When Cecil Dahl became a foundation member of the Point Lookout Surf Lifesaving Club in 1947, he would not have foreseen that 70 years later, his grand daughter would be a club ambassador in the Summer Surf Girl quest.
Sam Lavery, 28, of Cleveland became a lifesaver in August 2016, after her grandfathe died in 2015 as a way of honouring his memory and finding some new challenges.
“I could talk about him for ages. He was always talking about the friendships he made and all his mates. He was filled with stories about the club,” she said.
“I needed a challenge.and wanted to do something new. One day, I noticed his bronze medallion on the wall and I thought this was something I could do as a way of honouring him. He gave me the push I needed to do something. I hope Grandpa’s proud,” Ms Lavery said.
Since joining the club, Ms Lavery has completed her bronze medallion, her silver medallion in beach management, can crew an inflateable rescue boat and perform advanced resuscitation. She also recently worked with the little lifesavers program at Southbank, a program which gives city children a taste of lifesaving.
“There have been so many opportunities. The people here are fantastic. I’ve never looked back,” she said.
Ms Lavery said fellow lifesaver and former winner of the Summer Surf Girl quest (2015/2016) Anne -Marie Westby originally talked to her about the quest and she decided to go for it.
“I joined surf lifesaving as a personal journey for myself and because I am an advocate of education and upskilling. This is all a part of that journey and personal challenge,” she said.
The quest is judged on physical abilities with rescue skills and work on the tube and board, first aid and CPR ability, community awareness, public speaking and presence with the public. It will be judged at the Gold Coast from May 14 to 19.
Ms Lavery said she was proud to represent the club and to promote and encourage women to keep upskilling in what is regarded as a male dominated arena.
“I am learning something and facing challenges every day. I can’t wait to learn more,” she said.
Ms Lavery said she had also been involved in various fund raising activities as part of the quest. These include the club’s annual major fund raiser Prawns at the Point, held on January 6. There will also be an open air cinema night from 4,45pm on January 13 at the Raby Bay foreshore. The event starts with library activities including reading and face painting followed by film Moana (G) from 6.45pm. There will be a barbecue and the first 100 to arrive will get a free icecream. The evening also offers people a chance to learn more about the SLSC. Cost is $5 or $20 for a family of up to six.
Coming up in February is the Amazing Race and a Girls Go Surfing day.