To be named Queenslander’s Surf Lifesaver of the Year in 2018/19 was a humbling moment for Lynne Messer after 23 years of dedicated service for her “little club” Moore Park, situated just outside Bundaberg.
Messer holds a variety of roles including patrol captain, club captain, chief training officer, registrar, treasurer and branch director of lifesaving.
“I don’t think people realise the amount of commitment it takes to do what we do,” Messer told Surf Life Saving Queensland.
“But it’s so rewarding to give back and you’re doing it with like-minded people.
“Our club is like a family. You know everyone.”
Since gaining her Bronze Medallion in 1997 Messer has dedicated her life to patrolling beaches and growing her skills and knowledge in lifesaving.
“It’s opened lots of doors for me,” she said.
“I’m an introvert and don’t like being the centre of attention and now I’m a trainer and assessor for emergency care training including first aid and advanced resuscitation techniques.
“I now get in front of big groups of people and teach.”
Last year Messer had an inkling her club had nominated her for Surf Lifesaver of the Year but did not think she had a shot at winning.
“I had no idea that I had won the state award for Surf Lifesaver of the Year, especially when you look at what everyone from the other clubs had achieved,” she said.
“I can’t do what I do without our club members’ support so from my club and branch’s point of view it was great to be recognised on a state-wide basis.”
During National Volunteering Week, which starts Monday 18 May, Messer would encourage surf lifesaving club members to nominate their peers for Awards of Excellence.
“It’s a wonderful way for our volunteers to be recognised,” she said.
“It’s great to receive the accolades but that’s not why any of us do it.”
Article by Josie Fielding