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, Townsville, Bundaberg, Mackay, Tallebudgera Creek and Raby Bay. Every year for the past two decades, children across Queensland have taken to the water to learn vital beach safety skills as part of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) acclaimed Little Lifesavers program. The long-running educational program provides a great introduction to surf lifesaving for children aged five to 11, teaching them how to stay safe at the

While not connected to a specific surf club, Little Lifesavers provides an introduction to beach safety and surf lifesaving skills. Throughout the program children are introduced to some of the basic principles of surf safety such as general rescue techniques and first aid and, if nothing else, these are vital skills they can take with them for the rest of their lives.

SLSQ community awareness manager Donna Walls said Little Lifesavers was a fun and educational program with a strong focus on developing surf safety skills for the holidays. “Little Lifesavers is a great step for young children to start learning about water safety in a casual environment, and can even put them on the path to one day becoming a fully fledged surf lifesaver,” she said. This year SLSQ has welcomed Star Outdoor as an official community partner of Little Lifesavers. Through this vital support SLSQ will continue to deliver this key educational initiative across the state in the 2014/15 season.

Proud Program Supporter

SLSQ unveils second qps helicopter SLSQ and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) have taken another step towards protecting communities across the state, joining forces to launch a second police helicopter for South East Queensland.

“This extended relationship with the Queensland Government and the QPS continues to broaden our core service by providing for safer communities and, ultimately, saving lives across the state.” – John Brennan. SLSQ representatives were joined by Queensland Police Minister, The Honourable Jack Dempsey MP, and Police Commissioner Ian Stewart at Archerfield

Airport in July to unveil the new helicopter, named PolAir 2, which was purchased by SLSQ for the sole use of the QPS. The unveiling comes after SLSQ was successful in its bid to supply expanded helicopter services to the QPS. SLSQ has successfully operated the QPS’ helicopter on the Gold Coast (PolAir 1) since September 2012 and will now expand this service, with PolAir 2 set to be used for aerial policing duties in Brisbane. The helicopter will be based at Archerfield airport, service a population of more than 1.8 million people and help police catch offenders, stop dangerous drivers and conduct proactive operations.

“For almost four decades now, SLSQ – through its Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS) – has provided a crucial service to the South East Queensland community,” Mr Brennan said. “This extended relationship with the Queensland Government and the QPS continues to broaden our core service by providing for safer communities and, ultimately, saving lives across the state. “SLSQ has successfully worked with QPS to provide helicopter services on the Gold Coast since 2012, and we remain committed to delivering a world-class aerial patrol and surveillance service to the Queensland community,” he said.

SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan said the partnership between the organisation and the government was built on past successes.

BEYOND PATROL | 5


A year of milestones for Summer Surf Girl program The Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program continues to go from strength to strength, and this year was no exception with the celebration of two prestigious milestones – the program’s 50th anniversary, and 20th year in partnership with Jupiters Hotel & Casino. It was another fantastic year for SLSQ’s largest and most-enduring club-based fundraising initiative, with 23 young female lifesavers from across the state taking up the opportunity to embark on a year-long fundraising and community awareness campaign on behalf of their respective Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC’s). Dicky Beach surf lifesaver Caitlin Knight was a dual winner, taking out the coveted 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl title as well as being named Jupiters Summer Surf Girl Highest Fundraiser after raising the highest individual total for her club – an impressive $128,487.11. Olivia Wilson from Broadbeach SLSC was announced the 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl Runner-Up while Morgan Marrinon from Pacific SLSC rounded out the winners list, presented with the 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl Award for Personality as voted by her fellow entrants. The 23 entrants raised a collective total of $882,866.82 for their clubs, testament to their tireless hard work and efforts throughout the year. The final judging week, held at Jupiters Hotel & Casino from 14-17 May, brought to an end SLSQ’s year-long fundraising initiative, which to date has raised more than $14.5 million for surf clubs across the state since the program’s inception in 1964.

was very difficult to distinguish a winner and came right down to the wire, as each entrant has been a fantastic ambassador for surf lifesaving over the past year,” Mr Hill said. “Every entrant has taken on this challenge on top of their other commitments as students and career women, and we are proud of all of them for the dedication they have shown to the surf lifesaving movement.” Mr Hill said Caitlin was chosen based on her fundraising initiatives, commitment to community education and surf lifesaving knowledge, and will now begin her year as an official ambassador for SLSQ. “Caitlin has a long and proud history with surf lifesaving over the past 15 years, showing her strong ties to her club not only through fundraising but also through patrolling the beach, competing in surf sports and her commitment to community education. “We are confident that Caitlin will take on her role over the next 12 months as an ambassador for surf lifesaving with the same passion and commitment she demonstrated during the program and will champion the benefits of surf lifesaving to the community. SLSQ looks forward to working with Caitlin over the next year.” Jupiters Hotel & Casino general marketing manager Queensland Simon Proctor praised the 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrants on their tremendous efforts.

