Lifesavers have turned Victorian beaches pink in a series of Pink Patrols to celebrate Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV’s) female leaders this International Women’s Day.
Led by females, the majority female or all female patrols symbolise the importance of women in life saving and demonstrates the capability and diversity of women, who make up half of LSV’s membership.
The Pink Patrols spread from the state’s west in Warrnambool; along the Surf Coast in Lorne; the inner city at Port Melbourne; Bayside beaches including Aspendale, Black Rock, Edithvale, Hampton and Sandringham; southern Gippsland along the Bass coastline at Cape Paterson, Inverloch and Venus Bay; and even on the banks of the Murray River at Mildura.
Across weekends in February, March and April, these beaches were kept safe by teams of female patrol captains, IRB drivers and crews, senior first aid officers and other lifesavers protecting and educating their community.
“The goal of Pink Patrol is to continue to build female operational capacity, diversify active leadership roles and provide positive female role models for future generations of lifesavers,” LSV General Manager – People Emma Atkins said.
“Women have played an essential part in the evolution of lifesaving during the past 125 years and today make up about 50 per cent of our volunteer membership, so it’s important to be able to acknowledge their important contribution to the lifesaving movement.
“All our lifesavers do an amazing job in keeping our beaches and community safe, it’s great to see strong and capable lifesavers regardless of gender, standing side by side on our beaches today.”
According to Westpac General Manager South East Catherine Hayball, it wasn’t just the beaches that were turned pink, but also the skies, with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter specially wrapped in pink for International Women’s Day.
“Westpac wrapped the helicopter pink to recognise the amazing achievements of female lifesavers. We have had a proud, 20-year long association with the Westpac helicopter,” Ms Hayball said.
“International Women’s Day is so important to recognise the achievements of our female lifesavers who keep our great coastline safe. I hope when people look up and see it, they think wow, 50 per cent of people on these beaches looking after us are women and all the lifesavers are doing an amazing job.”