Winner Name: Ros Blair
Club: Floreat Surf Life Saving Club
Category: Administrator of the Year
What Year did you join Surf Life Saving: October 2008
- Marketing Degree
- Senior First Aid
- Floreat SLSC Club Manager
1. Tell us something about yourself
My family moved to Perth, Australia from Johannesburg, South Africa 10 years ago. Every single day we realise
how lucky we are to live in beautiful WA and to be able to see the amazing beaches and the ocean all the time.
We joined Floreat Surf Life Saving Club the minute the 2008/09 season started, as this was the closest club to our home in City Beach. I wanted my two young children to be part of the great Australian life and icon of Surf Life Saving and to enjoy their free time on our beautiful beaches in WA.
2. Did you grow up with the beach?
I grew up in Johannesburg, which was a six-hour drive away from the closest beach in Durban. Every holiday we would drive to Durban and spend as much time as we could on the beaches in this area.
When Jenna and James (my children) were born, we bought a beach house in Durban so that we could spend every holiday on the beach, in the surf and on the sand.
3. When you not at the beach, what keeps you busy?
I have two English Cocker Spaniels that I spend a lot of time walking. When I am not walking the dogs, I enjoy cardio gym workouts at the Floreat SLSC Gymnasium as well as Pilates classes also held at Floreat SLSC.
I love to cook and spend hours reading recipe books and trying out new things in the kitchen for my family to enjoy.
4. What does Surf Life Saving mean to you?
Surf Life Saving means a great deal to me. Having lived in Perth for the past 10 year, it has been inspiring to see how many individuals within our Club are so encouraging when it comes to getting the young and old involved in the life saving community.
This involvement makes me feel so proud of being part of such a meaningful and inspiring community group.
5. What is the best thing about your Surf Life Saving Club?
The best thing about Floreat SLSC is the people at the Club; they are so passionate with all aspects of our club,
from the Nippers right through to patrolling lifesavers.
Floreat SLSC is very much a family environment, which has allowed our family to settle easily into Perth from the start and make really good friends for life having not grown up here.
My daughter Jenna and son James joined Floreat SLSC 10 years ago when they were 10 and 11 years old and have realised what it means to be part of a community and the importance of volunteering your time in an amazing environment whether it be in the Club or on the beach helping others.
As a parent, watching your children grow up in a healthy, happy and safe environment and make such good friends has been fantastic.
6. What is your most memorable moment you have had with Surf Life Saving?
I have two memorable moments during my time with Surf Lifesaving.
In December 2013 James my son had just completed his Bronze Medallion at the age of 15 when he saved the life of a Chinese man who was face down and lifeless in the water.
We were on our Christmas holiday in Phuket, Thailand and enjoying a day out at Phi Phi islands snorkelling when we noticed a Chinese tourist floating face down and lifeless right next to our boat. We managed to move the man onto our boat and noticed his lips were blue.
I called James very quickly out of the water to get him to begin CPR and to resuscitate the man. It took James approximately 15 minutes of breaths and chest compressions to get him breathing again and his lips back to pink and hear him groaning for his life!
James received recognition from Surf Life Saving at the Awards of Excellence 2014 event for “Rescue of the Month” which we were all very proud of.
During the 2015/16 season, my daughter Jenna completed 144.5 hours patrol hours, which was the most female patrol hours achieved in WA that season!
I am so proud of both my children for being part of Surf Life Saving in WA and for playing such a big role in a volunteer organisation and which they enjoy so much.
7. How has Surf Life Saving shaped who you are today?
Starting off as a Nipper parent and then volunteering my time in the club and now being part of running the club has made me realise how lucky I am to be part of one big family with so many new friends.
Surf Life Saving has also taught me how important it is to have life skills such as the basic first aid training which you can use in any situation or place in life.
Being part of a Surf Life Saving Club enables you to learn so many more skills with courses such as CPR, advanced resuscitation techniques, surf rescue courses and the Bronze Medallion. All these courses teach you fantastic life skills.
8. What advice would you give to someone who is interested in joining Surf Life Saving?
I enjoy promoting Surf Life Saving to friends and new families arriving in Perth recommending they give it a go. I tell everyone that joining a Life Saving Club is the best way to meet people if you are new in town.
The Nipper program offers so many basic and essential skills on surf awareness and is a great pathway for children to get involved in lifesaving as they get older. Being part of a club and volunteering your time is very rewarding or just being a member and attending club events is great fun too.
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