Judging panel chairman George Hill said the judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of the 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrants.

“2014 marked Jupiters Hotel & Casino’s 20th consecutive year as naming rights sponsor of the program and we are continually amazed by the passion, commitment and dedication of the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrants, and the support they receive from their clubs,” Mr Proctor said.

“These young women performed exceptionally well, not only during the final judging but throughout the program. It

“We congratulate Caitlin and all of the 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl entrants. We are proud to be part of an initiative that

6 | ISSUE 4

ensures our surf lifesavers can continue to provide a vital community service here in Queensland,” he said. Caitlin has been an integral part of the Dicky Beach SLSC for the majority of her time with Surf Life Saving, and thanked her club and friends for their support throughout the program. “I am truly humbled and overwhelmed. It has been nothing short of an amazing, life-changing and motivating experience. Thank you to Dicky Beach SLSC for your support, you are my family” Caitlin said. The Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program is first and foremost a member development program which seeks to engage female members within Surf Life Saving and to develop their skills and experience for their future careers within and outside the movement. All funds raised are distributed back into participating clubs to be used in a variety of ways, such as the maintenance and purchase of new rescue equipment, surf safety education, member development, increasing volunteer memberships and expanding training programs.

Fundraising facts $14.5 million has been raise for surf life saving clubs across the state since the program’s inception in 1964. Kellie Huth of Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC holds the record for the highest amount raised by an individual, raising a total of $213,360 in 2012. The highest collective total ever raised was in 2012, with the entrants’ efforts resulting in $1,081,085.18.


Left to right: Morgan Marrinon, Caitlin Knight, Olivia Wilson

The Summer Surf Girl program has now injected more than $14.5 million into surf life saving clubs throughout Queensland since the program’s inception in 1964.

BEYOND PATROL | 7


SLSQ’s ‘eye in the sky’ proves a lifesaver from above A day out in the surf almost ended in tragedy earlier this year for a father and son duo after their kayak was flipped upsidedown by a large wave more than 200 metres from shore on the Sunshine Coast. While the father was able to make it back to the beach, it proved to be a far more perilous situation for his son. Too far from shore, and unable to reach the safety of his kayak, it quickly escalated into a genuine life or death situation. In a twist of fate, Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS) was out on patrol nearby and, when tasked to assist, responded quickly and efficiently to pluck him from the surf with minutes to spare. It’s all just another day at work for the crew of SLSQ’s rescue helicopter, which continues to provide a vital service across South East Queensland. Our eye in the sky, the WLRHS performs regular patrols along South East Queensland’s coastline, carrying out a variety of tasks including beach 8 | ISSUE 4

surveillance, shark warnings, preventative actions, and search and rescue missions both on and off the beach. With a team of highly-trained men and women, encompassing experienced pilots, professional staff and volunteer surf lifesavers, the service exists for one purpose – to save lives. One man who’s seen it all is WLRHS Chief Pilot, Peter Bird. With more than 34 years in the aviation industry – the past ten at SLSQ – Peter has been instrumental in spearheading the helicopter service and building it into one of the most respected aerial search and rescue authorities in Australia and right across the world. Peter recently celebrated his 10 year anniversary as SLSQ’s chief pilot and, throughout this time, he’s been involved in countless search and rescue missions along Queensland’s vast coastline, helping save hundreds of lives in process. But, when asked to nominate his most memorable mission, it’s one away from the surf that comes to mind.

In 2011 Peter was heavily involved in SLSQ’s rescue efforts throughout the devastating floods in South East Queensland, when the WLRHS was tasked to assist with emergency call-outs and search and rescue within the Lockyer Valley and Esk Region. Battling low visibility, heavy winds and torrential rain, the crew worked tirelessly across the week to directly save the lives of seven people through winch rescues.

