SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND
ISSUE 6 | SUMMER 2015
AUSTRALIAN LIFEGUARD OF THE YEAR Queensland lifeguard recognised for outstanding service
BREAKA BEACH TO BUSH Lifesavers spread the surf safety message to rural schools
GREEN ISLAND SAFETY BOOST Extra lifeguard stationed at one of stateâ€™s top black spots
WELCOME On behalf of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) I would like to welcome you to the summer edition of our quarterly publication Beyond Patrol. The past few months have been an extraordinarily busy time for Queensland’s lifeguards and lifesavers, as thousands of residents and tourists alike flocked to our state’s beaches to soak up the surf and sun over the Christmas holidays. Since the start of the 2014/15 patrol season on 20 September 2014, SLSQ’s volunteer lifesavers and professional lifeguards have combined to perform more than 11,200 first aid treatments, approximately 338,000 preventative actions and, most importantly, save 2,021 lives in the process. While these statistics are a genuine and tangible reflection of the impact that our organisation has on the Queensland community, it’s important to note they only tell half the story.
These statistics don’t tell you about the countless hours that our members devote each and every year to learning and harnessing the vital lifesaving skills required to patrol Queensland beaches. They don’t tell you about the sheer volume of time that volunteer lifesavers spend away from their family and friends over the summer months to help keep beachgoers safe. They don’t tell you about the treacherous conditions that are often faced by our members, nor the overwhelming feelings of relief experienced by swimmers in trouble when they see the familiar sight of the ‘red and yellow army’ coming to help.
I encourage you to read ahead about the developments and achievements of our organisation across the past few months. Whether it’s on the beach, up in the air, or out in the community our members continue to provide a vital community service, saving lives and working towards our ultimate vision of ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’. Yours in lifesaving,
John Brennan OAM CEO, Surf Life Saving Queensland
And, most importantly, they don’t tell you about the family and friends of those rescued from the water who were able to spend Christmas Day with their loved ones thanks to the training and commitment of Queensland’s guardians of the surf. 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 6
IONA COLLEGE STUDENTS AWARDED FOR LIFE-SAVING RESUSCITATION Both on and off the sand, vital resuscitation skills learnt through surf lifesaving could be required to save a life anywhere, at any time. This has never been more apparent than the presentation of Lifesaving Excellence Awards to five students at Iona College for saving the life of a young man late last year during an inter-school cross country race. The Year 10 and 11 students, who are also volunteer surf lifesavers, saved the life of 17-year-old Perry King, a visiting student from St Laurence’s College, with their quick-thinking resuscitation actions after he collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest. Scott L’Barrow, Joe Curtin, Kyle Wegner, Daniel Mole and Jim Ham were acknowledged with the awards by SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill and Perry, who surprised the boys in a special presentation organised by SLSQ.
a very different story if not for the training, actions, and maturity displayed by these five students on that day. These young men are genuine lifesavers in every sense of the word,” Mr Hill said.
“An incident like this just goes to show how important it is to have the kinds of resuscitation skills that are taught in the surf lifesaving movement.” “Time is of the essence in situations like this, and knowing CPR means the patient can receive medical attention during those first few crucial minutes.
Mr Hill said there was no doubt the boys’ training and actions had saved Perry’s life, and it was a perfect example of why it was so important for people to learn CPR.
“An incident like this just goes to show how important it is to have the kinds of resuscitation skills that are taught in the surf lifesaving movement. It could have been a tragedy for this young man’s family, but instead he’s been given another chance at life.”
“The young man was literally minutes away from death, and it could have been
For Perry, the day of the incident is still a bit of a blur.
“I was running a cross country race, feeling okay, when I got to the 2km mark and started to feel dizzy, so I decided to sit down and asked the boys beside me for some water,” Perry said. “Then all of a sudden I can’t remember what happened. I woke up three minutes later – my heart was racing, and my head was spinning still – to then later discover that the boys next to me just happened to be surf lifesavers. They had given me CPR. “Within three minutes of me waking up, an ambulance was there, and the medical support crew of the cross country event, and I was on my way to hospital. “Without the boys there, I wouldn’t be here right now. I can’t thank Surf Life Saving Queensland enough for the effort and training they put in.” Surf Life Saving Queensland provides accredited training in areas such as first aid, CPR and advanced resuscitation, transferring the skills the surf lifesaving movement has been teaching for decades to the general public.
