As a qualified primary school physical education teacher, Margaret Hewett always had a keen interest in sports.
After becoming involved at Beaumaris Life Saving Club in 1992 through her daughter’s interest in swimming, Margaret soon took up the role of club Nipper coach.
Now a life member at Beaumaris, Margaret has been teaching children water safety skills for over 30 years.
“I love the interaction, especially with the youngest Nippers,” Margaret said.
“To see them gain confidence in the water over a summer season is heartwarming and I love watching their love and respect for the sea develop.”
As well as being a coach at Beaumaris, Margaret is also a carnival official, which included officiating at the 2000-01 Interstate Life Saving Championships in South Australia.
“One of my favourite memories in lifesaving was officiating at the Interstates because half the members of the Victorian state team were also members of Beaumaris LSC, including my daughter,” she said.
“It was amazing to see them compete at the highest level and win many medals under trying conditions.”
Margaret’s long-time dedication to lifesaving and Beaumaris LSC saw her become the club’s first ever female president and serve in the role of 12 years between 2000 and 2012.
Her contribution as a female leader was formally recognised on International Women’s Day 2020, when she was humbled to be named as an Outstanding Woman in Lifesaving.
“I was privileged to be the first female president of Beaumaris LSC and I have now been vice-president for 10 years,” she said.
“I hope I have been a positive role model for girls at our club by showing them that they can become a leader and serve in any role that they are interested in.
“For the past 20 years we have had a dominance of female lifesavers at our club and we have over 50 per cent female representation on our committee.”
Margaret has been a member of Beaumaris’ committee for more than 25 years and has seen the club grow from just eight patrolling members in her early days at the club, to more than 40 today.
“I have always been with Beaumaris LSC. It is my local club and a very family-oriented club. I have made many long-term friendships over the years and enjoyed my involvement with the nippers and as a patrolling member.
“I encourage anyone to join a lifesaving club to learn skills that could save a life and to give back to your local community.”