My Beach

Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) capped off another successful year, recognising the hard work and commitment of its thousands of volunteer members at the annual Awards of Excellence on Saturday night.

Joined by SLSWA Chief Patron, His Excellency, the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM, Governor of Western Australia, more than 460 attendees representing WA’s 31 surf life saving clubs, corporate and government partners, and guests celebrated the past season and the efforts of members.

SLSWA President Heidi Gan OLY paid tribute to the dedicated and passionate volunteers who make up the more than 25,000-strong movement in Western Australia, dedicating their weekends and holidays to helping keep Western Australian beachgoers safe.

“Because of the contributions of our dedicated members, and with the support of our partners, I am proud to state that no lives were lost between the red and yellow flags this season,” said Ms Gan.

Taking out the coveted Lavan Club of the Year title for their first time, including a cheque for $10,000, Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club had a year of success across all areas of Surf Life Saving.

The Club worked hard to engage with its community and work closely with local authorities. Not only did they collaborate with other Surf Life Saving Clubs on numerous projects, they had a strong focus on the next generation and being an inclusive club, as well as strategic approach in delivering a whole of club program.

Among the individual award recipients on the evening was Quinns Mindarie Surf Life Saving Club’s Scott Anderson, named 2024 Surf Lifesaver of the Year. Recognised for his passion and commitment, Scott was involved in multiple rescues across the season, committed personal time to critical incident response, as well as taking on the role of Area Coordinator for the Mindarie abalone fishing patrols, where he was instrumental in the delivery of the four sessions without any major incidents.

Quinns Mindarie was also recognised with the Patrol Club of the Year Award for its exceptional lifesaving services catering to local community needs. This season, initiatives including launching its Drone Patrol program, growing its Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) crew, and providing support for older community members to access the water, including the addition of a new beach access wheelchair, all helped the club expand its services beyond the main flagged area.

The club was also heavily involved with abalone patrols, providing members, jet skis and IRBs in the Mindarie area to ensure safe abalone fishing sessions.

Long-serving Broome Surf Life Saving Club member Mark Pager was named 2024 Volunteer of the Year in recognition of his dedication and contributions to the overall improvement of his club and the movement. This season, in addition to serving as his Club’s Director of Lifesaving, he volunteered across multiple areas, including mentoring and community liaison.

Coogee Beach’s focus on the next generation of surf lifesavers was recognised with 18-year-old member Lachlan Olive named Young Surf Lifesaver of the Year and 23-year-old Director of Member Development Elise Stallard taking out Young Volunteer of the Year. Member Kevin Giles’ commitment to helping the club’s nippers didn’t go unnoticed as he took out the Woodside Nippers Program Volunteer of the Year award.

In the sports arena, Jake Smith of Trigg Island was crowned back-to-back of the Athlete of the Year despite a season hampered by injury and illness. Among his state and national medals, Jake’s exceptional talent and dedication saw him selected to captain the WA Pool Rescue representative team and as a member of the Australian Life Saving Team, which competed in the World Cup in Germany.

Trigg Island’s Andrew Mosel was named Coach of the Year, and the club also took out the Community Program of the Year for their Silver Salties Program for those over 65.

Craig Smith-Gander AM, a North Cottesloe member and former SLSWA President, was also inducted as a Life Member on the evening, while three sporting greats, Jackson Symonds of Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club, Reece Baker from Trigg Island, and Thomas Nolan of North Cottesloe were all inducted into the Sporting Hall of Fame in recognition of their achievements in the surf sports arena.

The winners of the following awards will go on to represent WA at the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence in November: Community Education Program, Official, Coach, Athlete, Trainer, Assessor, Young Surf Lifesaver, Surf Lifesaver, Volunteer and Lavan Club of the Year.

View the photos from the evening here
View the winners profiles here
Download the full list of winners here