Perry King pictured with the boys from Iona College who saved his life
SLSQ delivers nationally-recognised first aid and CPR courses. For more information please contact: Ken Clark, Operations Manager, ALAQ Phone: 1300 766 257, email: email@example.com, or visit alaq.com.au BEYOND PATROL | 3
SIGNIFICANT SURF SAFETY BOOST FOR NORTH QUEENSLAND
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has significantly boosted its patrol services at one of Australia’s most popular tourist locations as part of a concerted bid to eliminate drownings and offer increased protection for swimmers and snorkelers. For more than 15 years, SLSQ – via its Australian Lifeguard Service – has provided two professional lifeguards to patrol Green Island in North Queensland, which routinely attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists each and every year. With thanks to vital and ongoing support from the Department of Emergency Services, SLSQ has now introduced a third full-time permanent lifeguard to patrol the island 365 days per year, ensuring greater protection for beachgoers across the peak summer months and beyond. The additional lifeguard will play a key role moving forward, substantially boosting SLSQ’s patrol capacity and liaising directly with beachgoers to improve surf safety and awareness on the Island. Importantly, the additional asset will also improve response 4 | ISSUE 6
times to any major incidents, rescues, injuries and first aid treatments. The decision to increase SLSQ’s patrol services on the Island was made after a spate of drownings in recent years, many of which involved multicultural tourists with minimal experience in the ocean. In fact, across the past 16 years there have been 15 beach-related fatalities recorded on Green Island, which puts it on par with one of Australia’s biggest and busiest beaches, Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The increased service officially took effect from 1 December 2014 and SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill has no doubt the decision will save lives. “This is a big step forward for our organisation and the local community in terms of protecting swimmers and ensuring that residents and tourists alike remember their time on Green Island for all the right reasons,” Mr Hill said. “As an organisation, our vision is to achieve
‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’ and I’d like to thank the Queensland Government for its continued support which has allowed us to vigorously pursue this overarching goal.” “A third lifeguard was recently introduced at Green Island and, moving forward, they will patrol every single day of the year, providing increased surveillance and vastly improving our response time to any incidents that may occur,” he said. In December last year, then Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services Jack Dempsey said the extra service was an important step forward for the local community. “This is a beautiful part of the state that draws domestic and international tourists, so having an additional lifeguard patrolling every day of the year will save lives,” Mr Dempsey said at the time. Green Island has previously been identified as a particularly ‘high risk’ location and SLSQ will continue to work directly with the Queensland Government to identify
and implement strategies to reduce major incidents and maximise protection for swimmers.
Across the past 16 years there have been 15 beach-related fatalities recorded on Green Island, which puts it on par with one of Australia’s biggest and busiest beaches, Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. “Unfortunately our research has indicated that a lot of past incidents and fatalities involved international tourists who don’t have a great deal of ocean experience or a genuine understanding and appreciation of the potential dangers that could be lurking in the surf. That’s something that we’ll continue to liaise and work closely with the Queensland Government to address moving forward,” Mr Hill said.
“As far as we’re concerned, even one drowning is one too many.
to communicate more effectively with international tourists.
“Quite often we see tourists in the water snorkelling for the very first time and they’re not the greatest swimmers. The increased services aren’t just important for their safety and protection, it’s also important to ensure that our own lifeguards have that backup and protection as well.
“It’s obviously still early days but, down the track, I can certainly see us working closely with the Queensland Government to improve communication channels between lifeguards and international tourists,” he said.
“Having that extra set of eyes will help identify potential issues before they develop any further into something more serious, and then it will obviously assist in terms of response and reaction times as well,” Mr Hill said. Since 1 January 2014 SLSQ’s professional lifeguards on Green Island have performed 7,241 preventative actions, 345 first aid treatments and, most importantly, saved 126 lives in the process. Moving forward, Mr Hill said the notfor-profit organisation would continue to investigate ways to improve safety on the Island and hasn’t ruled out training lifeguards in foreign dialects
“We see a lot of international tourists visit Green Island who don’t speak or read much English, so they may not necessarily understand or realise where they should and shouldn’t be swimming. “There are certainly areas we can build on to assist with this, which may include placing surf safety advice at airports in North Queensland, employing multilingual lifeguards to communicate directly with tourists, or potentially even placing safety ambassadors on ferries that travel to Green Island,” he said.
