Geelong-Surf Coast administrators provide each other with helping hand

Six Life Saving Victoria (LSV) Geelong and Surf Coast clubs have joined forces to form an administration group to ensure all clubs across their region are equipped to keep their beaches safe. 

L-R standing: Michelle Gilling (Torquay SLSC), Sue Bettanin (Jan Juc SLSC), Nicole Clarke (Fairhaven SLSC), Caroline Woods (Point Lonsdale SLSC).
L-R sitting: Anna McDonald (Ocean Grove SLSC), Jaci Chin-Jewson (Anglesea SLSC) and Ronnie Hutchison (Point Lonsdale SLSC).

The group had casual origins in Jan Juc Surf Life Saving Club representative Sue Bettanin’s first year in club administration back in 2012, before being formalised by Sue and other members in 2015. 

Now, administrators from Anglesea, Fairhaven, Jan Juc, Ocean Grove, Point Lonsdale and Torquay meet at least twice annually to share their resources and ideas. 

“When I started as the administrator at Jan Juc, a friend of mine knew the administrator at Anglesea SLSC, who was willing to help me through the challenges of my first year,” Ms Bettanin said. 

“A couple of years on, I was able to pay it back, when I trained a new club administrator at Torquay SLSC. We have a great group of people willing to ensure new administrators are included in the group, share ideas, processes and system tips and connect on a personal level, which has been particularly important in the past year.  

“We feel like we are work colleagues, even though we work remotely from each other. The collaboration across clubs is heartwarming; we may all be from different clubs, but we have a common goal to make Geelong-Surf Coast beaches safer and more enjoyable for all ¾ we leave it to our club’s competitors to compete!” 

LSV volunteer support officer (VSO) for the state’s west Sharyn Brigham, who also attends the bi-annual meetings, said they are a great opportunity for inter-club support. 

“It is great to see our west coast clubs working closely together to provide the best opportunities for their members and for beachgoers,” Ms Brigham said. 

“As a VSO, I have been fortunate to be included and find that this is an amazing example of interoperability between clubs. 

“It gives me a different perspective on how I can assist each of the clubs best with volunteer management throughout the season. 

“Our membership may be spread across 57 separate lifesaving clubs, but we all have the same mission to prevent aquatic related death and injury in all Victorian communities, so it is fantastic to see our clubs working together to achieve a common goal.” 

Attendees at the most recent Geelong-Surf Coast meeting were Sue Bettanin (Jan Juc SLSC), Jaci Chin-Jewson (Anglesea SLSC), Nicole Clarke (Fairhaven SLSC), Michelle Gilling (Torquay SLSC), Ronnie Hutchinson (Point Lonsdale SLSC), Anna McDonald (Ocean Grove SLSC) and Caroline Woods (Point Lonsdale SLSC). 

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