I do not believe a contemporary society would recognise the feeling of success when you can make someone else smile for your own actions. It’s a feeling like no other and that is what makes volunteering so special.
“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Volunteering has such a positive effect on my mental health, my knowledge, skills and my personal development. I can guarantee that participating in a volunteer environment gives me a more optimistic approach to life. Involving myself in this occupation is rewarding and has influenced of values of respect and reliability and morals of serving mankind and being generous. To me, this shapes the right way of living.
My life is revolved around training, study and dedication to my surf club. I am a member of Pacific SLSC, the smallest Surf Club on the Gold Coast. All the club families, including mine, dedicate all our spare time to making our club bigger and better for all our members.
This volunteering path started at birth. My father has being competing and patrolling in Surf lifesaving since the early 1980’s, as well as an age manager for my sister’s age group. The surf club was where my parents found each other. My mum has taken on roles since and has been the nipper treasurer and youth development officer for the last three years until I recently took over the youth development position.
In the recent life-saving season that has passed, I have contributed to coaching, teaching, water safety, managing, encouraging, supporting and assisting the nippers of my surf club before and after school, and every weekend. I have finished the season on over 100 hours of hard work for my club and 60 hours patrolling the beach. My position and roles within the club, the programs and events I have enforced and the time volunteered has resulted in me reaching some of my biggest life achievements yet. The recent passing season proved to me that receiving medals and recognition for sports is not all what the organisation is all about and that a lot of passion and commitment occurs behind the scenes. I discovered that being a leader was not about controlling, but being a supportive and helping hand, assisting in creating a healthier environment for people, especially for our youth.
I believe that my positive impact on these children within Surf Life Saving gives inspiration to volunteer and thrive within the organisation. It is important to encourage the children to continue in this ideal environment, keeping them occupied, away from trouble and providing plenty of opportunities for them to thrive and prosper. Being surrounded by positive people in volunteering that have the same ambitions of making the world a better place is the ultimate setting to be involved in.
My aim is to always admire, encourage and support all the younger members of the club and I believe I always accomplish this. Seeing them succeed and improve makes me feel better as a person knowing I was there with them the whole way. We have taught our juniors that being a part of a big team is about everyone, not just ourselves. The youth are always feeling welcomed and are reinforced to lift their attitudes and goals from the positive and happy environment. When young kids are in the environment of life saving, it encourages them to stay of the streets, and adopt the attitudes and morals of a volunteer.
This season I have the official roles as the clubs Youth Development Officer, U14’s age manager and the beach coach. This is alongside regular lifesaving patrols every month and water safety patrols every Sunday at Nippers. These roles are unpaid, and I wish I had time for more, except its too hard to balance with University. Although, eventually I will be participating in Summer Surf Girl which represents the club by fundraising and raising beach awareness.
I’m very lucky and grateful to have been recognised for some of the work I’ve put into making my club a better place.