The WLRHS is a full-time service, with its pilots and crew on-call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It’s a demanding role, but one that’s necessary to protect beachgoers and lifesavers alike. In addition, they also worked alongside key government agencies such as Emergency Management Queensland, Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, State Emergency Services and the Queensland Police Service


WLRHS photos by Paul Sadler

to transport vital assets and personnel into isolated areas requiring assistance. When reflecting on his role throughout the mission, Peter openly admits it was some of the toughest conditions he has faced in his professional aviation career. “All missions have their own special meanings to me but our operations during the Brisbane floods, and all of the rescues that we did over that week, are certainly a stand out,” Peter said. “I personally flew 30 hours that week, and it was amongst the hardest flying that I’ve ever done. We did a lot of rescues and our crews did an amazing job – I was proud of each and every one of them.

“The rain that was happening during that time was horrendous, and sometimes I still get flashbacks when we’re flying in bad weather. I’ve flown all around the world in helicopters and I’ve never seen anything like that. I hope I never have to again,” he said. The WLRHS is a full-time service, with its pilots and crew on-call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. It’s a demanding role, but one Peter says is necessary to protect beachgoers and lifesavers alike. “The helicopter is a major asset to our organisation and the safety of our surf lifesavers. It’s really our last line of defence for when we’re putting people in harm’s way,” Peter said.

“On the whole it was a very proud moment for myself and for Surf Life Saving Queensland as an organisation, but it was very scary too I might add. It’s rare that I’ll land a helicopter after I finish flying and my hands are shaking, but that’s what it was like every day I came back.

“There are days on the beach when we simply can’t put anyone in the water, the beaches might be closed, and if someone gets into trouble during that time, it’s likely the helicopter is the only asset that can actually go out and still perform a rescue.

“There were certainly times during the day when I didn’t really want to be out there.

“Even if it’s our own lifesavers in the water on jet-skis or jet boats, we’ll still be out

there to provide top cover and protection for them, so they don’t end up in harm’s way if something goes wrong,” he said. The past two years have certainly been a milestone period for SLSQ’s aviation service. In addition to its two dedicated surf patrol helicopters, SLSQ now owns and operates an additional two helicopters on behalf of the QPS, servicing South East Queensland. “Moving forward I certainly see our relationship with the QPS continuing to develop. We’re very similar organisations in a lot of ways, with both of us involved in surveillance and public safety,” Peter said. “We’re a helicopter rescue service that have been operational for almost four decades thanks to people who had the vision, years ago, to push forward with this particular arm of our organisation. “We get to go out and save people’s lives and give them another chance and, at the end of the day, there’s nothing more rewarding or satisfying than that,” he said.

BEYOND PATROL | 9


Westpac flies the flag for SLSQ SLSQ’s ‘eye in the sky’ has received a timely and significant boost, thanks to the ongoing generous support from our longterm partner Westpac. This year, the iconic partnership between SLSQ and Westpac celebrates its 37th anniversary, making it one of the most recognisable and longest running corporate-community partnerships in Queensland and right across Australia.

In May, Westpac raised $35,000 for SLSQ through its affiliation with the Noosa Food and Wine Festival. The day saw several of the bank’s staff join forces with helicopter crew to raise funds and spread the surf safety message at the same time.

For almost four decades the bank has been unwavering in its support for SLSQ, most noticeably through its sponsorship of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS), which remains one of our core lifesaving weapons both on and off the beach.

This year, the iconic partnership between SLSQ and Westpac celebrates its 37th year anniversary, making it one of the most recognisable and longest running corporate-community partnerships in Queensland and right across Australia.

Importantly, the bank continues to fly the red and yellow flag proudly and their support for our organisation has been no more evident than in recent months, when Westpac staff pitched in at a number of key events to help raise awareness and vital funds for SLSQ’s helicopter service.

Crucial funds were also injected into the helicopter service via Westpac’s support and official sponsorship of the City2South fun run, which saw thousands of runners take to the streets of Brisbane in the name of charity.

The partnership was further reinforced through a ‘Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Day’ celebrated by 12 of the bank’s branches in the Wide Bay Capricorn Region. SLSQ would like to thank Westpac for their unwavering support of our organisation and our mission of saving lives on Queensland beaches.

The Noosa Food and Wine Festival 2014

North Queensland lifesavers out in force Despite being in the midst of winter, our northern surf lifesavers remain on the beach and are continuing their local patrols at the top end of the state. Surf life saving clubs in North Queensland have been patrolling since the beginning of April, and will continue to patrol from Port Douglas to Mission Beach through to the final weekend in November.

have started to see a boost in beachgoers following patches of wild weather in recent years,” Mr Sparkes said. “It’s been really pleasing to see a number of our local clubs with increased nipper numbers this season as well, particularly after a noticeable drop-off across the past couple of years,” he said.