Photo from Shutterstock
QUEENSLANDERS DIG DEEP WITH LIFESAVING DONATIONS Can you imagine our beaches without surf lifesavers? That was the question posed by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) when it launched the 2014 Surf Safe Appeal across two weeks in September.
through the Surf Safe Appeal go straight back into safeguarding Queensland beaches and protecting swimmers. In total, public donations and corporate support saw more than $446,000 raised throughout the Appeal.
From 1-14 September, the ‘red and yellow army’ of volunteer surf lifesavers was out in force, door-knocking and brandishing their collection tins to raise the vital funds needed to continue their community service.
Reflecting on the fundraising effort, SLSQ chief executive officer John Brennan thanked Queenslanders for their vital contributions to the Appeal and said it was humbling to see such support for the surf lifesaving movement across the state.
Keeping lifesaving services on the beach comes at a significant cost, and as a not-for-profit organisation, SLSQ relies heavily on the continued support from the community.
“Each year the Surf Safe Appeal provides a wonderful opportunity for SLSQ to highlight the services we provide to the community, while also giving Queenslanders a chance to show their appreciation for the efforts of our volunteer surf lifesavers,” Mr Brennan said.
From high-level training to purchasing equipment and establishing new services, it costs an estimated $25 million to effectively patrol Queensland beaches each year. Community support and donations play a crucial role in delivering these services and, importantly, all funds raised
6 | ISSUE 6
“Thank you to everyone who made a donation; no matter how big or small, every single dollar helps make a difference when it comes to saving lives on Queensland beaches.
“Last year alone our volunteer surf lifesavers collectively spent more than 350,000 hours on patrol, watching over and protecting beachgoers across the state. Importantly, all money raised during the appeal will go towards ensuring they have the right training and equipment to do their job, which is to save lives,” he said.
Surf Life Saving Queensland would like to thank the following partners for their support of the 2014 Surf Safe Appeal:
QUEENSLAND LIFESAVERS RECOGNISED FOR SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS Local lifesavers have been recognised alongside some of the state’s top athletes at the Queensland Sports Awards in Brisbane on 1 December 2014. The annual event saw Moore Park lifesaver and SLSQ lifeguard Matthew Davis named the Queensland Junior Sport Star of the Year, while Alexandra Headland official Bronwyn Champness was recognised as the Sport Volunteer of the Year. For Matthew, the prestigious award capped off an incredibly successful year which saw the 18-year-old represent Queensland and co-captain the Australian Youth Team at the World Lifesaving Championships in France. Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) surf sports manager Stuart Hogben said Matthew’s impressive results on the state, national and international stage had solidified his reputation as a future star of the sport.
claim five gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals across pool and ocean events. “There’s no doubt he’s an incredibly talented athlete, but you don’t achieve what he has on talent alone. Matthew’s worked extremely hard for a number of years now to get the best out of himself, and I can only see him getting better from here,” Mr Hogben said. A 700-strong black-tie audience packed into Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the evening, which saw ten awards presented to acknowledge significant sporting performances, both on and off the field, during the period from October 2013 to September 2014.
Bronwyn Champness’ dedication and commitment to the surf sports arena throughout this time saw her walk away as the state’s top sports volunteer for the year. It’s been a busy 12 months for the Alexandra Headlands lifesaver who officiated in a wide range of surf sports events including the Queensland and Australian IRB Championships and Pool Rescue Championships, the Coolangatta Gold, and the Junior and Senior State Championships. Congratulations must also go to other surf lifesaving finalists in the awards, including Shannon Eckstein for Athlete of the Year and the Sunshine Beach Under-17 Patrol Team for Junior Sports Team of the Year.
