Growing up in chilly Scotland, Andy Graham didn’t spend a lot of time at the beach. While the South Melbourne Life Saving Club member didn’t grow up with his feet in the sand, he’s well and truly part of the lifesaving community now.
As well as putting his hand up for water safety duties and regular lifesaving patrols, Andy’s a committee member who plays an important volunteer role in the redevelopment project currently underway at South Melbourne LSC. Here’s his lifesaving story:
Volunteer Role(s): Water Safety at Nippers, Committee Member
Current Club: South Melbourne LSC
How long have you been involved in lifesaving and how did you become involved?
We were inspired to take our daughter to Nippers in 2008 after seeing a Nippers program during a visit to the Gold Coast.
What are some of your responsibilities at your club?
As well as water safety at Nippers and beach patrols, I am on the committee to redevelop the clubhouse. Our clubhouse at South Melbourne has been our home for more than 60 years. Our members are who make the club, but the clubhouse is our meeting place, where memories are made. This makes the clubhouse redevelopment an important project for everyone, especially our members.
Being involved in this is more than a little different to normal club activities, as it involves:
- Liaising with LSV, local council, local government, club members.
- Planning and budgeting for the exit from the existing clubhouse.
- Making arrangements to deliver patrols during the 18 months while we will be without a clubhouse.
- Planning to get the new clubhouse up and running when it is developed.
I’ve been amazed and very grateful to everyone who has assisted with our project – current and previous club members, other members of the lifesaving community, neighbouring clubs and members of the general public.
What do you most enjoy about being a volunteer at your lifesaving club?
Growing up in Scotland, I didn’t spend a lot time on the beach (for obvious reasons! Brrrrrrr!) and even less time in the water. So, spending time on the beach in summer has to be the highlight. It also allows me to spend time with my daughter doing something that we both love.
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering?
There are many rewarding aspects of lifesaving. From encouraging the Nippers, through to developing skills in first aid and beach rescue, as well as the sense of community within lifesaving. It’s all about sharing the wonderful experience had by all.
What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far?
Being involved in a rescue and competing in the Masters at the National Pool Lifesaving Championships in Adelaide this year.
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy?
During the day I work in data analytics. For the rest of the time, I’m sharing the “taxi service” with my wife running my daughter between her many sporting activities. I am also a keen scuba diver and love the opportunity to go to Western Australia to dive our favourite reef – The Ningaloo Reef.