My Beach

Thousands of volunteers’ hard work and commitment was recognised and celebrated as Surf Life Saving WA hosted their annual Awards of Excellence on Saturday night.

Joined by SLSWA Chief Patron, His Excellency, the Honourable Chris Dawson AC APM, Governor of Western Australia, more than 460 attendees representing WA’s 31 surf life saving clubs, corporate and government partners, and guests celebrated the past season and the efforts of members.

SLSWA President Craig Smith-Gander AM paid tribute to the nearly 24,000 members who dedicate their weekends and holidays to helping keep Western Australian beachgoers safe.

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

“While our volunteers span all ages and many roles and responsibilities, all share the goal of helping West Australian beachgoers enjoy our magnificent coastline safely.”

Taking out the coveted Lavan Club of the Year title, including a cheque for $10,000, Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club had a year of success across all areas of Surf Life Saving. They have just completed their best season in Surf Sports and whilst in the middle of a building program, they have impressively managed to have steady growth in membership with a strong Nipper and youth focus.

Long-serving Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club member Laurie Mott was named 2023 Surf Lifesaver of the Year in recognition of his leadership and dedication to mentoring and training other members, as well as his commitment as a front-line surf lifesaver whose contributions have had a significant impact on the safety of the beach-going public.

Sorrento’s achievements were also recognised in the surf sports arena, with member Michael Booth named Coach of the Year, and Roger Nowell, Official of the Year.

Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club’s Mitchell Shackles was named Young Surf Lifesaver of the Year following a season that saw the 21-year-old take on several leadership roles at his Club, including his Patrol’s Vice Captaincy and Area Coordinator for Abalone patrols, in addition to completing more than 80 patrol hours.

North Cottesloe also had a successful year taking home three awards, including the Community Education Program of the Year for their Sea Lions Program, which works with teens with disabilities to help them develop valuable water safety skills, build confidence, and become part of a supportive and connected community.

Albany’s Angus Bowles was named Young Volunteer of the Year, recognised as a fantastic role model who demonstrated great leadership at his Club. The former SLSWA Youth Member of the Year is a highly regarded patrolling surf lifesaver, in addition to helping deliver a number of junior and youth programs and coaching nipper surf sports at his Albany Club.

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

Read more about all our winners here and view the photo gallery here.

Full list of 2023 Winners – PDF