Bayview College Secondary School teacher and Portland SLSC life member Andy Murrell is a passionate life member of Portland SLSC. His efforts in the community were recently recognised when he became the recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for his dedication to his community, particularly for his work with his surf life saving club.
Andy first became involved with Portland SLSC back in 1977, when he followed his two older brothers in joining the club. From then on, he remembers spending most of his youth at the beach and has since became patrol captain and held various committee positions. His son Lachlan and daughter Alexandra also share his love of the club, sometimes patrolling the beach together as a family.
Volunteer Roles: Competition coordinator; trainer and assessor – both for bronze medallion, and senior first aid courses, as well as numerous other roles, as called upon.
Current Club: Portland SLSC
How long have you been involved in lifesaving? 42 years
What made you become involved in lifesaving? My older brothers would take me to the club each weekend when I was young, so I followed them into the club.
What are some of your responsibilities at your club? My focus is to encourage younger members to maintain their ongoing commitment to the club by trying to involve them in competition.
What do you enjoy most about lifesaving? Developing and maintaining a strong sense of commitment to the organisation and educating the broader community about the dangers of the surf and open water.
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering? In my role as a secondary school teacher, one of my primary focuses is to encourage young children and students to become physically active in a wide variety of sport and activities. Through my involvement in surf lifesaving, I have been able to use my school as a forum to encourage students to become members of our local surf life saving club. Using the forum of school, I encourage younger members to become involved and try to get them participating in competition.
What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far? Seeing my daughter Alexandra win a state title at our home beach of Portland. And being awarded a life membership of the Portland SLSC.
What types of rescues have you been involved in? Performing several preventive actions throughout my time in the club.
What’s been the most surprising part of being a volunteer with your club? That the more I become involved in the club, the greater the sense of satisfaction.
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy? Teaching, being active with my family, running and swimming each morning with our dog (Ziebell).
What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you? An inspiring P.E teacher once said to me “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn (Benjamin Franklin). In all my teaching and coaching I try to involve all my students/competitors to be active learners.
Read more about Andy in his local newspaper, The Standard: www.standard.net.au/story/5189476/passion-for-the-ocean-leads-to-a-top-honour-for-teacher
Do you need further information? Learn more about our volunteer program and become a member of LSV.