Queensland beaches will be in safe hands this summer, after 45 surf lifesavers were selected to participate in The University of Queensland Surf Life Saving Queensland Leadership Excellence Program in Brisbane this weekend (November 24-26).
The annual leadership program seeks to develop and harness the communication, teamwork, and management skills of future leaders within the volunteer movement.
SLSQ membership development manager Brenda Lofthouse said the participants are elite young surf lifesavers from across the state.
“The UQ SLSQ Leadership Excellence Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to bring together some of our emerging surf lifesavers from across the state for a weekend of education, development, and upskilling,” she said.
“These members have already been identified as emerging leaders within their clubs and wider regions, and we’re hoping this program can help them build on that potential as they move forward within their respective lifesaving careers.
“There’s no doubt these young members represent the future of surf lifesaving in Queensland, and the challenge for us is to provide them with a clear pathway for progression as they move toward more senior roles at a club, regional, or state level.
“These young members are the future of surf lifesaving and we’re really thankful to UQ for its support of this vital program, which will help build them into our leaders of tomorrow” she said.
The three-day program, to be held at UQ’s St Lucia campus, will see participants undertake a wide range of professional and personal development sessions in a bid to prepare them for greater engagement and leadership in all facets of surf lifesaving disciplines.
Ms Lofthouse said the program, for lifesavers aged 18-30, also placed a strong emphasis on empowering members of the surf lifesaving movement.
“The practical skills and awareness that each participant will acquire during the program are designed to be taken back to their region and transferred to a wide range of scenarios, from managing lifesavers on patrols through to holding roles within club committees to govern and lead their clubs,” she said.
“Many former participants have since developed into mentors, role models and senior surf lifesavers or administrators within their regions.
“On behalf of SLSQ, I’d like to thank and acknowledge The University of Queensland for its vital support of this member development initiative,” she said.
UQ’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Executive Dean Professor Andrew Griffiths said the program would help some of the state’s most outstanding young lifesavers develop their leadership potential.
“Lifesavers operate in high-pressure and unpredictable environments, requiring them to work as a team to monitor and respond to dangerous situations at a moment’s notice,” he said.
“On the beach, as in business, equipping young people with the knowledge and skills they need to think strategically and act wisely in these crucial moments is an invaluable investment.
“We are proud to support this important program, which will teach our future leaders how to build and lead high-performing teams – both on and off the beach – and keep our communities safe between the flags this summer.”