SLSQ North Queensland regional manager Col Sparkes said it had been a busy season to date, with an increase in the number of beachgoers recorded.

Mr Sparkes said SLSQ was continuing to work with key stakeholders and local government to boost safety across the region, particularly with regards to crocodiles.

“Across the board we’ve seen tourist numbers improve and increase across the Cairns region, particularly in areas like Mission Beach and Innisfail, which

“As always, crocodiles are still a key issue here in North Queensland, and SLSQ will soon be signing a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding with the

10 | ISSUE 4

Cassowary Coast Regional Council and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to further improve the safety of all beachgoers,” Mr Sparkes said. Outside of their patrols, clubs in North Queensland have also recently commenced their surf sports season, with Cairns SLSC hosting its third annual Palmy Classic Endurance Ironman in late June. Boasting the likes of current champion Ironwoman Liz Pluimers, the two-day event also featured a clinic with Ironman Shannon Eckstein.


Saving lives through coastal audits Every year SLSQ invests a considerable amount of time and resources into protecting beachgoers through surf patrols and educational initiatives.

this particular role, representing a key strategic move as we seek to deliver on our overarching vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters.’

scientifically rating both the average and prevailing hazards on each beach, for the range of conditions that each beach may experience.

However, outside of this frontline approach, SLSQ is also committed to working with stakeholders and land managers at all levels to save lives and improve aquatic safety through the early identification of potential hazards along Queensland’s coastline.

SLSQ has broken new ground in many areas, and provides coastal communities and land managers with a variety of services including:

Lifesaving Service Level Calculator The Lifesaving Service Level Calculator has been developed by Surf Life Saving to assist local governments, land managers and aquatic operators in determining the best practice lifesaving service personnel levels.

SLSQ provides a valuable coastal safety risk assessment and auditing service to stakeholders and land managers across all areas of government and private sectors.

• W  orld’s best practice lifesaving and lifeguard services; • A  world-first beach classification system – ABSAMP; • L eading-edge lifesaving technology and equipment; • I nternational acknowledgement and demand for our training and education programs; and • A  ustralian and International Standards public safety signage guidelines

In fact, after a century of saving lives on our state’s beaches, SLSQ is one of the most experienced coastal safety managers in the world, with a successful track record of working directly with local governments and regional councils to reduce hazards and improve aquatic safety. SLSQ’s Coastal Public Safety Risk Assessment process involves a comprehensive identification and evaluation of any risks to public safety, accompanied with detailed recommendations about how best to manage and reduce these potential dangers. Earlier this year SLSQ appointed experienced surf lifesaver Chantel Fife to the position of Coastal Safety and Quality Compliance Officer to oversee this process moving forward. Importantly, this is the first time that SLSQ has implemented

Key coastal auditing tools: ABSAMP The Australian Beach Safety and Management Program (ABSAMP) was established in 1990 as a joint program between Surf Life Saving and the University of Sydney. A groundbreaking initiative, ABSAMP is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken on the beaches of any part of the world’s coast. Detailed information on every beach in Australia has been amassed throughout its development. The program identifies coastal hazards that affect bathers and rates the safety of every Australian beach on the scale of one to ten, where one is the least hazardous and ten is the most hazardous. These hazard ratings were developed to provide a simple and effective method of

The service levels for a particular beach or aquatic location can be calculated over a 12 month period or a specific timeframe, taking into account a location’s ABSAMP beach hazard rating, visitation levels, residency of beach visitors, incident history and remoteness of the location. SLSQ provides a valuable coastal safety risk assessment and auditing service to stakeholders and land managers across all areas of government and private sectors. At a specified location, our risk assessors use resources such as ABSAMP research, the Lifesaving Service Level Calculator, and best practice signage manuals to identify hazards, the level of risk and the potential for injury. The outcome of this extensive process is a comprehensive Risk Management Plan and, ultimately, a safer aquatic location for the community to enjoy.

To find out more about SLSQ’s Coastal Auditing services, please contact: Chantel Fife, Coastal Safety and Quality Compliance Officer, on 0418 774 421 or cfife@lifesaving.com.au

BEYOND PATROL | 11


Lifesavers on a pathway to promising careers At the heart and soul of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) are its members. In the last year alone there were more than 30,000 surf lifesavers across Queensland, making SLSQ one of the largest volunteer-based community organisations in Australia. The breadth of offerings and opportunities available to members is boundless, with an extensive number of pathways utilising lifesaving skills for life.

