My Beach

The category winners of Surf Life Saving WA’s 2018 Awards of Excellence, held in June, will be heading to Sydney to proudly represent WA at Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Awards of Excellence; where SLSA will recognise the hard work, selflessness and enthusiasm of surf life saving’s volunteers across Australia.

This year, the National Awards will be celebrated at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on the 27 October.

You’ve met all of our finalists through their Q&A’s over recent weeks, you’ve heard their stories and why surf lifesaving means so much to them. However, just in case you wanted to catch up, here is a recap of those who will proudly represent their clubs and WA on 27 October, accompanied by SLSA’s write up of each finalist.

Name: Sandy Clarke
Club: Mullaloo SLSC
Finalist For: DHL Volunteer of the Year and Official of the Year
Click here to read her Q&A

SLSA Summary about Sandy:
Sandy has been involved in almost every aspect of surf lifesaving this season. Throughout her 20-year career within the movement, her natural ability to lead and her enthusiasm has allowed her to become a natural ambassador, continuing to inspire others. Sandy’s skills in communication has improved both the club and culture and she has been involved in the development and testing of the Australian Surf Rowers League app. Her passion for surf boat rowing is shared with the youth of her club, where she has engaged and retained younger members to compete and improve their skills through awards. Sandy is a true asset and inspiration to her club, connecting Mullaloo SLSC to the public.

Name: Liam Burke
Club: Fremantle SLSC
Finalist For: DHL Lifesaver of the Year
Click here to read his Q&A

SLSA Summary about Liam: 
Liam’s focus over the past season has seen some new initiatives and systems implemented at Fremantle SLSC. Liam’s engagement with the club’s youth has seen a pathway established for youth to step into leadership roles, bridging the gap between the older and younger members. Liam’s youth engagement has also extended into the surf boat section. Having trained to become a sweep in the offseason, he has been able to encourage younger members to feel included, helping to retain the maximum number of young people possible within the club.

Name: Denmark Surf Life Saving Club
Finalist For: DHL Club of the Year

SLSA Summary about Denmark: 
Denmark SLSC has seen massive growth in membership through the recent season with a record number of 295 new members. The club has strengthened pathways for members both within the club and externally, working hard to create strong relationships with other clubs to provide a range of different experiences and opportunities. The trainers and assessors have delivered 63 awards to its members and have provided upskilling and requalification to numerous local schools, community organisations and businesses in the region. The club’s strategic plan has been shared with all members, which has helped to encourage and embed a culture of continuous improvement across the entire club.

Name: Angus McMillan
Club: Scarboro SLSC

Finalist For: Youth Lifesaver of the Year
Click here to read his Q&A

SLSA Summary about Angus: Angus prides himself on upskilling and advancing himself through the Surf Life Saving award structure. His vast knowledge has enabled him to become his club’s Lifesaving Officer, Patrol Captain and Training Officer as well as becoming a member of the Beach Operations Committee. He has balanced these achievements with a strong competition presence and over 100 volunteer patrol hours on the beach. Angus mentors Bronze Medallion trainees and was instrumental in the club’s negotiation with local council on their service agreement and maintaining compliance.

Name: Domenic Cowdell
Club: North Cottesloe SLSC

Finalist For: Trainer of the Year
Click here to read his Q&A

SLSA Summary about Domenic:  
Domenic’s extensive knowledge of surf lifesaving has been instrumental in his success as a trainer. His ability to think outside the square has enriched training sessions for his students.  From modifying manikins to introducing the SmartMan into training to create a more realistic training experience for participants. As Head Trainer at North Cottesloe SLSC and Chair of Education, Domenic’s knowledge and skill as a trainer has assisted in improving other trainers’ skills and raising the level of training across WA. Domenic’s contribution both on and off the beach is invaluable.

Name: Mark Hills
Club: Mullaloo SLSC

Finalist For: Assessor of the Year

SLSA Summary about Mark:
Mark’s assessment capacity has extended beyond his numerous club capacities, to state and international assessment.  This season, for the 18th year in a row, Mark led a team of volunteers to Bali to assist with training and assessment. Mark has over 20 years of volunteer service, focusing on the growth of his fellow surf lifesavers.  Over the last season, Mark has assessed Bronze, SRC, IRB, Advanced Resuscitation Technique courses within his club as well as conducting many courses at other WA clubs and overseas in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Name: Jenny Plint
Club: Sorrento SLSC
Finalist For: Coach of the Year
Click here to read her Q&A

SLSA Summary about Jenny: 
Jenny continues to shine as Sprint Coach and has enjoyed an outstanding season on the sand. Her athletes took out numerous gold medals at Aussies, with one sprinter breaking a record held since 1953. Jenny’s squad of Sorrento athletes have grown to one of the largest in WA, all competing to a very high level. Jenny is happy to share her vast knowledge with other clubs and uses her expertise to mentor other coaches and age managers. Jenny’s contribution to sand sports in WA is strengthened by her participation at national forums and coaching events.

Name: Jackson Symonds
Club: Sorrento SLSC
Finalist For: Open Athlete of the Year
Click here to read his Q&A

SLSA Summary about Jackson: 
Jackson has had another successful season on the sand competing at both state and national levels as well as internationally at the Sanyo Bussan Cup, delivering impressive results at all events. Jackson took home first place in three beach sprint finals in Japan and at the Aussies Championships, taking home his fourth beach sprint gold on home soil. Jackson takes pride in giving back to his club by mentoring senior and junior athletes and running beaches clinics with Coogee SLSC.

Name: Jake Smith
Club: Trigg Island SLSC
Finalist For: Youth Athlete of the Year

SLSA Summary about Jake: Jake has been a consistent ambassador not only for his club and Western Australia but also Australia on an international level. He enjoyed international success this season in pool rescue events and as a member of the Australian Lifesaving Team travelling to Germany, New Zealand and Japan, taking home medals at both competitions. Jake is a fierce competitor who is community minded and inspirational to other athletes. Jake continues to develop his surf lifesaving skills through gaining further qualifications and improving his skill set.

Name: Brett Wood
Finalist For: DHL Lifeguard of the Year

SLSA Summary about Brett: 
Brett has used his diverse skill set and knowledge to work across a variety of beaches in the Perth metropolitan area. Trained as a drone operator, Brett was instrumental in the early development and implementation of the program at Secret Harbour SLSC. Brett used his expertise to mentor and train volunteers in drone deployment in surrounding areas. Brett is an enthusiastic and passionate lifeguard willing to share his knowledge and engage the public at any opportunity.

Name: Christ Church Grammar School & North Cottesloe SLSC
Finalist For: Community Education Program of the Year 

SLSA Summary about North Cottesloe SLSC and
Christ Church Grammar School:  

North Cottesloe SLSC has created a program for young Christ Church Grammar School students to operate effectively as first responders. The program aims to provide a structured pathway for community involvement and aims to empower its students to operate as part of a cohesive and effective team. The school approached the club to work collaboratively in a project that would prove beneficial for both parties and the end goal was symbiotic in providing the club with new Bronze Medallion or Surf Rescue Certificate members and empowering the students as first responders in emergency situations.