When it comes to passion and dedication, you can’t look past Whale Beach SLSC Club Captain, Lara Boyle. This inspiring young woman, at only 22 years of age, has taken home the proud title of 2017 NSW Surf Life Saver of the Year. Lara, now a role-model at her club, sees the significance of that achievement. You can see how proud Lara is to encourage young women to get involved.
‘Hopefully it inspires some younger girls or women to step up to bigger positions within their clubs or Surf Life Saving in general,’ Ms Boyle said.
Lara’s journey to SLSC leadership began eight years ago, when she was introduced to Surf Life Saving through a program at her school, Pymble Ladies College. Largely impressed by the uniforms worn by Surf Life Savers, Lara and some of her friends signed on to train and volunteer at Whale Beach SLSC. Since then, it’s fair to say that Lara was ‘hooked’, and her contribution has been immense.
Through her patrol log book alone, you can read how much she has dedicated to her club, and Surf Lifesaving in general. She completed 154 patrol hours at Whale Beach SLSC as well as 62 hours on the Sydney Northern Beaches Support Skis with an additional 4.5 hours at North Wollongong.
If that was not enough, Lara also takes on a number of important roles in her beloved Northern Beaches club. You’ll find her wearing many hats. Some of her current positions include Patrol Vice-Captain, Trainer, Assessor, Mentor, RWC operator, IRB driver and member of the Whale Beach management committee.
Lara’s exceptional dedication to her club has afforded her the opportunity to attend a number of programs throughout the year, too. She has participated in the SLSNSW Development Networking Program and the National Leadership College where she was made ‘designated president’. You may have followed her progress also, when she represented Surf Life Saving Australia in the 2017 Japan lifesaving exchange program.
When asked, Lara struggles to choose one particular highlight from the year, given she has so many to choose from. What you can clearly see, however, is that Lara is most proud of the achievements of her club as a whole.
She says: ‘It was a real privilege to be club captain of Whale Beach but for me the best thing was seeing our members develop.
As a club, we punch way above our weight—so to win this award is just the cherry on top.’
There are many ways in which you can get involved as a Surf Life Saving volunteer. Surf Life Saving has opportunities for people to be an active patrol member saving lives on the beach, an age manager for Nippers on the weekend or as a volunteer club official working behind the scenes to ensure things run smoothly. You don’t need to be able to do everything to volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, support the local community and help save lives.
If you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more about possible roles at your local club you can click here for more information.