More than 30 dedicated individuals, clubs, teams and service providers who went above and beyond in the lifesaving and aquatic community in the past year were honoured tonight at Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) 2020 Awards of Excellence evening.
Now in their 17th year, the annual awards celebrate the outstanding achievements and contributions by lifesaving volunteers and those working across the aquatic industry who serve their communities as part of LSV’s mission to prevent drowning deaths and aquatic injury in Victoria.
Portsea Surf Life Saving Club won the night’s major award, the coveted Beaurepaire Shield, receiving the title of 2020 Marsh Club of the Year. The club also celebrated multiple members who in the aquatic sports category took home Youth Team of the Year and Masters Team of the Year.
Rhys Cole, of Point Leo SLSC, was awarded the John Wishart Memorial Medal as the Microflite Lifesaver of the Year for his contribution to lifesaving over the past year, a year which has seen him recognised with the Gary Tierney Foundation Award and at the club level with a Club Captains Award. Rhys is also the first member of his club to be qualified as a crewman on the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.
The Graeme Long Memorial Medal Volunteer of the Year award went to Port Campbell SLSC’s James Green, who was recognised for the significant personal commitment shown in providing training to Mildura Life Saving Club – more than 500km from the coast, his club and his home.
Other notable award winners on the night were Lorne SLSC’s Lucas Karlson, who won Westpac Youth Lifesaver of the Year for the delivery of frontline patrolling services including having captained the club’s Pier to Pub Patrol and being co-IRB captain this season.
Lucas’ efforts developing and coordinating the club’s skills development program were also recognised with LSV’s inaugural Innovation Award presented to the program for showing innovation in lifesaving by recognising and meeting a need to train up younger members.
Hampton LSC’s Starfish Carnival and All Abilities Inclusion Day program was celebrated with the Outstanding Achievement of the Year award for its community-based, all-abilities program.
Life Saving Victoria’s President, Paul James ASM, praised all nominees and winners for their efforts, acknowledging their willingness to help in a year that had brought unique challenges.
“In these extraordinary times, it is so important to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of all our volunteers, staff and members of the broader aquatic community. It is their ongoing commitment that keeps Victoria’s many beaches, pools and waterways safe,” he said.
“We’d also like to thank the Victorian Government and our award sponsors for their support of LSV’s Awards of Excellence this year.”
FULL LIST 2020 AWARD WINNERS
Marsh Club of the Year (Beaurepaire Shield) – Portsea SLSC
Microflite Lifesaver of the Year (John Wishart Memorial Medal) – Rhys Cole, Point Leo SLSC
Westpac Youth Lifesaver of the Year – Lucas Karlson, Lorne SLSC
Volunteer of the Year (Graeme Long Memorial Medal) – James Green, Port Campbell SLSC
Outstanding Achievement of the Year – Starfish Carnival & All Abilities Inclusion Day, Hampton LSC
LSV Life Membership inductee (post-humous) – Robert O’Brien, Waratah Beach SLSC
Membership & Leadership Development Awards
Mike Martin AM Champion Junior Lifesaver Winners – Matthew Callaghan, Point Leo SLSC and Jemima Fitzgerald, Anglesea SLSC
Nipper Program Volunteer of the Year – Natalie Ashdown, Waratah Beach SLSC
Membership and Leadership Development Service Award Recipients – Heath Armstrong, Lorne SLSC and Natalie Ashdown, Waratah Beach SLSC
Aquatic Sports Awards
U14 & U15 Athlete of the Year – Stephanie Reade, Ocean Grove SLSC
Youth Athlete of the Year – Mia Spencer, Hampton LSC Open Athlete of the Year – James Petropoulos, Mordialloc LSC
Masters Athlete of the Year – Naantali Marshall, Anglesea SLSC
Youth Team of the Year – Portsea SLSC Youth Turtle Backs – U14 Women’s Surf Team, Portsea SLSC. Team members: Hannah Saadie, Francesca Dever, Genevieve Woolrich, Mackenzie Hunter
Masters Team of the Year – Portsea SLSC Masters Beach Relay Team, Portsea SLSC. Team Members: Henry Kiss, Dwight Harrison, Darren Kerr and Brett Croft
Coach of the Year – James Evans, Mordialloc LSC
Emerging Official of the Year – Rob O’Brien, Ocean Grove SLSC
Official of the Year – Tamara Brawn, Point Leo SLSC
Volunteer Training Awards
Volunteer Trainer of the Year – Joel Farrow, Williamstown S&LSC
Volunteer Assessor of the Year – Julia Clarke, Fairhaven SLSC
Public Training and Pool Safety Awards
LSV Service Member of the Year – Marcus Maher
LSV Licensee of the Year – Western Victoria First Aid Services
LSV Trainer of the Year – David Nankervis
Education Instructor of the Year – Tui Griffin
LSV Swim and Survive Licensee of the Year – Eltham Leisure Centre – Aligned Leisure
Innovation Award – Skills Development Program, Lorne SLSC, led by Lucas Karlson
Community Education Award – Mount Martha LSC schools program
Media Service to Lifesaving Award – Tamara McDonald, Geelong Advertiser
Lifesaving Operations Awards
Beach Lifeguard of the Year – Hannah Tzimokas
Administration Club of the Year – Hampton LSC
Patrol Service Efficiency and Standards Program Award – Hampton LSC