Our AGL Lifesaver of the Year, Russell Price proves you don’t have to be a member for long to make a real difference. Joining Mandurah SLSC as a nipper parent just six years ago, Russell has made a huge impact at his club as well as the local community, helping create an inclusive environment for all beachgoers and Surf Life Saving members alike.
To get to know Russell a bit better, we asked him a few questions – check out his answers below.
Does any particular day on patrol stand out to you? Yes, last December I was involved in the City of Mandurah Beach Access Day. A day where beach-access-matting was installed all the way to the water’s edge at Town Beach and beach wheelchairs were made available for all beachgoers.
I spent the day assisting wheelchair-bound people in and out of the water, and what a fulfilling day it was! Some of these people hadn’t been able to access the water for 10-20 years, and to be able to be a part of this experience with them was so special!
What does Surf Life Saving mean to you and how has it shaped who you are today? I’m heading into my 6th season, so it’s only been a short journey for me so far, but being involved with the club and Surf Life Saving as a whole has given me a sense of belonging. It also makes me feel like I am making a positive, worthwhile contribution to my community.
It is funny how much growth and development from surf carries over to your paid employment and life as a whole. I am definitely a better person from the journey I am on thanks to surf life saving!
Did you grow up with the beach? If so, where was your home beach? I grew up on a semi-rural property in Byford, so the beach wasn’t very accessible. When possible, I used to take the 1.5-hour train trip to Cottesloe Beach on the school holidays, with my friends.
Have you ever performed a rescue, if so how did it make you feel? I have been involved in a couple of rescues before, nothing too major, but things can turn bad so quickly. In times where I have had to go to someone’s aid, I appreciate the training that kicks in.
Describe your perfect weekend? When you try and plan the perfect night, day or weekend it never eventuates like planned. The perfect, most memorable times come from unplanned decisions. As long as the ingredients include the beach, good friend and good tunes it’s going to be a great one!
As a lifesaver, what advice do you have for those visiting the beach? Know your own limitations. Just because someone else is able to do something doesn’t mean you have to do the same! The best day can turn to the worst in the blink of an eye. Also, a message to parents, watch your kids, not your phone!
What is your favourite WA beach? To be honest, I don’t have a particular favourite, it depends on what I am after? I could give you a list
a mile long of favourites from Cable to Middleton, but take me to any beach and I’ll be happy!
What is the most rewarding part of being a lifesaver? I’d have to say the friends you create. When I joined I never thought I would have gained such a diverse group of close friends!
Now for the serious stuff:
If you could eat 1 food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Tough question, but I’d have to say my dad’s black forest cake! My parents owned a couple of cake shops during my childhood and dad’s black forest is easily a 12 out of 10! It is now a family tradition at Christmas!
If you could time travel, when would you go? I would go back to 1995, when I was turning 18, to give myself a kick up the backside and a few words of advice… however, whether 18-year-old me would listen to 42-year-old me is another story?
What is your spirit animal and why? I took a quiz on google and apparently, I’m a Wolf!
The power of the wolf brings forth instinct, intelligence, appetite for freedom, and awareness of the importance of social connections. When the wolf shows up in your life, pay attention to what your intuition is telling you.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? As a kid, I used to collect matchboxes. I’ve got just over 300 (not sure if that’s a lot?) from different eras all over the world. The funny fact now is that the smell of matches takes me straight back to my childhood!
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