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make connections not only within her own club but in bringing neighbouring clubs together through patrolling at multiple locations and also delivering training support across the region.

Hayley has also implemented an initiative focused on accessibility that supports the wider community . Working with qualified disability support workers, she has helped members to understand how to provide a safe environment for people who need assistance to enjoy the beach.

Hayley has a passion for frontline services dedicating significant volunteer hours as a patrol captain, training officer, and RWC operator – last season she completed an incredible 400 hours of patrolling and support operations in addition to taking on the role of club Vice Captain.

Hayley’s philosophy is to provide support wherever is it needed because ‘we are all wearing the red and yellow’. 

DHL Lifeguard of the Year – Reece Dobbin, NSW

With over four years’ experience, Reece is a senior Lifeguard and the backbone of the Clarence Shire Lifeguard Service. Reece mentors’ new Lifeguards through on the job training and always presents himself in a professional manner. Reece always puts his hand up to help and is passionate about educating and training new Lifeguards. Through his support and mentoring, he has created a professional team of Lifeguards. Reece consistently goes above and beyond what is expected and has a tremendous work ethic and passion for the job.

DHL Volunteer of the Year – Richard Lissett, Quinns Mindarie SLSC, WA

Richard took on the roles of Director of Lifesaving, Director of Education and Club Captain as well as doing 100 hours of Patrol and taking on the duties of Age Group Manager.

Realising that you can take on too much and burn out Richard set about recruiting other Club Members to take on support roles and now has 8 support service officers able to take on the senior roles in the Club.

He established the Club’s first IT Committee to tackle the challenges of a growing Club. Richard has used his corporate strategic planning skills to assist develop the Club’s Strategic Plan as well as reviewing and redrafting all Club policies and procedures to ensure appropriate governance and alignment with both SLSWA and SLSA. To ensure that processes and procedures are consistent he also developed a suite of templates for Officers and members to use.Richard is passionate about ensuring the Club looks ‘beyond the flags’ and engages with the broader community and local government to help realise the Vision and Mission of SLSA. His mantra for his Club is “Don’t step back, step forward” and has a firm belief that Clubs should constantly be seeking feedback from its members and reigniting the passion for the purpose of saving lives.

 DHL Surf Life Saver OTY – Shannon Fox, Wollongong City SLSC, NSW

Shannon is an exceptional Surf Lifesaver including being a Trainer, Mentor, Competitor and Leader across all levels of Surf Lifesaving.

Shannon is currently working on developing a universal design headset for people of all hearing abilities/disabilities which will serve as waterproof communications in aquatic settings.  Shannon describes herself as a small part of something bigger.  Shannon was the first female club captain in her clubs 100-year history and has trailed blazed a path forward for young woman.  Shannon is also Captain of Wollongong City Emergency Response team, the SLSNSW Youth Program Director and has recently facilitated at the SLSA Leadership College.

Shannon is passionate, humble, and a supportive leader.  In closing to quote Shannon ‘kindness costs nothing’.

DHL Club of the Year – Mermaid Beach AEME SLSC, QLD

Over the past 12 months, Mermaid has shown a range of sustainability and improvement measures across areas of governance, leadership, development, community engagement and the delivery of lifesaving services.

Mermaid partnered with Queensland Academies Health Sciences, one of three state schools for highly capable students in years 10 to 12. The goal was to increase membership and expose students to SLS who otherwise would not get the opportunity, and to develop them into future leaders of the club and SLS. In January 2022, 26 students and teachers completed various awards including SRC and BM and each student transitioned into patrol groups. One student completed 76 patrol hours since January 2022. Planning has commenced for a new group of students.

Continuous improvement has been evident through feedback from members. A couple of Mermaid members were involved in an out of hours tragedy and found it challenging to pull an unconscious patient onto a rescue board. This resulted in changes to training procedures for unconscious patients using this fully submersible manakin purchased by the club in response to the feedback.

Continuous improvement was also evident in the implementation of an accessible beach mat which was prompted by a Life Member who suffered a spinal cord injury. This member, along with many other beach goers on a Sunday can now enjoy getting down to the water.

The club is committed to sustainability initiatives which have included the implementation of new wash down procedures to mitigate against erosion and flooding risks.

A range of diversity and inclusion initiatives were a feature of the last 12 months including the roll out of the Silver Salties program, the development of an App for youth members which SLSQ will now roll out across the state. Life Member’s contributions to the club were also recognised with a lunch on the first patrol weekend of the season.

Governance and succession planning was a feature of Mermaid’s application, and this is evident in the transition of all management committee roles. A new Strategic Plan was implemented this season following extensive input from club members and other stakeholders which has resulted in a new plan for the next 10 years, which includes annual KPI reviews.

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