My Beach

Matthew Percy, who went to the aid of a friend when he was attacked by a shark while surfing near Gracetown last year, was one of 23 individuals recognised at last Friday’s Coastal Bravery Awards, presented by Surf Life Saving WA.

Now in their third year, the awards recognise those who have shown selflessness and bravery in going to the aid of others in trouble on our coast.

Presented with their awards by His Excellency, The Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, Mr Percy was this year’s sole recipient of the Gold Medallion for Exceptional Bravery.

A further twenty were honoured with the Silver Medallion for Bravery, including five members of the Western Australian Police Force and six of our very own surf lifesavers; and two recipients under 16 years of age were awarded the Bronze Medallion for Courage – Youth Award.

In welcoming recipients and their guests, Surf Life Saving WA (SLSWA) President Craig Smith-Gander said that every year, several thousand West Australian beach goers found themselves in life threatening situations on our coast, and many owe their lives to the surf lifesavers, emergency service personnel, and members of the public who respond to their call for aid.

“Sometimes these acts require the rescuers to selflessly place themselves in harm’s way, and it is these incredible acts of bravery that we hope to capture and recognise through the Coastal Bravery Awards.”

Through our Silver Medallion for Bravery – Lifesavers Award we also recognise our surf life saving members who have performed an act of bravery, using their training acquired as a surf lifesaver, either on or off the beach,” he said.

Also recognised on the day was SLSWA community partner Lendlease, who received the Meritorious Support Award, in recognition of their significant and sustained support towards the delivery, promotion, and participation in coastal safety initiatives in WA; and the Scarboro Surf Life Saving Club, who received a Citation of Merit for their actions which, on a hot spring day in 2011, saw their members perform in excess of 470 rescues in extreme conditions.

We would like to thank the wonderful Monika Kos, who once again gave generously of her time to MC the event; His Excellency, The Hon. Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia; and SLSWA partner Woodside Energy who hosted the event at their Mia Yellagonga headquarters.

For a full list of recipients, including details of their acts and photos from the award ceremony, visit the Coastal Bravery Awards website.

Nominations for the 2020 Coastal Bravery Awards are now open. For further information or to nominate a deserving individual visit