Kai Darwin of Umina Surf Life Saving Club was among a select group of the state’s top volunteer surf lifesavers to visit Parliament House on November 12.
Wearing their iconic red and yellow patrol uniforms, the lifesavers were welcomed by State MPs in honour of Surf Life Saving NSW Volunteer Recognition Day.
The meeting was a celebration of the dedication and achievement of the state’s 75,000 volunteer surf lifesavers leading into summer 2020.
Hosted by the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, the event was an opportunity for state politicians to thank Surf Life Saving volunteers personally for the work they do in protecting lives along the coastline.
It was also an opportunity to recognise the bi-partisan government support Surf Life Saving NSW enjoys and to acknowledge the commitment the organisation has to coastal safety.
Darwin, who is Youth Lifesaver of the Year was joined by Surf Lifesaver of the Year, Tony Worton, Youth Volunteer of the Year, Trae Hare-Boyd, and Junior Lifesavers of the Year, Kale Puata of North Avoca and Chloe Carr.
Elliott said he was thrilled the visit allowed politicians from across the state to engage with volunteer surf lifesavers.
“We’re very grateful that Surf Life Saving NSW served us so well during last summer, particularly during the bushfires,” he said.
“This coming summer our volunteer surf lifesavers will be even more important because we know that most of the domestic tourism destinations are going to be full.
“Australians will be making up for the COVID winter lockdown and really taking advantage of the summer break.”
An inflatable rescue boat (IRB) was installed in the level nine courtyard of NSW Parliament House to highlight the role this pivotal piece of lifesaving equipment has played in saving lives on Australian beaches over the past 50 years.
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO, Steven Pearce, said the annual visit was a great opportunity for our surf lifesavers to meet with our political leaders.
Media release, Nov 16
Surf Life Saving NSW