Redland Summer Surf Girls, Chloe McGrath representing Coochiemudlo Island and Samantha Lavery representing Point Lookout face final judging of this year’s Summer Surf Girl program, in a field of 11 top young female surf lifesavers.
Ms Lavery will be hoping to continue North Stradbroke Island’s success after Anne Marie Westby was named winner and highest fundraiser in 2016.
“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.
Ms McGrath is already a winner for her club as the second-ever entrant from Coochiemudlo Island.
For the past 12 months, both girls have represented their surf clubs to engage with local communities, raise funds and spread the surf safety message.
Their efforts will culminate with a series of final judging tasks before the 2018 winner is announced at the program’s gala dinner on May 19.
Now in its 54th consecutive year, the program has raised $15.8 million. All participants are fully qualified surf lifesavers in their own right, and are responsible for designing their campaign to align with Surf Life Saving Queensland’s vision of zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.
SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill applauded the immense efforts of this year’s entrants, who have balanced the program around their regular patrols and other surf lifesaving commitments.
“These passionate young lifesavers are the future leaders of our organisation and what they have achieved over the past year is just incredible,” he said.
“As well as giving their all to the program by fundraising and promoting beach safety, they’ve managed to balance work and/or study along with their regular patrols keeping members of the public safe at the beach. I take my hat off to them. They should all be extremely proud of their efforts and the real impact they have made in their communities,” he said.
Judging includes surf rescue beach patrol set up/water safety (board/tube rescue and CPR demonstration) , community education presentations to multicultural school students at Sea World, individual interviews with judging panel, presentation speeches and content and entrant persona and working as part of a team. Several factors are taken into consideration when determining the winner, including the innovation in their campaign, their volunteering aspects within their club, their skills as a lifesaver, and what they have done to publicly engage and enhance people’s awareness of surf safety and their club.