Member profile “To put it simply, without Surf Life Saving I would not be a police officer today; I’m currently a First Year Constable with the Queensland Police Service in Rockhampton. I joined SLSQ as a nipper at Marcoola SLSC, and later transferred to Rainbow Beach SLSC and completed my Surf Rescue Certificate. From that point on I pretty much lived and breathed surf lifesaving.

SLSQ is proud of the quality and calibre of our members who provide an invaluable voluntary service to the community. Spanning 59 surf life saving clubs around Queensland, our members give countless hours to keep the public safe at our beaches. In recognition of their efforts, we aim to grow, retain and reward members with the knowledge and skills to assist their development, not only in surf lifesaving but also for future employment and careers.

Major highlights of my time with SLSQ were completing my Bronze Medallion, being selected as Club Captain and Chief Training Officer at Rainbow Beach SLSC at the age of 18, and travelling to Denmark for 10 weeks to assist in the training of lifeguards. Another highlight was being selected as the Queensland and Australian Lifeguard of the Year in 2009/10. Being recognised for doing something that I loved doing was amazing.

There is an almost endless scope of lifesaving-related careers available to members, the likes of taking up a medical profession or joining the Defence Force or emergency services, and many of these doors are opened and supported by the skills learnt during their time as a surf lifesaver.

I made the decision to apply for the Police Service about two years ago. I had been trying to decide between emergency services and the defence force, but ultimately it came down to the Police Service as I saw the skills I had learnt through surf lifesaving would closely align with those required for the job, and it would still allow me to assist and serve the community in many ways.

The breadth of offerings and opportunities available to members is boundless, with an extensive number of pathways utilising lifesaving skills for life.

The skills I gained through my surf life saving experience, including incident management, decision making and communication, have been the biggest help as a police officer, as every job we attend is different. The ability to adapt, make decisions quickly and always having a back up plan is an absolute necessity. Even something as simple as being confident in the use of two-way radios has made a difference.

SLSQ is committed to providing numerous leadership pathways for members in the movement, which assist in the provision of skills required for these career options. We consider the safety and wellbeing of our members our first and foremost priority in all activities, with a dedicated member services department providing development opportunities, award programs and protection policies. Becoming a surf lifesaver offers many opportunities both within and outside the movement. Whether five or fifty years old, there is a place for everyone and lifelong skills to be developed to assist a range of vocational possibilities.

I am passionate about SLSQ and strongly encourage anyone, no matter how old, to go down to their local surf club and join today. The skills I learnt from being in such a fantastic organisation have helped me through life in general as well as my career. The experiences I have outlined above are only the tip of the iceberg of what I have gained from being a member of Surf Life Saving Queensland.” - First Year Constable Lleam Rees, Queensland Police Service Queensland & Australian Lifeguard of the Year 2010

“…ultimately it came down to the Police Service as I saw the skills I had learnt through surf lifesaving would closely align with those required for the job, and it would still allow me to assist and serve the community in many ways.” – First Year Constable Lleam Rees

12 | ISSUE 4


Member profile “I joined nippers 15 years ago and SLSQ is like my family now - that’s what lifesaving is about. You have unlimited opportunities and make so many good mates. Highlights for me since joining have included achieving my Gold Medallion, while also being a patrol captain at Dicky Beach SLSC for eight years. A major highlight was winning the Jupiters Summer Surf Girl program this year and raising more than $128,000. I didn’t expect to win the competition; I entered only because I wanted to give back to my club.

“I have had to use the skills and techniques acquired from surf lifesaving in both my personal and professional life – it was definitely a pathway to me becoming an intensive care unit registered nurse.” – Caitlin Knight

Previously working as a paid lifeguard for the Sunshine Coast Council, and patrolling Dicky Beach from the age of 14, has meant that I have been part of countless rescues, and have also been involved in performing CPR and use of a defibrillator. I have performed rescues with the aid of a tube, board, IRB and jet ski on different beaches along the Sunshine Coast. I have had to use the skills and techniques acquired from surf lifesaving in both my personal and professional life – it was definitely a pathway to me becoming an intensive care unit registered nurse.” - Caitlin Knight, ICU Registered Nurse Dicky Beach SLSC & 2014 Jupiters Summer Surf Girl

