The 2019 Surf Life Saving WA Awards of Excellence was held on 8 June, 2019.

Check out our 2019 award winners below. Photos from the event can be found in the gallery

AGL Lifesaver of the Year

Awarded to: Russell Price (Mandurah SLSC)

Russell is very passionate about making a difference in the community and being able to influence positive change; particularly change that creates an inclusive environment for all members.

Russell has progressively grown his capability over the past six years, since he first joined as a nipper parent.

In addition to becoming a jet-ski driver and contributing a significant amount on beach, this year Russell took on the role as Director of Lifesaving at Mandurah SLSC to lead changes that will see the club continue to grow its coverage and impact in years to come.

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AGL Volunteer of the Year & Trainer of the Year

Awarded to: Mike Shaw (Fremantle SLSC)

Mike is as passionate as they come, with a commitment to surf life saving that spans all areas of the organisation. Like many members, Mike’s journey began in 2008 as a Nipper parent, and over the last decade, his involvement in surf life saving has grown exponentially.

Mike has held positions at club, state and national level, including President of Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club and Chair of the State Education Advisory Committee. This season, he has excelled in his role as a member of the National Education Advisory Committee, whilst still taking on club roles as the Surf Sports Manager, Coordinator of the Commercial First Aid and administrative duties.

Mike’s efforts as a trainer this year also stood head and shoulders above the pack. As the Bronze Coordinator at Fremantle SLSC, he was directly involved in training multiple Bronze courses and mentored several new Bronze Medallion trainers. Mike is also active at a state level, reviewing training and assessment documentation and resources to ensure members and other trainers are getting the best information and experience when undertaking training through surf life saving.

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Administrator of the Year

Awarded to: Lyn Brosens (Mullaloo SLSC)

As the volunteer Manager of Membership at Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club, Lyn manages over 1,800 members, a Reward and Recognition Committee, a Life Membership Committee and membership to the Club gym.

Through Lyn’s hard work and dedication, and a little cooperation with Surfguard, Mullaloo SLSC’s registration and membership renewal process was brought into the 21st century over the last two years, saving the Club time and money overall.

Lyn’s efficiency and dedication to all aspects of her volunteer work is admirable, earning her the Administrator of the Year title.

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Bernie Kelly Medal

Awarded to: Stephen Bird (North Cottesloe)

Steve Bird is a dual Olympian kayaker, representing Australia at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games. After retiring from elite kayaking last year, Steve continued to train and compete in surf sports events within surf lifesaving.

As a specialist Ski paddler, Steve won all the events available to him at the 2019 SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships, which included a Gold in the Open Ski Race, Ski Relay, Double Ski, Mixed Double Ski and Lifesaver Relay.

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Open Athlete of the Year

Awarded to: Jackson Symonds (Sorrento SLSC)

In 2019, Jackson was etched into surf life saving history books as he claimed his fifth Open Beach Sprint title, breaking the current record. His efforts this year have earned him his fifth Open Athlete of the Year award.

Jackson had a stellar year, also taking out Gold in the Open Beach Flags and Open Beach Sprint at the 2019 SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships, as well as representing WA as part of the Western Suns Interstate Team and Western Suns Open Elite Team.

However, Jackson isn’t just a great athlete when he is on the track, he is a team player who is ready to cheer on his fellow teammates at all surf sports events.

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Youth Athlete of the Year

Awarded to: Will Savage (Trigg Island SLSC)

At the 2019 SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships, Will became the first ever person to win Gold in both the Open Ironman and Under 17 Ironman.

At just 16 years of age, Will has shown he will become a force to be reckoned with – taking out a Bronze in the Under 17 Board Relay at the Aussies, finishing 5th in the Under 17 Ironman and a finalist in the Under 17 Board Rescue, Ski Relay and Taplin.

Will also represented WA in the Western Suns Interstate team as an Open competitor and was a member of the Western Suns Pool Rescue team.

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Lavan Club of the Year (first place)

Awarded to: North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club

North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club has implemented and nurtured a culture of continuous improvement and sustainability within their club.

With an emphasis on strong governance and leadership and Development of its members through targeted initiatives, coaching programs, and education, they have demonstrated a sustained level of excellence as a club.

The judging panel also noted their partnerships with external stakeholders are key to ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come

Second Place: Mullaloo Surf Life Saving Club

Third Place: Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club

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Surf Sports Team of the Year

Awarded to: North Cottesloe Under 23 Male Surf Boat

The Under 23 Male Surf Boat team from North Cottesloe, comprised of David Hunt, Jack Varney, James Walsh, Matthew Mann, Henry Gillett, took out Gold at both the World Life Saving Championships and the 2019 SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships, as well as a silver in the Open Boat event.

This crew of boaties were also named as part of the Western Suns Surf Rowers Interstate Team to compete at the SLSA Surf Boat Interstate Championships in New South Wales earlier this year.