“When you look back at his results from the past 12 months there’s not a lot that Matthew hasn’t achieved,” Mr Hogben said. Strong performances at the Queensland and Australian Surf Life Saving Championships earlier this year saw Matthew claim a slew of medals including gold in the state under-19 tube, belt and board rescue races and gold in the national under-19 belt and tube races. He won a further five gold medals at the Australian Pool Rescue Championships and etched his name into the record books by setting three new national records in the process.
“When you look back at his results from the past 12 months there’s not a lot that Matthew hasn’t achieved.” Matthew’s season culminated in his selection as co-captain of the Australian Youth Team, where he led from the front to
BEYOND PATROL | 7
QUEENSLAND LIFEGUARD NAMED AUSTRALIA’S BEST Queensland lifeguard Tim Wilson has taken out one of the highest individual accolades at Surf Life Saving Australia’s Awards of Excellence, named Australian Lifeguard of the Year for 2013/14.
on the Gold Coast – at Paradise Point, Southport Broadwater and Tallebudgera Creek – and Tim was a driving force behind building these patrols to the successes they are today,” Mr Cahill said.
Tim, a professional lifeguard for the past eight years on both Stradbroke Island and the Gold Coast, beat five other finalists from across Australia to win the prestigious award.
“In fact, during his time with these services Tim completed more than 60 rescues, with the majority of these at Broadwater,” he said.
SLSQ chief lifeguard Greg Cahill said the award reflected Tim’s professionalism and commitment to coastal safety at all levels.
“Lifeguarding with SLSQ has been an amazing journey with many ups and downs. I’m going to find it hard to ever leave the job.”
“All of our lifesavers and professional lifeguards perform great work, both on our beaches and out in the community, however sometimes people perform special deeds or show commitment that goes above and beyond that standard call of duty,” Mr Cahill said. “This award is reserved for the best of the best, and Tim has demonstrated over a number of years now that he well and truly fits into that category. “Tim has been, and continues to be, a wonderful ambassador for our organisation and this award is a genuine testament to his outstanding commitment and passion to beach safety – not just this season, but on a daily basis now for the best part of a decade,” he said.
“…this award is a genuine testament to his outstanding commitment and passion to beach safety – not just this season, but on a daily basis now for the best part of a decade.”
In addition to his professional role, Tim is also a long-term volunteer surf lifesaver on the Gold Coast, having served as Club Captain of Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club for the past two years after joining as a nipper. “My becoming a lifeguard was a natural progression of sorts,” Mr Wilson said. “I went through nippers at Broadbeach SLSC and started doing patrols when I was 13. I was constantly down the beach on patrol as much as I could; I couldn’t get enough of it. When I was 17 my patrol captain was lifeguarding at Southbank and she told me I should apply for a job. I applied soon after and that winter I had my first shift on the pool decks of Streets Beach.” It wasn’t long before Tim’s dedication to lifeguarding saw him offered positions further north and abroad.
Mr Cahill said Tim had taken on more of a leadership role in recent years, particularly with mentoring and training emerging lifeguards on the Gold Coast.
“I spent a summer at Southbank and was asked by Greg Cahill if I wanted a job at North Stradbroke Island. I obviously accepted and immediately fell head over heels in love with the lifestyle and the beauty of the island itself; since then I haven’t looked back,” he said.
“In the summer of 2013 Surf Life Saving Queensland established three new services
“I also travelled to England to work for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute for three
8 | ISSUE 6
winters, lifeguarding in their summer, and learnt a lot from the lifeguards there. “You meet some weird and wonderful people on the beach. People from every country around the world hear about Australia’s beaches and they want to come down and be a part of it. It’s so much fun being able to be that barrier between the codes of life and a thrill to meet travellers that have a stop at my beach while on their great trip. “There are also challenging days at the beach that make my role as a lifeguard harder. My job has different challenges every day ranging from dangerous conditions to soft sand. Working by yourself with a few hundred people swimming: that can be challenging. “I have heard quite a few people say ‘you have the best job in the world’ and it is true. I have a pretty amazing job 99 per cent of the time. But imagine having your day and week turned upside down by having to pull an unconscious person out of the water. Everyone’s job has different challenges but with lifeguarding there is an expectation, from everyone that steps onto your beach and from yourself and other lifeguards, that you can rescue someone no matter the conditions and that you will do everything possible to save a person’s life. “But every time I go into the water for a swim, a board paddle or a ride on the jet ski, I am training myself to be better able to pick up a distressed person and I know that I have the greatest ability to control these situations. “Lifeguarding with SLSQ has been an amazing journey with many ups and downs. I have met some amazing people and worked with some incredible lifeguards. I have picked up some incredible skills and found out so much about myself that I’m going to find it hard to ever leave the job.”