BEYOND PATROL | 13


Record growth for SLSQ’s Brisbane Lifesaving Service Brisbane residents are swapping the city for the surf as part of a ground-breaking initiative launched by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) almost two years ago. Brisbane Lifesaving Service (BLS) was developed in early 2011 to provide some much needed support to surf clubs across South East Queensland by equipping Brisbane residents with the core lifesaving skills required to patrol beaches on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Since its launch almost three years ago, BLS has recorded exceptional growth and now boasts a membership of 141 people. This represents an impressive 62 percent growth in membership when compared to last season. Importantly, this influx of members has enabled BLS’ patrolling activity to significantly increase, with 1,962 volunteer patrol hours in 2012/13 growing to more than 3,190 hours in 2013/14. Throughout the season, BLS members provided support to a number of clubs across the state including Sunshine Beach, Peregian Beach, Nobbys Beach, Kirra, Bilinga, Elliott Heads, Moore Park and Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Clubs. In addition, BLS members also worked in conjunction with SLSQ’s professional lifeguards this season to provide a full patrol service at the Southport Broadwater on the Gold Coast, and assisted Royal Life Saving with patrols at Tallebudgera Creek across peak holiday periods. SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill said the service was a great opportunity for Brisbane residents to join the iconic surf lifesaving movement. “When BLS was first launched back in 2011, we hoped it would appeal to Brisbane residents who were interested in surf lifesaving but, for one reason or another, were only able to commit limited time because of other priorities,” he said. “The response we’ve had over the past twoand-a-half years has been nothing short of amazing, and it really goes to show that

14 | ISSUE 4

there’s a genuine interest across Brisbane to get involved in the surf lifesaving movement and give something back to the community,” he said. New members are trained in a variety of core lifesaving skills including surf awareness, surf rescue, first aid and resuscitation as part of their Bronze Medallion course. While theory is taught locally at Surf Rescue House in South Brisbane, members are also transported to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts for practical training in the surf. “BLS may not be a surf club in the traditional sense of the word, but the core elements of surf lifesaving are all there. Our members are giving back to the local community, learning how to save a life, having fun with their mates and developing some vital life skills at the same time.” Looking to the future, Mr Hill said BLS members could also have the opportunity to use their skills closer to home as part of SLSQ’s ongoing partnership with the State Emergency Services. “We’ll continue to look for opportunities to up-skill BLS members and certainly

down the track we envisage that volunteers with appropriate training could be tasked to assist during natural disasters, emergencies and special events such as Riverfire,” he said. “One of the flow-on benefits of this initiative is that we’ll see a greater percentage of Brisbane residents out there with the necessary skills to respond accordingly in emergency situations, and that can only be viewed as a positive thing,” he said.

“From time to time our clubs on the Gold Coast can find themselves short of members for a number of reasons. Since the inception of the BLS these fully qualified surf lifesavers are available to help at these clubs to lessen the burden on existing members. Potentially this may save a club from further loss of membership and even closure. BLS has been an exceptional asset to the safety of public on these Gold Coast Beaches and I can’t thank them enough for what they have done in the Point Danger Branch.” - Ken Clark Director of Lifesaving Point Danger Branch


Network Ten documentary showcases our red and yellow heroes Surf Life Saving Queensland is teaming up with media partner Network Ten to bring you Red and Yellow Heroes – a one hour documentary about the men and women who watch over our state’s coastline each year.

Red and Yellow Heroes will air on Channel One at 3pm, Saturday 6 September. SLSQ wishes to thank Network Ten for their valued support and we look forward to building a long-term and successful partnership moving forward.

Filmed over a six month period, the documentary takes you behind the scenes with lifesavers as they patrol our beaches, undertake training operations, and line up for sporting competitions.

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.

Watch the Red and Yellow Heroes preview here Proud Media Partner

PRINCIPAL

PREMIUM

GOVERNMENT

COMMUNITY

MEDIA

BUSINESS

BEYOND PATROL | 15


WE NEED YOUR HELP TO

SAVE LIVES

donate today Phone 1800 642 925 or visit surfsafeappeal.com.au

Thank you to our 2014 Surf Safe Appeal Partners for their generous support

Beyond Patrol Issue 4 Winter 2014  

Surf Life Saving Queensland is pleased to bring you the latest edition of our stakeholder magazine, Beyond Patrol. Despite the cooler temper...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you