Celebrating 40 Years of Women in SLS

It is an absolute pleasure to be launching Surf Life Saving Sydney’s season that marks 40 years of women in our great organisation. We will be celebrating this milestone by reflecting on our history with stories and profiles of some the amazing women within our movement. We hope to highlight how far this organisation has come in the past 40 years shed some light on the women who helped us get to where we are now.

Throughout the season that marks #40YearsOfWomen we will be sharing lots of stories and we want to hear from YOU our members.  So if you are interested in sharing your story or know someone who is please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

As such we say thank you to the many members of these clubs not profiled but have no doubt played their own role in the development of women in our movement.

Karon Lekeu

This week in our celebration of #40YearsOfWomen we would like to recognise and share the journey of Karon Lekeu from Clovelly Surf Lifesaving Club.

For Many of our members joining the movement is a family affair – such can be said for Karon who joined Clovelly with her husband and two daughters.
 
It didn’t take long for Karon to take on key roles within the club from Age managers roles to Patrol captain and club management.
Most notably, Karon led Clovelly SLSC as its President between 2016-2019.
 
It is a pleasure to be able to recognise Karon’s commitment to her club and local community. Read more about Karon’s achievements
 
 

Pat Dillon
Today we turn our attention to Garie Surf Life Saving Club and member Patricia Dillon especially.

Pat joined the movement in the early 80’s and has (although she may not have realised it) played an important role in leading the way for female members after her. Pat has been a leader at Garie SLSC through various roles such as Deputy President and other managerial positions.

Most importantly she has led through her attitude of being able to “… roll up your sleeves and work part of a team”. Something that has no doubt played large part in some of the clubs most recent accolades such SLSS Club of The Year.
 
Pat’s recognition marks the coverage of our three National Park Surf Clubs as part of our #40yearsofwomen celebrations.  To read the full story on Pat click here.
 
 
Katherine & Jenny Conder
Surf life Saving Sydney will take this opportunity to recognise Kate and Jenny Conder from Elouera SLSC.  
Kate and Jenny are an inspirational pair who have been involved in the movement for the past 22 years. They are also twins !
 
From training members, competition in Surf Sports to Surf Awareness Clinics, Kate and Jenny are across it all.  Our members are our greatest assets and it is women like Kate and Jenny who make this true.
 
We spoke to the pair about their experience and would like to call out some imparted wisdom:
“The hardest thing for young females is getting them to stay in the organisation when they go through their teenage years”.
 
Advice – “Keep at it, believe in yourself and look for a mentor or supporter.  SLS is more than just coming first, it gives you so many opportunities, leadership skills and social networks that you will cherish for the rest of your life”

Jacqui Russell (nee Robinson)
It is a pleasure to recognise and share the story of Jacqui Russell from South Maroubra SLSC.
Jacqui is a decorated Australian Surf Sports champion and has very much paved the way for our female competitors today. Her dedication to Surf Sports, Lifesaving and to her club for nearly 30 years is no small achievement and one that we are proud to recognise.

We asked Jacqui what her highlights were of her time in Surf Life Saving, here’s what she had to say:
“Being a multiple Australian and World Surf Race Champion is the obvious highlight but there are a lot more as well. Surf Lifesaving was an activity that I shared with my father and it strengthened our relationship. Sharing my victories with my father was special because he had sacrificed many things for my swimming.

Travelling around the world was another highlight as I was fortunate to visit many places. I met many wonderful people through Surf Lifesaving, many of who I am still friends with today.”
It’s been a pleasure to share your story in the season that marks #40YearsofWomen.  Click here for more of Jacqui’s story.

 

Anita Pryke (nee Bickley)
SLSS would like to take this time to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Anita Pryke from Wanda Surf Life Saving Club. Anita has a rich history within this movement, being among first women to complete her bronze.
As part of the season that marks #40YearsofWomen we will continue to share the stories of our members and recognise their contributions in shaping what the organisation is today. 
Anita, Thank you.  Read more about Anita’s story.

Kelly Hedderman
Surf Life Saving Sydney would like to recognise Kelly Hedderman of Era Surf Life Saving Club. Kelly is a passionate, long serving member who has served as part of the Era Management Committee for the past 18 years and was one of the first female Life Members of the club. Kelly is a mentor to the next generation of Surf Life Savers and will no doubt help lead our movement into the future. 

As the season approaches we would encourage every club to think about how you will celebrate the season that marks #40YearsofWomen.   Click here for more about Kelly.

Joan Vaughan
It is my pleasure to open this initiative by sharing with you Surf Life Saving Sydney Life Member – Joan Vaughan.  Joan’s involvement in the movement dates back longer than the 40 years which we are celebrating. Joan has had an impact in all levels of the movement. We are incredibly proud to share her story- stay tuned for more information about Joan and her story in the coming week.  Click to read more of Joan’s story.