My Beach

Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) capped off another successful year as they recognised the efforts of their members at the annual Awards of Excellence at Crown Perth on Saturday night.

With more than 530 attendees representing WA’s 31 surf life saving clubs, corporate and government partners, and guests, SLSWA President Craig Smith-Gander AM paid tribute to the nearly 25,000 members who dedicate their weekends and holidays to the movement.

“These people are the everyday heroes of our beaches, all of whom commit countless hours of service to uphold our mission of saving lives and building great communities,” said Mr Smith-Gander.

“Be they lifesavers or parent helpers, athletes or coaches, age group managers or officials, the list goes on; the tireless efforts of our dedicated volunteers are what makes Surf Life Saving so special and ensures our mission of saving lives and building great communities is reflected in the work we do.”

Sorrento Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC) focus on participation, healthy living, positive wellbeing and inclusion throughout the season has paid off as they were awarded the coveted Lavan Club of the Year award.

Apart from challenging members in general to volunteer and get involved, Sorrento focused on growing and engaging their youth to stay active within the Club. One of the successful strategies they have implemented is using experienced members as mentors for their youth, giving the youth role models to look up to and connect with.

Fremantle SLSC had an outstanding evening, taking out four of the top gongs, including Patrol Club of the Year for the third time in four years. Member Mike Shaw continued to show his commitment to surf lifesaving taking out Assessor of the Year, previously he has been awarded both Volunteer and Trainer of the Year in 2019.

Fremantle’s ability to develop and engage their younger members has been recognised, with Jake Silipo awarded Youth Surf Lifesaver of the Year, and James Currey, Young Volunteer of the Year.

Both of Trigg Island’s wins this year was thanks to star athlete Will Savage who was named both Youth Athlete of the Year and Bernie Kelly Medallist for the second year running.

Will proved he is a force to be reckoned with, backing up his 2021 successes with his performance at the 2022 SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships which saw him pocket an astounding 12 gold and two bronze medals. Noteworthy performances included gold medals across both the U19 and Open divisions for the Ironman, Surf Race, Board Race and Taplin Relay. Nationally, Will also placed in the top 10 in both the U19 Ironman and U19 Surf Race at the 2022 Aussies, as well as bringing home the U19 National Title in the Board Relay.

Alkimos President Shaun Nicholls was named Surf Lifesaver of the Year, claiming Alkimos’ first-ever award. Recognised for his dedication around the Club in various roles, including Patrol Captain, Age Group Manager, and Trainer, Shaun is continually looking to increase the patrol capabilities of the Club to increase its membership and operational hours in the lifesaving space.

With a focus on developing the Club’s youth members, Shaun has also developed strong relationships with several local schools through the running of beach awareness days.

The prestigious honour of Life Membership was awarded to two members who have demonstrated outstanding commitment, leadership and passion for their surf club and the Surf Life Saving movement, over an extended period of time. Christopher Brien ESM from Esperance Goldfields SLSC , who only recently was awarded his Emergency Services Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and Mark Hills from Mullaloo SLSC.

The winners of the following awards will go on to represent WA at the Surf Life Saving Australia Awards of Excellence later this year: Community Education Program, Official, Coach, Athlete, Trainer, Assessor, Youth Lifesaver, Surf Lifesaver, Volunteer and Lavan Club of the Year.

Read about the winners here.

See the photos here.

View the full list of winners below.