Point Lookout surf lifesaver Anne-Marie Westby has taken out the coveted 2016 Summer Surf Girl title, announced on Saturday night at a Gala Ball at Jupiters Gold Coast.
Anne-Marie was a double winner on the night, also named Highest Fundraiser after raising an incredible $76,106.16 for her surf life saving club on North Stradbroke Island.
Shannon Morgan from Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC was named the 2016 Summer Surf Girl Runner-Up while Micaela Crompton from Etty Bay SLSC rounded out the winners list, presented the 2016 Summer Surf Girl Innovation Award.
The seven entrants from around the state raised a collective total of $337,115.94 for their surf life saving clubs.
The final judging week, held 18-21 May, brought to an end Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) year-long fundraising initiative, which has now raised more than $15.7 million for surf clubs across the state since 1964.
SLSQ chief operating officer and judging panel chair George Hill said the judges were extremely impressed with the calibre of the 2016 Summer Surf Girl entrants.
“These young women performed exceptionally well, not only during the final judging but throughout the program. It was very difficult to distinguish a winner and came right down to the wire, as each entrant has been a fantastic ambassador for Surf Life Saving over the past year,” Mr Hill said.
“Every entrant has taken on this challenge on top of their other commitments as students and career women, and we are proud of all of them for the dedication they have shown to the lifesaving movement.”
Mr Hill said Anne-Marie was chosen based on her fundraising initiatives, commitment to community education and surf lifesaving knowledge, and will now begin her year as an official ambassador for SLSQ.
“Anne-Marie was really the standout throughout all aspects of the final judging, demonstrating her commitment to lifesaving and to the Summer Surf Girl program,” he said.
“Anne-Marie has a long and proud history with surf lifesaving over almost 20 years, showing her strong ties to her club not only through fundraising but also through patrolling the beach (over 70 hours last summer) and her commitment to community education and membership development.
“We are confident that Anne-Marie will take on her role over the next 12 months as an ambassador for Surf Life Saving with the same passion and commitment she demonstrated during the program and will champion the benefits of surf lifesaving to the community. SLSQ looks forward to working with Anne-Marie over the next year.”
Anne-Marie will take home a prize package valued over $30,000, including a brand new Holden Spark thanks to Zupps Mt Gravatt, 7 nights accommodation at Oaks Seaforth Resort, Alexandra Beach, more than $10,000 worth of surf lifesaving equipment for her club, a Kracka paddle board, an Engine Swim pack, plus a delegate package to attend the SLSQ State Lifesaving Conference at Twin Waters on the Sunshine Coast in August.
The judging panel for the program this year consisted of SLSQ Chief Operating Officer George Hill, 2008 Summer Surf Girl winner Megan Crockford, and Etiquette & Manners Australia owner Lainey Loneragan.
2016 Summer Surf Girl entrants & amounts raised:
• Nikila March (Cairns SLSC) – $64,964.75
• Micaela Crompton (Etty Bay SLSC) – $10,405.74
• Shannon Morgan (Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC) – $73,973.15
• Brittany Vener (Ayr SLSC) – $62,785.83
• Laura Zambon (Mackay SLSC) – $31,539.17
• Ashleigh Durbidge (Bribie Island SLSC) – $14,951.14
• Anne-Marie Westby (Point Lookout SLSC) – $76,496.16