Surf Life Saving Club holds annual presentation night in Hawks Nest

Committee members were thanked for their extra time and commitment to the Club.

LIFESAVERS gathered for the annual Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club (TGHN SLSC) Presentation Night, celebrating their people and community on Saturday 4 May at the clubhouse overlooking beautiful Bennetts Beach.

The local SLSC has come leaps and bounds lately, engendering a renewed culture of camaraderie and happy success, as noted by special guests NSW MP Kate Washington, and Jenny Hicks from Hunter Surf Lifesaving.

Club President Rebecca Curtis delivered a comprehensive list of tangible improvements and upgrades around the clubhouse, including the MobiMat along the main access path, new concrete, sandstone and landscaping, and sought to thank all community members and sponsors involved, including MidCoast Council’s local depot.

“We’ve also had a great bonding experience with other clubs like Merewether SLSC, who’ve sent patrols to help with numbers here over the season,” she said.

“The recent season saw more than 20,000 people attend the beach, 355 rips, 102 lifesavers on patrol, 100 rescues, 43 first aid assists, 11 beach closures, and 10 missing people, all found,” announced Club Captain Wayne Bower.

“With more than half the members putting in over 50 hours on patrol, there were also zero major incidents and fatalities during patrol hours.”

Over 100 awards and certificates were bestowed on the night.

After a delicious dinner featuring roast beef and pork, and five kinds of salad, courtesy of Heidi’s Catering, awards were presented to the members, young and old, who put in so much work over the season.

Cameron’s video of UAV footage was another showstopper, featuring the wonders of sharks, stingrays, dolphins, bait-balls, turtles and human activity along the beach; filmed over ten weeks and hundreds of hours of drone flights.

The Club’s success has already been illuminated by external awards to Club members, including the Tea Gardens Lions Citizen and Young Citizen of the Year, IWD Local Woman of the Year, and Hunter Lifesaver of the Year.

“I feel the familiar sense of family that you have with the Club is special,” Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington said at the event.

“You’ve come a long way, into something really beautiful now, which is what I always try to support in my representative role.

“Thank you on behalf of the people of Port Stephens,” she said.

The room was united once more for a stunning montage of scenes of the Club members and the beach throughout the 2023-24 season.


Patrol Rookie of the Year: Luke Rochester

Patrol Person of the Year: Peta Sheldon

Outstanding Service: Sharon Taylor

Junior Lifesaver of the Year: Abby Keighran

Lifesaver of the Year: Andrew Eden

Rose Dunlop Award: David Lau

Club Person of the Year: Ryan Russell

Junior President’s Award: Bella Taylor

President’s Awards: Craig Sheldon and Dan Rodgers

Service Recognitions: 6x 10yrs; 7x 15 yrs; 2x 20yrs; 1x 25yrs: Debbie Booth, also 10yrs as trainer; 1x 30yrs: Phillip Everett

SLSA National Medals (presented by Kate Washington): Phillip Everett, Anothony Logue, Phillip Daniel, Stuart Daniel, Carolyn Jeffries, Sharon Taylor.

Blazer Award (2011) finally delivered to Debbie Booth.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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