Wednesday, 8 August 2007
Statements by Members
Cook Electorate: Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club
I wish to join Senator Michael Forshaw in congratulating the Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club on achieving 100 years since its establishment. Last Friday there was a special ball held at the Westin Hotel to celebrate the event and then we had the annual general meeting last Sunday on Cronulla Beach, which was attended by some 400 people. This, in the Year of the Surf Lifesaver, is a very significant event and of course it was part of the group of foundation clubs involved in establishing the surf-lifesaving movement.
How do you judge a surf club as to how it sits in the Australian scene, as Australian surf clubs are iconic in themselves? Cronulla surf club is probably the most outstanding club in Australia’s history. How do we judge it? Firstly, in terms of the number of lives lost. During the past 100 years, members of the club have performed over 9,000 rescues with no lives lost—a remarkable achievement. Secondly, Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club has been one of the most successful clubs in the history of surf life saving championships, including being the only club to win three consecutive world, Australian, state and branch championships point scores.
Finally, you judge a club according to the quality of its members. It is a club that has a strong bond between the members. They are some of the most outstanding men and women, certainly in my electorate and, I think, within the country. I congratulate Kevin Neilsen, the president, who is an outstanding surf champion himself, the deputy president, Greg Holland, John Holt, an Australian who is part of the Australian Surf Life Saving Hall of Fame, and further winners of Australian surf life saving championships, Ian Goode, Daniel McLellan and his sister Kate, Peter Tibbitts, Nick Dixon and Warren Buchan. Peter Tibbitts was involved in the boat crews. Of course, there is also the new generation. Nathan, Tiane and Krystal Smith come from the one family. Nathan and Krystal won successive titles for five years in the New South Wales ironman and ironwoman of the year competition. They are an incredible family. Chris Allum, this year’s winner, who is also a fine young man, took part in the youth leadership forum here in the parliament this year and gave a speech of which we would all be proud. It is a wonderful club, superb people are involved in the club, their achievements are magnificent and I congratulate them, in this the Year of the Lifesaver, on reaching their 100-year anniversary.