Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Awards of Excellence
Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Olympics and Paralympics, Mr David Crisafulli MP; Assistant Minister to the Premier for Veterans' Affairs and COVID Economic Recovery, Mr Bart Mellish MP; Surf Life Saving Queensland President, Mr Mark Fife OAM, Members of the Board, and CEO Mr Dave Whimpey; Surf Life Saving Australia President, Mr John Baker and CEO Mr Adam Weir; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
I would also like to acknowledge the original custodians of these lands, and extend respectful greetings to Elders, past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people joining us today.
As Governor and Patron of Surf Life Saving Queensland, I am truly delighted to be here this evening to celebrate the exceptional contributions and achievements of your volunteer members.
Queensland has a massive 8,000 kilometres of coastline, so it is unsurprising that Surf Life Saving grew quickly from its humble beginnings at Coolangatta in the early 20th century.
When Surf Life Saving Queensland was formalised in 1930, Governor Sir John Goodwin became its first Patron — a tradition that I am truly honoured to continue.
If we think about community participation, there is perhaps no other organisation that springs to mind so readily. Today, Surf Life Saving Queensland is represented by 57 clubs with over 36,000 volunteer members.
The iconic red and yellow flags and uniforms have come to symbolise the dependability, safety and trust that Queenslanders rely on when enjoying the beauty and pleasures of our State’s magnificent beaches.
I commend each and every one of your volunteers for their time, dedication and commitment in protecting our surf-loving community and promoting beach safety.
I sincerely thank the Board, staff, sponsors and supporters for striving to ensure the organisation has the capability to train first class lifesavers and lifeguards, and to provide the latest surf rescue equipment and technologies.
Tonight’s Awards of Excellence highlight skills and athleticism, leadership and innovation, as well as noteworthy contributions being made to Surf Life Saving Queensland and the community at large. It is about acknowledging those volunteers, teams and clubs who have achieved the most outstanding results.
As award winners, you have all worked incredibly hard over the past year to achieve excellence.
Amongst you, are six volunteers whose loyal service spans years, and even decades. Soon I will have the honour of awarding Life Membership — Surf Life Saving Queensland’s highest recognition — to each of these altruistic and remarkable individuals.
I congratulate all award recipients.
One of the greatest privileges in my role as Governor is to have the opportunity to connect with generous and extraordinary Queenslanders, and tonight is one of those occasions.