Jameson exemplifies the surf motto of vigilance and service and was recently awarded Microflite Lifesaver of the Year at the 2019 Awards of Excellence for his outstanding contribution to lifesaving as a patrolling member. Here is his lifesaving story:
Waratah Beach SLSC
How long have you been involved in lifesaving?
This season will be my 10th as a patrolling member.
Why did you become involved in lifesaving?
My older cousin did his bronze and got involved in the lifesaving club a few years before I was old enough to do so. I really looked up to my cousin as a role model and thought I should follow in his footsteps, so I signed up for the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) camp, and from there I just wanted to do more and more, which has led me to where I am now.
What are some of your responsibilities at your club?
As a Patrol Captain (PC) at Waratah, I am in charge of the clubhouse for the weekend of my patrol. This includes opening up the club, being responsible for the members who are staying the night and helping organise transport for the under 18s who are attending patrol. We also have a group patrol dinner after each day, which is the PC’s job to organise.
For the past few years, I have also been the timetable coordinator for the Bass District Development Camp. In that role, I am responsible for making sure the camp runs to time and we cover all content. I also help train and assess various other courses and camps during the year, and I assist with requalification.
What do you enjoy most about lifesaving?
The opportunities. I love how many opportunities are available to members. Whether it’s patrolling, training, water safety or competition, there is more than enough to keep you busy. It’s tough to be bored in lifesaving.
I think it’s amazing how members also have the opportunity to learn so many skills and gain qualifications that can help them in other life endeavours. I have learnt things that have opened up other opportunities for employment, and I’ve gained skills that will help me in my career in the future. I know very few organisations where you can live and work by the beach, travel internationally to teach others, or even simply save someone’s life.
How do you encourage others to get involved with lifesaving and volunteering?
I think it is important to know your audience. Once you know a bit about someone and what interests them, you can help to develop those interests. For example, if I know that people are interested in IRBs, I will try and support them in getting involved with IRB training and promote the next IRB course to them.
I also try my best to be energetic and excited about what I do. I encourage people by being present myself and doing my best to make things interesting and engaging. I think being enthusiastic can be infectious. If I’m excited to go to patrol, it encourages others to be excited, and that flows on. I try and see everything we do in lifesaving as an opportunity and not an obligation.
What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far?
Being awarded Lifesaver of the Year. A close second would either be getting selected to participate in LSV’s Building Leaders Program in 2016 or being chosen to represent SLSA in the Japanese Lifeguard Exchange in 2015.
Tell us a little about your past 12 months in lifesaving and what it means to be awarded Lifesaver of the Year.
I am proud to have won this award for myself but also as a representative of my club. Being a smaller club and far away from Melbourne, we aren’t often in the limelight. I like to think this award is also a reflection of the good work and achievements of my club. Very little of my involvement with lifesaving has been solo, I have always been surrounded by teams of good people and it’s this teamwork that produces the amazing things we do.
When you’re not lifesaving, what keeps you busy?
I am currently in my second year of studying medicine and am based out of St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy. Otherwise I try and keep fit with CrossFit and Swimming.
Current volunteer roles:
- Patrol Captain
- Vice Club Captain
- Club Trainer, Assessor & Facilitator
- Waratah Beach SLSC Active’s Committee
- Bass District Development camp management team
- Leadership. Search & Rescue (LSAR) camp management team
Previous volunteer roles:
- Club Captain
- Bronze Camp Coordinator
- LSAR Camp Coordinator