Photo by Gold Coast Bulletin
BEYOND PATROL | 9
REFUGEE RESCUERS PATROL BEACHES THIS SUMMER On 9 January 2015 Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) was joined by members of the press and senior officials from the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs to officially present three surf lifesavers with their Bronze Medallions. While hundreds of surf lifesavers across the country qualify for this iconic and prestigious award every year, what makes this story so remarkable is the personal journey undertaken by each of these men to get to where they are today. Born and raised in Iran, Reza*, Matt* and Davood arrived in Australia by boat as asylum seekers with almost no prior knowledge of local beaches and coastal conditions.
With thanks to vital support from the Queensland Government, through the On The Same Wave program, SLSQ has been able to train these gentlemen – along with other people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds – about surf safety, first aid and beach management. After obtaining their Bronze Medallion, which also doubles as an internationallyrecognised Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue), they have gone on to develop into fully-fledged surf lifesavers performing volunteer patrols at some of Queensland’s most popular beaches on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
over-represented in the state’s drowning figures and On The Same Wave is a crucial initiative designed to educate refugees, migrants and tourists about water safety and equip them with the skills to keep themselves and others safe at the beach. *Names have been changed.
Proud Government Partner:
Traditionally speaking, people from culturally diverse backgrounds have been
SURF LIFE SAVING PUTS ITS ‘HANDS UP’ FOR HELP THIS SUMMER This summer Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is putting its hand up as part of the biggest national fundraising campaign in its 107-year history. The ‘Hands Up’ initiative was launched in December 2014 with an engaging new television commercial, supported by various campaign visuals set to feature prominently across the peak summer months. SLSA President Graham Ford said the campaign was part of a long-term strategy to raise funds and, just as importantly, awareness of the surf lifesaving movement nationally. “Our job is to save lives on our beaches. That is a service we provide as volunteers and in the past year not one person lost their life at the beach when they were
10 | ISSUE 6
swimming between the red and yellow flags,” Mr Ford said. “Now we are putting our hands up and asking the Australian community for their support and donations, because surf lifesaving is a community cause that needs donations to help us save lives on Australian beaches.” “We know that not everyone has the time or desire to be a patrolling member, but now everyone has a chance to be a life saver. When the community donate, they help us to keep the beaches safe. They help us to train people in rescue and resuscitation, first aid and emergency care, and by donating they are directly contributing to our cause of saving lives.” www.bealifesaver.com
SURF SAFETY MESSAGE GETS THE V8 TREATMENT The iconic ‘swim between the flags’ message received a high-octane makeover when Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) partnered with Team Jeld-Wen at the 2014 Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 V8 Supercars event. Team Jeld-Wen drove home the surf safety message – quite literally – over the weekend, with much of their car’s regular promotional paintwork making way for a sea of red and yellow messaging in a bid to raise awareness and much-needed funds for lifesavers this summer, with more than $20,000 raised for local surf life saving clubs. Drivers Jack Perkins and Cameron Waters also jumped on board along with the rest of the team, wearing specially designed red and yellow uniforms in support of volunteer surf lifesavers. With a peak television audience of more than 2 million, SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill said it was a great opportunity to remind people to swim between the flags this summer.
“We’re always looking at new ways to get the surf safety message out to as many people as possible, and what better way than to have it zooming past hundreds of thousands of people across the weekend?” Mr Hill said.
its drivers, particularly ahead of the peak summer months.”
“We’re always looking at new ways to get the surf safety message out to as many people as possible, and what better way than to have it zooming past hundreds of thousands of people across the weekend?”
