Coming up through the ranks from nipper to Membership and Leadership Development Director, Portsea SLSC’s Emily Mellor looks sets for further heights thanks to her recent completion of LSV’s Female Leadership Network (FLN) Business Boot Camp and Business Boot Camp extension programs. Here’s her lifesaving story:
Club: Portsea SLSC
Volunteer Role: Membership and Leadership Development Director
How long have you been involved in lifesaving?
Since 2008 (9 years).
What made you become involved in lifesaving?
My younger brothers and sister all did nippers at Portsea, but mostly my Mum didn’t want me to be bored all summer. She thought doing my Surf Rescue Certificate at Portsea might help keep me busy and introduce me to new people.
What are some of your responsibilities at your club?
At the moment I am responsible for the leadership development program at Portsea SLSC. My position is relatively new at our club. I primarily focus on providing other club members in leadership positions with support in developing young leaders and advertising leadership development opportunities to our membership. As part of my role, I sit on the General Committee and Operational Sub-Committee. I’m involved in other areas of the club too, especially the Education area.
What do you most enjoy about lifesaving?
I love the community aspect of lifesaving. Giving back to the community and keeping people safe are intrinsic to what we do, and this common purpose helps create strong relationships and ties between members. I also love the beach and how much fun we have!
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering?
I often tell people that completing your Bronze Medallion or your Senior First Aid is a great way to learn really important life skills. Some people are daunted by the swim requirement, but it isn’t far and is a great challenge to set yourself if you aren’t a swimmer. Even taking your kids down to Nippers can help equip kids with some very useful knowledge. I have seen ten-year-old Nippers perform rescues and save people from drowning.
These are great entry pathways to gain some exposure to lifesaving skills and go on to volunteer afterwards. But you don’t need to have an award – there are all kind of different skills that can make you a valuable volunteer. All lifesaving clubs need help with admin or speciality advice or even just an extra person to help on working bees. It’s always up to the individual, but the more you put in, the more rewarding the experience will be for you!
What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far?
In 2016, I was provided the opportunity to participate in Life Saving Victoria’s Building Leaders Scholarship. Through the scholarship we received practical leadership coaching and technical training, equipping us to teach lifesaving courses with the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka. Teaching trainers overseas was a very valuable, challenging, influential and memorable experience – and a whole lot of fun!
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy?
Last year I completed my International Studies degree, commencing full-time work this year in Management Consulting. I like exploring down the coast, drinking coffee, hanging with friends and finding new adventures!
What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you?
1. Actions speak louder than words and be the kind of leader you want to see – a mix of members from Portsea SLSC and through lifesaving.
2. “Spend quality time with quality people, because life is too short not to” – a lifesaving friend.
3. “What a day, what a lifestyle” – my brother Max, who has an excellent sense of humour and gratitude.