My Beach

Secret Harbour SLSC’s Carolyn Wilson is a selfless member of our surf life saving community, giving up her spare time to ensure the smooth running of sports carnivals both in Western Australia and at a national level.

Carolyn, who once hated the beach, is now a familiar fixture, seen officiating at surf sports events nearly every weekend throughout the season. She is also our back-to-back winner of Official of the Year.

There’s never a dull moment for Carolyn, with her days taken up with her nursing career, involvement with surf life saving, netball coaching and making time for friends and family. We chatted to Carolyn to find out what she enjoyed most in the past year of lifesaving and how her year ahead is shaping up!

Q. If you could describe the last year in three words, what words would you use?
A. Busy, challenging & fun.

Q. How would your colleagues or fellow SLS members describe you?
A. I hoping they would say I’m an enthusiastic, fair, friendly, knowledgeable, a great team member and an inspiring leader when in a leadership role.

Q. What is your highlight from the past year of Surf Life Saving?
A. I love all that surf life saving offers individuals and it’s hard to pick one highlight. I think being area referee of the youth championships as it was a new challenge and a success was a highlight!

Q. How did it feel to win the Official of the Year title again in 2017?
A. It’s an honour to be named as the Official of the Year in recognition of my volunteer officiating; but it is a team effort and I love being around my fellow officials, plus the managers, athletes and support personnel.

Q. If you were an animated character or superhero, who would you be and why? {We already think you’re a superhero in your own right!}
A. Geez this is a hard one. Probably Natalie from Charlie’s Angels. She’s intelligent, beautiful, resourceful and willing to take on any challenge. Plus, she has impressive physical expertise – haha.

Q. Who has inspired you in your life and why?
A. I’m in awe of a lot of people, but particularly my parents and grandparents. They had a challenging life working hard for little reward, but an enjoyable and simple life; they made the most of what they had and built on this for our future.

Q. How have your experiences in surf life saving shaped or affected your career as a nurse?
A. Being part of this amazing association is like being in an extremely large extended family. It’s hard to say if it’s the chicken or the egg. Nursing has been part of me for 33 years and I think I bring a lot of my nursing into surf life saving. My work colleagues would say how I chat about my life saving involvement and what I’ve been able to experience through surf life saving a lot and are amazed and inspired. Surf life saving is also part of who I am.

Q. What are your plans for the coming year?
A. Shortly I will be Deputy Referee at the 2017 Australian & Interstate Pool Rescue Championships in Adelaide and, over the coming year, I’ll continue to officiate, educate and learn. I’m looking forward to officiating at the Aussies at Scarborough in 2018, as well as the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide next year.

Q. What is one piece of advice you have for members of surf lifesaving who are interested in officiating?
A. Come and join our fantastic team/family. It is rewarding and the camaraderie makes it fun. We learn along the way and we mentor our new and aspiring officials. You too could travel the world with the lifesaving family or just help out locally when you can. We always love to see new faces!