“I love Queensland, and I love what SLSQ do for the people of Queensland. To be able to promote this extremely important safety message in the lead-up to summer is great for SLSQ, great for the team and great for V8 Supercars as a sport,” Mr Schwerkolt said.
“Our vision as an organisation is to achieve ‘zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters’ and we see community awareness and education as playing a key role in delivering on that mission. “This is a wonderful show of support from the Jeld-Wen team, its owners and
Team Jeld-Wen owner Charlie Schwerkolt said the team was both proud and excited to have partnered with an iconic Queensland organisation in SLSQ.
“If we can help in any small way to assist SLSQ, then we’re very proud to do so.” SLSQ was once again the official charity partner of the Gold Coast 600, with the annual event providing a valuable opportunity for surf lifesavers to reach and educate the large crowds.
Proud Community Partner:
SURF LIFESAVERS GO FROM BEACH TO BUSH TO SPREAD WATER SAFETY MESSAGES Surf lifesavers aren’t beating around the bush when it comes to water safety this summer. As part of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) annual Breaka Beach to Bush program, 11 volunteer lifesavers recently traded the surf for some of the state’s most remote and regional communities in a bid to spread the water safety message far and wide. Almost 6,500 students from 55 schools across the state received vital surf and water safety education as part of this year’s program, with five regional tours visiting communities as diverse as Chinchilla, Cooktown, Biloela, Roma and Moranbah. The Beach to Bush program has been running in Queensland since 1998 and, to this day, remains one of the largest and
12 | ISSUE 6
most innovative community awareness initiatives in Australia, having directly reached more than 276,000 school children since its inception. This year’s program also saw the continuation of a partnership with Breaka Flavoured Milk to ensure the key initiative continues to educate children and communities with vital beach and water safety information leading into the peak summer months. SLSQ lifesaving services manager Peta Lawlor said the program was designed to target people living more than 50 kilometres from the beach; a group which has previously been identified by SLSQ as a ‘high-risk’ group based on the state’s drowning figures.
“It’s no secret that Australians love the water, be it the beach, the backyard pool or a country dam,” Ms Lawlor said. “With that in mind, it’s really important that every single Queenslander – regardless of where they live – has some of the basic skills, information and knowledge to protect themselves and their family and friends while in the water.” While primarily focused on surf and beach safety, the skills and information taught to children through the Breaka Beach to Bush program can also be applied to any type of water situation including rivers, dams, creeks, pools and waterways. “Our organisational goal is to achieve zero preventable deaths in Queensland waters
and we see educational initiatives such as Breaka Beach to Bush playing a key role in achieving this vision,” Ms Lawlor said.
“It’s really important that every single Queenslander – regardless of where they live – is equipped with some of the basic skills, information and knowledge to protect themselves and others while in the water this summer.” “Importantly, Breaka Beach to Bush helps our surf lifesavers continue to spread important water safety messages far and wide throughout Queensland. It’s a really fun program for the kids and the lifesavers alike, delivering potentially life-saving water safety lessons in a fun and engaging way, and giving participants some skills they’ll hopefully be able to take with them for life.”
Ms Lawlor said students received vital water safety tips by taking part in an interactive presentation with a focus on swimming between the red and yellow flags, always following safety signs and looking out for each other while enjoying the water. Program coordinator Helen Hallett was also delighted by the success of, and response to, the 2014 program. “This year’s program was such a wonderful experience and it certainly stands as one of the highlights of my surf lifesaving career so far. It’s a great opportunity for us as lifesavers but, more importantly, it was great to see the children so excited when we arrived; I hope that we have made a difference to these children so they are able to swim safely when they next visit our beautiful beaches. “If the message we spread helps save just one life moving forward, then we have done our job.” The 2014 Breaka Beach to Bush program was a year of milestones including the first
free community awareness event, the first visit to a remote Indigenous community, and the smallest school ever visited. A free community awareness session in Biloela saw dozens of locals learn CPR alongside surf lifesavers as well as staff from the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) and Queensland Police Service (QPS). “There was really positive feedback from all the families that turned up on the night, and it was great for so many people to learn these vital skills which they will carry with them for life,” said Mrs Hallett.
