Eleven of Queensland’s top young female surf lifesavers descended on the Gold Coast today for the first day of final judging in this year’s Summer Surf Girl program.
For the past 12 months, each entrant has taken on the responsibility of representing their respective surf club to engage with local communities, raise vital funds, and spread the surf safety message.
Their efforts will culminate this week with a series of final judging tasks before the 2018 winner is announced at the program’s annual Gala Dinner on Saturday night.
Now in its 54th consecutive year, the program has raised a staggering $15.8 million since its inception in 1964.
All participants are fully qualified surf lifesavers in their own right, and are responsible for designing their campaign to align with Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) vision of zero preventable deaths in Queensland public waters.
SLSQ chief operating officer George Hill applauded the immense efforts of this year’s entrants, who have balanced the program around their regular patrols and other surf lifesaving commitments.
“These passionate young lifesavers are the future leaders of our organisation and what they have achieved over the past year is just incredible,” he said.
“As well as giving their all to the program by fundraising and promoting beach safety, they’ve managed to balance work and/or study along with their regular patrols keeping members of the public safe at the beach.”
“I take my hat off to them – they should be extremely proud of their efforts and the real impact they have made in their communities,” he said.
Judging will continue throughout the week and will include:
• Surf rescue beach patrol set up/water safety (board/tube rescue and CPR demonstration)
• Community education presentations to multicultural school students at Sea World
• Individual interviews with judging panel
• Final judging presentation speeches and content
• Entrant persona and working as part of a team
Several factors are taken into consideration when determining the winner, including the innovation in their campaign, their volunteering aspects within their club, their skills as a lifesaver, and what they have done to publicly engage and enhance people’s awareness of surf safety and their club.
The 2018 Summer Surf Girl winner will be announced on Saturday 19 May at a Gala Dinner at The Star Gold Coast. The winner will take home a brand new Holden Spark thanks to Zupps Mt Gravatt.
Other awards to be presented will include Summer Surf Girl Runner-Up, Summer Surf Girl Highest Fundraiser and Summer Surf Girl Innovation Award.
2018 Summer Surf Girl entrants:
• Ashlee Aguirre, Ayr SLSC
• Ashlee Keen, Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC
• Britt Brymer, Currumbin SLSC
• Caitlin Maskey, Eimeo SLSC
• Chloe McGrath, Coochiemudlo Island SLSC
• Deborah Keioskie, Mackay SLSC
• Jessica Simpson, Dicky Beach SLSC
• Nicole Lowe, Tannum Sands SLSC
• Nikki Chapman, Maroochydore SLSC
• Olivia Blight, Noosa Heads SLSC
• Samantha Lavery, Point Lookout SLSC