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Official of the Year

Awarded to: Sandy Clarke (Mullaloo SLSC)

Sandy is a selfless member of the community, giving up her spare time to ensure the smooth running of surf sports carnivals both in Western Australia and at a national level.

As an official, she has taken on roles at the SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships, Little Nippers carnivals, Surf League and Country carnivals, as well as across a host of other surf sports disciplines, including pool rescue, IRB and surf boats.

Sandy has also been instrumental in the implementation of Surf Life Saving WA’s new wristband technology across the 2018/19 season.

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Coach of the Year

Awarded to: Matthew Bowbridge (Trigg Island SLSC)

As Trigg Island’s board and iron coach, Matt has been instrumental in the development and success of the club’s youth and open athletes.

Matt had a leading hand in over 40 Gold Medals won by Trigg Island athletes at the 2019 SunSmart WA Senior Surf Life Saving Championships, where Trigg Island cemented their dominance with the 2019 Nipper, Senior and Masters Champion Club titles.

At the 2019 Aussies, Matt’s athletes made it into multiple finals and brought home one bronze medal.

Eight of Matt’s athletes were also keen members of the Western Suns representative team and Development team, going on to represent WA at a national level across the surf sports season.

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Assessor of the Year

Awarded to: John Summers (Fremantle SLSC)

John is a very experienced and accomplished assessor across a variety of awards, including Bronze Medallion and Advanced Resuscitation, as well as IRB and Jetski Drivers.

He is very active throughout the season, not only within his club but also at surrounding clubs, conducting Skills Maintenance checks, assessment sessions and facilitating awards.

John is always looking for opportunities to improve the assessment process to make it more efficient for assessors and candidates, making him a real asset to his club and to Surf Life Saving WA.

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Patrol Club of the Year

Awarded to: Fremantle SLSC

Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club takes an approach of building a sustainable level of service delivery by ensuring a consistent focus on rigorous training, building strong relationships with the community and collaborating with neighbouring clubs within the metro area.

The Club’s large operating area means that personnel and equipment need to be seamlessly managed to ensure effective patrols, and with 14 patrol groups utilising a raft of equipment across normal weekend patrols and specialised Abalone patrols, this can be quite the task.

This season, Fremantle SLSC has also actively adopted the Drone Patrol and Peer Support Programs, with a vision to further embed these into the future.

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Youth Lifesaver of the Year

Awarded to: Shannon O’Brien (Port Bouvard SLSC)

Since joining Port Bouvard Surf Life Saving Club as a Nipper, Shannon has consistently exceeded in her contributions to Port Bouvard SLSC, both on and off the beach, and is passionate about being a good role model for younger females within surf life saving.

As a dedicated lifesaver, she has delivered patrols above requirement year-on-year, gone above and beyond to assist her fellow lifesavers and continuously strived to achieve new awards, extending her skillset this season by becoming a jet-ski driver.

Off the beach, Shannon continues to show she is a leader, taking on the roles of club Treasurer and Member of the Port Bouvard Executive Committee, as well as assisting with the training of SRC and Bronze Medallion awards.

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Support Operations Volunteer of the Year

Awarded to: Tony Greenfield (Mullaloo SLSC)

Tony has been a hands-on leader and participant within Drone Patrol this season; building on his initial exposure to the initiative last season.

As an advocate for the Drone Patrol program, he has been willing to deliver localised aerial surveillance at his own club and at other events during the season, raising the awareness of the program and getting others involved in the process.

Tony has also been heavily involved in initiatives that contribute to the growth of Drone Patrol at a state level.

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Community Program of the Year

Awarded to: Christ Church Grammar School Cadet Unit (North Cottesloe SLSC)

North Cottesloe SLSC have been working closely with Christ Church Grammar School since 2002, with the aim to build a successful cadet unit that will help young men operate in a cohesive and effective team environment.

The season-long program sees the participants, who are in years 10 to 12, enrolled as members at the club and trained by members in either the Surf Rescue Certificate, Bronze Medallion or Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate, with many participants going on to become patrolling club members.

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Youth Volunteer of the Year

Awarded to: Jackson Ballardin (Trigg Island SLSC)

Jackson is an Under 15 member of Trigg Island SLSC who regularly volunteers his time in a number of areas at both club and state level. At club level, Jackson assists with the coaching of Nipper R&R, Nipper March Past and Youth beginner longboards.

He is always prepared to do patrol proxies for other members and is a well-respected patrolling member of the club. At a state level, Jackson assisted with the new surf sports technology at a number of important events including the SunSmart WA Nipper and Senior Surf Life Saving Championships.

Jackson is a role model for younger members, particularly those who are trying to find their place and pathway. His style of coaching and mentoring assist members and gives them the confidence to further develop their skills.

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