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Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Page: 6483

Mrs ANDREWS (McPhersonAssistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills) (16:09): As members know, I'm very privileged to represent a stunning and special part of our nation—the wonderful southern Gold Coast. At the south of my electorate is the legendary Coolangatta, which many regard as the spiritual birthplace of the Gold Coast and which is home to the best surfing breaks on the Gold Coast, off the Snapper Rocks. This year, the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club celebrates 60 years of providing a crucial community service to local residents and tourists alike. The Coolangatta club works alongside other clubs in the Point Danger Branch.

I've spoken often in this place about the enormous role that surf lifesaving plays in our local community. My own McPherson Community Achiever Awards, which I host each year, have a special surf live saving category, in recognition of the many locals who give their time and contribute in this special way. I want to take this opportunity once again to acknowledge the work of surf lifesaving clubs. There are over 280 surf clubs across the nation, whose members are among the 80,000 surf lifesavers who volunteer their time to patrol our beaches. An average of 10,000 rescues are performed each year by surf lifesavers, who are trained to use rescue tubes, rescue boards, radios, inflatable rescue boats—the IRBs—oxygen equipment and provide basic life support.

Earlier this month I joined with members of the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club for their annual dinner, a special occasion where they take the time to reflect on the achievements through the year and to acknowledge the work of their dedicated volunteers. I was pleased to present National Patrol Service Awards, which are given for a minimum of 16 hours of service every season. The 15-year service awards went to Garry Bell and Sean Smith. For their 10-year service, Danyelle Lipponen and Rohan Scaysbrook were recognised. Five-year service awards went to Christopher Gray, Gustavo Wescher, Hayley Dilger, Jake Mercer, Jessica-Lee Dreyer, Kim Mitchell-Darley, Sarah Mitchell-Darley and Tahnie Lipponen. The esteemed honour of the National Medal for surf lifesaving was presented to George Levett and Denis Henricks. This national award is part of our distinctive national system of awards and honours, and it is given for proficient service of at least 30 hours each year for a minimum period of 15 years.

I take this opportunity in the federal parliament to thank these award recipients and all the wider community of volunteers who make up our fantastic surf lifesaving clubs and to congratulate the Coolangatta Surf Life Saving Club on 60 years of service to our Southern Gold Coast community.