It wasn’t the swell of the ocean that encouraged Georgia Martin to become Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club Surf Girl 2020, it was her passion to help prevent drownings.
The Surf Girl program seeks to engage with female members from across surf lifesaving, and develop their personal and professional skills both on and off the beach.
After joining Bundaberg Surf life Saving Club in 2008 Georgia decided it was time to give back to her club and she embarked on a nine-month journey of change and personally learning.
“Surf Girl has definitely reshaped me as a person,” Georgia said.
“A stand-out moment for me was that I took it upon myself to travel to different areas around the state to learn different operations and to take part in community awareness to prevent drownings.
“It was during my time at Biloela when I was giving surf safety talks about inland water ways, at four different schools, to student that didn’t even live near the beach, but they were all so engaged.
“One of the kids did an art work of the red and yellow flags and that really touched me, and at that moment I knew why I was doing Surf Girl.”
Georgia said community awareness about inland water ways was a new initiative by Queensland Surf Life Saving to prevent drowning in dams and rivers; she said it was something that resonated with her and she believes it is vital to help spread the message of prevention no matter where people live.
“I can now see myself heavily involved in community awareness and I want to help create preventative action programs like this,” she said.
Surf Girl a major fundraiser for clubs
The Surf Girl program is one of SLSQ’s core fundraising and member-development initiatives.
Georgia said during the nine months as Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club Surf Girl she was pleasantly surprised by the support giving to her by the local community and because of this she was able to meet her fundraising goal.
The program has raised almost $17 million since its inception, providing vital and valuable support for clubs across the state.
Funds raised are distributed back to participating clubs to be used in various ways, including member training, surf safety education, surf sports, new equipment, and nippers.
Georgia encouraged anyone considering taking part in the next surf girl to give it a go as it may change their life, as it helped change hers.
“I would say to any future Surf Girls to give it a go,” she said.
“It may not be super easy the entire time and there are a lot of challenges along the way, but all of those challenges made it so much more rewarding in the end.”
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