Towns Visited: Banana, Biloela, Bloomfield,Cairns, Cameron Downs, Cape Tribulation, Chinchilla Condamine, Clermont, Cooktown, Daintree, Drillham, Dysart, Hughenden, Kilcummin, Mackay, Middlemount, Miles, Mitchell, Monto, Moranbah, Mossman, Moura, Mt Murchison, Mundubbera, Muttaburra, Orion, Praire, Prospect Creek, Richmond, Rolleston, Roma, Springsure, Tieri, Winton and Yuleba.
BEYOND PATROL | 13
SEAHORSE NIPPERS PROGRAM A HIT WITH KIDS Each and every summer, thousands of Queensland children hit the beach to have fun and learn vital water safety skills as part of Surf Life Saving’s iconic Nippers program. At its core, Nippers – running in Queensland for almost half a century – seeks to educate young participants and instill in them confidence, knowledge and awareness to safely enjoy the beach and aquatic environments for the rest of their lives.
The first of its kind in Queensland, Seahorse Nippers provides children with disabilities the opportunity enjoy the thrilling beach and surf activities that so many take for granted. Three years ago, Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club on the Sunshine Coast introduced a standalone Nippers program with a twist, which has continued to grow from strength to strength. The first initiative of its kind in Queensland, Seahorse Nippers provides children with disabilities, who would otherwise be unable to join the regular Nippers program, the opportunity enjoy the thrilling beach and surf activities that so many take for granted. Each week these children and their siblings (with or without disabilities) participate in a variety of games and activities designed to improve motor skills, socialisation, and confidence in the water. The program is fully supervised by youth members of the club, who also benefit by learning to be supportive, understanding and inclusive. This also allows parents and carers a respite and chance to network and become a support crew for one another. Dozens of children, with conditions including down syndrome, cerebral palsy,
14 | ISSUE 6
autism and muscular dystrophy to name a few, have participated in the program since its inception. The initiative’s success is such that it’s beginning to be replicated by other surf life saving clubs across Queensland, including North Burleigh and Redcliffe. The program was also recognised on the national stage, named Community Education Program of the Year at Surf Life Saving Australia’s recent annual Awards of Excellence in Sydney. SLSQ membership development manager Brenda Lofthouse praised the program, saying it embodies the spirit of surf lifesaving. “The Seahorse Nippers program has been a wonderful initiative, and full credit to Noosa
Heads Surf Life Saving Club for its efforts in introducing the program to Queensland and building it to what it is today,” Ms Lofthouse said. “The program exemplifies what the surf lifesaving movement is all about – effectively leading the way in lifesaving service provision including education, beach safety advocacy and community leadership. “Surf lifesaving is an all-inclusive family and it’s great that clubs are now able to provide these opportunities to kids who, in years gone by, would have otherwise been unable to participate,” she said.
MULTICULTURAL KIDS BECOME LITTLE LIFESAVERS Late last year children from a range of cultural backgrounds had the unique opportunity to learn vital beach safety skills ahead of summer as part of a multicultural Little Lifesavers program rolled out by SLSQ. More than one hundred students aged 5-12 years from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds travelled to Southbank Lagoon to take part in the program, which was proudly funded by a Healthy and Physical Activity Grant from Brisbane City Council.
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.
The initiative saw children from West End State School, Serviceton South State School, Inala State School and Richlands East State complete beach safety sessions across a four-week period in order to equip them with water skills and knowledge ahead of summer.
Proudly funded by a Healthy and Physical Activity Grant from Brisbane City Council.
SLSQ Community Awareness Manager Andrew Brodie said the program was hugely successful and something SLSQ would look to build on moving forward.
BEYOND PATROL | 15
SEA YOU THERE SURF LIFE SAVING QUEENSLAND STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS 2015 Youths 20–22 March / Seniors & Masters 27–29 March / Maroochydore
Surf Life Saving Queensland is pleased to bring you the summer edition of our quarterly magazine, Beyond Patrol. It’s been a busy period for...
Published on Feb 23, 2015
Surf Life Saving Queensland is pleased to bring you the summer edition of our quarterly magazine, Beyond Patrol. It’s been a busy period for...