Life Saving Victoria congratulates its dedicated lifesaving volunteers who have been honoured for their contributions to lifesaving and community in the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours List.
Life Saving Victoria CEO Catherine Greaves said that the increasing number of people being recognised from the lifesaving community demonstrates their vital role in emergency services and community engagement.
“We are proud of Anne, Janet, Alan, Alistair, Dinah and Kimberley who were recognised for their contribution to lifesaving, as well as George and Joan, whose honours extended to their dedication and service to their local community more broadly.
“I would like to thank each of them for their continued service and remarkable achievements, not only in receiving these accolades, but in maintaining so many years of dedicated service to the Victorian community and a commitment to keeping people safe around water.
“They have ensured that Life Saving Victoria and their respective clubs remain at the forefront of training, education, leadership, gender equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives and of course state-of-the-art lifesaving operations.
“I’m incredibly proud we have such dedicated members among our ranks and supporting our cause.”
Queen’s Birthday Honours are awarded by the Governor-General and recognise Australians who have demonstrated outstanding service or exceptional achievement.
Individuals are appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service in a particular locality or field of activity or to a particular group.
The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) is awarded for service worthy of recognition.
The Emergency Services Medal (ESM) recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.
Recipients honoured for their contributions to lifesaving in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 list include:
Member in the General Division (AM)
Ms Anne (Anni) Maree Gardiner
Anni has been a member of the South Melbourne Life Saving Club (SMLSC) since 1981, where she remains an active member. Involved in many preventive actions and rescues over the years, Ms Gardiner has also been recognised for her significant leadership across many roles within SMLSC including Vice President, Honourary Secretary and Protection Officer, receiving her 30 year service award in 2015.
She has been a team manager and leader in her capacity at Life Saving Victoria and is a talented sportswoman, demonstrated when she was crowned Women’s Individual Life Saving Champion Commonwealth Champion in 1994. Anni has also made significant contributions to the International Lifesaving Federation and Commonwealth Branch, Royal Life Saving Society culminating in receiving Commonwealth Life Membership and the Knight in the Order of Life Saving in 2018.
Medal in the General Division (OAM)
Mrs Janet Lesley Jones
Janet has been awarded for her significant contributions to the community across a range of organisations, including her dedicated support of Life Saving Victoria and the Anglesea Surf Life Saving Club. She has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to Starfish Nippers, co-founding the program with then President Naomi Symington in 2011. The program aims to give young people with disabilities beach safety and water awareness skills. After its beginning at the Anglesea SLSC, Starfish Nippers is now operating in 28 life saving clubs across Australia and one overseas.
She has been a passionate member of the surf lifesaving club since 2002. She is also recognised for her work with the Ballarat Sports Foundation and Ballarat Specialist School community. Recently Janet has commenced a new fundraising campaign, The Lighthouse Classic, to raise much-needed funds for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.
Mr Alan William Joyce
Alan received the OAM for his long-standing service to Point Lonsdale SLSC, he has been a member since 1966 when he joined at 14 years old. After obtaining his Bronze Medallion and beginning beach patrols at age 16, Point Lonsdale SLSC’s Alan Joyce became a foundation member of the Wales Surf Rescue Service, members of which oversaw the operation of the jet rescue boat, offshore rescue boat and radio communications services.
These services, which Alan and his fellow foundation members began in a caravan at Point Lonsdale, soon became some of the most integral parts of lifesaving not only in Victoria, but Australia-wide and are still used by patrols today.
Mr Alistair James McCooke
Ocean Grove SLSC’s Alistair McCooke was able to bridge the relationship between emergency services, working as an Ambulance Victoria intensive care paramedic and volunteering as a lifesaver, including a four-year stint as Ocean Grove’s club captain.
Alistair was integral to enabling Life Saving Victoria volunteers to trial the use of therapeutic goods association approved pain relief medication on the beach, rather than patients having to wait until arriving at the hospital.
In 2018, Alistair was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and moved to Queensland but remained dedicated to lifesaving, joining Coolangatta SLSC on the Gold Coast. He now flies to Coolangatta some weekends and patrols for both clubs.
Mr George Scott
George has been a member of Wonthaggi Life Saving Club since 1958 as well as other community groups including the Lions Club of Wonthaggi, Wonthaggi Angling Club, State Coal Mine Wonthaggi, Wonthaggi Club, Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club, Wonthaggi District Eight Ball Association, Cape Paterson Lions Club and Wonthaggi Fire Brigade.
He is a well-loved club stalwart, the current vice president of Wonthaggi LSC and having previously held various other roles including president, patrol leader, emergency management officer, he is an influential leader and life member.
His long-term dedication to the community of Wonthaggi has been honoured with the OAM alongside his wife Joan, in well-deserved recognition for his lifetime of community service.
Mrs Joan Scott
As lifelong resident of Wonthaggi and valued member of the Wonthaggi Life Saving Club since the 1950s, Joan has been recognised with the OAM. She lovingly shares the celebration with her husband George who also received the award in his own right.
A former club captain, Joan also coordinated the Nippers program, teaching young members of the community essential water safety, first aid and CPR skills. Joan still serves on the Wonthaggi LSC committee and was made a life member of her beloved club in 1962.
Joan has been involved in a range of other community clubs and groups as well as the lifesaving club, including Wonthaggi and District Netball Association, State Coal Mine Wonthaggi, Cape Paterson Residents and Ratepayers Association, Meals on Wheels, Bass Coast Health and Rose Lodge aged care home.
As a staunch supporter of the wider community, Joan has been recognised for her longstanding and dedicated service to the people of Wonthaggi.
Emergency Services Medal (ESM)
Ms Dinah Leeanne Boswell
Dinah Boswell has dedicated 45 years of volunteer service to Life Saving Victoria and at the South Melbourne LSC, Mentone LSC and Woolamai Beach SLSC. She continues to actively patrol and has been involved in a significant number of rescues and preventive actions.
She is seen within the movement as an early leader for gender equality. As a mentor and role model she has led and supported women in lifesaving to attain their leadership aspirations and assume senior roles at state and at club level.
She continues her volunteer service with her commitment to her club and members, and to her state, in roles where she provides training and assessment in lifesaving awards.
Mrs Kimberley Ann Gee
Kimberley has undertaken many rescues and has volunteered over 600 hours patrolling at the frontline on one of the most dangerous coastlines in Victoria, accruing 98 lifesaving awards and multiple national meritorious citations for bravery in the execution of lifesaving duties.
She has individually trained hundreds of next generation lifesavers and has been recognised as the top Lifesaving Trainer in Australia on two occasions – a feat that has never been achieved before.
She has led diversity and inclusion initiatives, including gender equality and outreach programs for community members with disabilities.
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