Life Member: Peter White

Earlier this week Peter White, from the Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club, was recognised as a Life Member of Surf Life Saving Australia after more than 24 years of service to the movement.

Surf Life Saving Queensland president Mark Fife and former Surf Life Saving Australia President Ron Rankin AM presented White with his Life Membership at his family home on the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday.

His son, Michael White, Deputy President of SLSQ, said it was a great honour for his family to see their father recognised for his service and dedication to surf lifesaving.

“I was thrilled, mostly because I’ve seen a lot of his contribution first hand and to a large extent it’s ushered my own pathway through lifesaving,” White told SLSQ media.

“He has had a direct, personal impact on a vast array of lifesavers in Queensland and across Australia.

“I think this ability to really connect with people is why he was so successful in terms of membership development at SLSQ and SLSA.”

White’s decorated career of service includes pages upon pages of accomplishments for Surf Life Saving on a local, branch, state and national level.

Michael believes his father’s proudest achievements have been in the membership and youth development space.

White co-wrote the membership protection policy for Surf Life Saving Australia, which included a Blue Card policy.

He contributed to the national coaching syllabus for Lifesaving Competition events, which included the design and development of multimedia training programs for Champion Lifesaver and Patrol Competition. As a coach for Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club he won 19 national and 34 state Gold Medals as a surf Rescue coach. Another highlight was travelling to Japan to introduce surf rescue competition.

Between 2010-14 he also developed and implemented training programs for Peer Support officers, volunteers and lifeguards, with 78 attendees becoming qualified in this area.

Between 1997-2005 White was the State Youth Development Director and during this time organised and conducted camps. This role and expertise led him to sit on the National Board of Development for five years.

The 63-year-old’s life has truly been dedicated to others, having worked as a trauma counsellor for the Queensland Police Force and was previously the Director of Mental Health for Wide Bay.

SLSQ congratulates White on this recognition and thanks him for his dedicated service to the red and yellow army.

Key achievements:

• 1,126.75 recorded voluntary patrol hours between 1996-2020

• Alexandra Headland Surf Lifesaving Club Life Member 2014

• Alexandra Headland Surf Rescue Coach: 19 national, 34 state Gold medals

• Sunshine Coast Branch Volunteer of the Year 2002

• Queensland Volunteer of the Year 2003

• Queensland Amateur Coach of the Year 2008

• Lifesaving Excellence Award 2012

• Clive Hammond Silver Medal 2013

• Surf Life Saving Queensland Life Member 2013

• Australia Day Medallions for Surf Lifesaving 2001 and 2003

• National Volunteer of the Year 2003

• SLSA Presidents Medal 2012

• 15 Year National Patrol Service Medal 2013

• National Service Medal 2019

• International Lifesaving Citation of Merit 2003

Article by Josie Fielding

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