Meet two lifesaving heroes of WA’s surf beaches

We recently recognised two WA heroes who are donating their time and energy into keeping WA's beaches safe.

Community
5 min read
WA is home to hundreds of beautiful beaches, strung out like pearls along a spectacular coastline. Keeping these beaches safe – for both the locals who come down for a quick dip and the tourists tempted by the azure waters – is the key focus for thousands of volunteer surf lifesavers who donate their time and skills every summer.

Whether on the beach in their familiar red and yellow uniforms or behind the scenes helping to train the next generation of lifesavers, volunteers are the lifeblood of surf lifesaving. Indeed, there are more than 5,000 volunteer surf lifesavers of them in WA alone.

We were delighted to support Surf Life Saving WA at its 2019 Awards of Excellence in recognition of some real heroes on the beach, and we are proud of our ongoing involvement with local surf lifesaving clubs across WA. It’s all part of our mission to support the local communities in which we operate.

SLSWA’s AGL Volunteer of the Year: Mike Shaw

First, there is the remarkable Mike Shaw, who was awarded SLSWA’s AGL Volunteer of the Year award. A towering presence (he’s over two metres tall) at Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club, Mike is the club’s Education Manager. He is responsible for training new ‘Bronzies’ (that’s the Bronze Medallion to the uninitiated) and running beach safety and surf awareness programs for newcomers and migrants.

The Bronze Medallion is a tough course – trainers devote endless hours to helping the participants learn the specific skills required to pass. Mike said that the most rewarding part of being a trainer is “seeing the faces of our members when they pass their Bronze assessments.” And the more people that achieve the accreditation thanks to people like Mike, the more volunteers that are available to help keep beaches and other community areas safe.

SLSWA’s AGL Lifesaver of the Year: Russell Price

Russell Price is the Director of Life Saving at Mandurah Surf Life Saving Club. As the recipient of SLSWA’s AGL Lifesaver of the Year award, Russell said he was honoured and privileged to be recognised for doing something he loves.

While he has only been involved in his local club for six years, Russell has certainly thrown himself into his role and is grateful for the opportunities that stem from it. And his advice for those visiting the beach?

“Know your own limitations. Just because someone else is able to do something doesn’t mean you have to do the same! The best day can turn to the worst in the blink of an eye. Also, a message to parents, watch your kids, not your phone!”

Wise words from the award winner. We are lucky to have volunteers like Russell patrolling the beaches.

A helping hand from AGL

Mike and Russell agree that AGL’s sponsorship of Surf Life Saving WA has made a big difference to their clubs.

Through our three-year partnership, AGL is donating much-needed new gear – like surf rescue boards, nipper boards and marquees – to all 31 clubs across WA.

It means that all clubs, whether big or smaller, can reallocate their own money to upgrade other vital lifesaving equipment.

We are extremely proud to support these clubs and, by doing so, help them to continue their amazing work in keeping our beaches safe.

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Partnering with Surf Life Saving WA

Learn more about AGL's partnership with Surf Life Saving WA.

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