On the 30th of July, I was lucky enough to become the fourth member of the Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club to win the John Wishart Medal for Victorian Lifesaver of the Year. This followed a process of nominations and selection stages lasting throughout May and June. Firstly was a nomination from the club, highlighting my patrolling achievements across the 2014/15 patrolling season, as well as a number of other factors, such as involvement across preceding seasons, rescue activities, community water safety contribution and my goals for future lifesaving endeavours.
From this point, successful nominees were invited back for an interview with a panel at Life Saving Victoria headquarters. This process focussed on many of the same factors covered in the original interview process, however, this time in far greater detail. Eventually, at the LSV Awards of Excellence evening, I was selected from a group of six finalists to win the John Wishart Medal, an incredibly exciting and humbling experience. It is a testament to Fairhaven SLSC that its members have been successful in consecutive years, and I feel truly honoured to join legends of the club and tireless contributors, in Tim Gates, Vanessa Lewanski and Alex Buckley, as the Fairhaven members to have won this award. My focus for many years has been lifesaving development at the club, especially through the junior channels and training programs. I hope to expand this focus, and continue to provide as much service to the club as I can.
As is often noted, it is not difficult to work for something that you are truly passionate about, and if it were not for Fairhaven SLSC, I would be a vastly different individual. There are an incredible number of people who need to be thanked for their contribution to lifesaving at Fairhaven, and more importantly, the culture at this great club – we all know who they are, and hope that they are proud of what we are attempting to build on their foundations!