THE achievements of Surf Life Saving NSW’s finest were celebrated at the annual NSW Awards of Excellence on 29 August.
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Over 180 finalists took part in the virtual Awards of Excellence event which celebrated the outstanding achievements of volunteer surf lifesavers across surf sports, education, administration, membership and lifesaving.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the official involvement of women in Surf Life Saving as active patrol members and so it was fitting that the Volunteer of the Year Award was won by Hunter Branch member Debbie Booth from Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest SLS Club.
Debbie is the epitome of the selfless Surf Life Saving volunteer.
She is passionate about education and contributes countless hours to deliver courses to Surf Life Saving members and Community Education programs to tourists visiting the Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest area.
This season also saw Debbie mentor all the Branch’s trainers, assessors and facilitators through the introduction of the new online Surf Life Saving Australia Bronze Medallion program.
The ever-smiling Debbie Booth was typically humble in receiving her award.
“Thanks to my wonderful club, Tea Gardens-Hawks Nest and the whole Hunter Branch. This award is for every one of those volunteers – my friends for life,” she said.
Nicola Young, President of TGHN SLSC, added, “This is a prestigious win and the first for our club – we are very proud of Debbie and all our volunteers.”
Debbie will now go onto the SLS Australia Awards of Excellence to be held later this year.
By Sandra MURRAY