Top Kiwi Surf Lifeguards benefit from Aussie leadership college

Friday, 21 February 2020

The Surf Lifeguards who participated in Surf Life Saving Australia’s 2020 National Leadership College.

The future of Surf Life Saving in New Zealand and Australia is bright and in safe hands. So say the organisers of Surf Life Saving Australia’s 2020 National Leadership College.

Two Kiwi Surf Lifeguards, James Lloyd from Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services and Toni Cranko from Sumner Surf Life Saving Club, attended the college in Sydney from February 2 to 8 along with 21 Australians.

The intensive annual leadership and development program recognises the brightest and best Surf Lifeguard leaders aged between 20 and 30.

It is designed to challenge, inspire and motivate the participants and involves a range of leadership activities and challenges.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand National Member Education Manager Brad O’Leary says the fact New Zealand had two representatives at the college, instead of the usual one, is a credit to Toni and James.

“There’s a stringent application process and we put forward our top applicants. The selectors decided they couldn’t separate James and Toni, so they were both invited to attend.”

Toni Cranko from Sumner Surf Life Saving Club.

Toni, who is a BP Leaders for Life Programme coordinator and facilitator, says the course was challenging, fun and very educational.

“The week was really full on, but it was such an awesome learning and development experience,” she says.

“A highlight was getting to connect with different people and talking about sharing resources and different ideas that we can bring back to our own clubs. Even though we are different organisations we still have a lot of similarities.”

Toni says one of the greatest takeaways from the college is the network that has been created across Australia and New Zealand.

“We now have this group of people who we can go to, to share ideas, seek advice and discuss problems.”

The week gave Toni the confidence to back herself as a leader, to try new things, challenge people and ideas.

Being involved in, and seeing how Surf Life Saving Australia runs their national leadership programme was really valuable, she says.

“I plan to bring back some of these ideas for our national leadership programme – BP Leaders for Life.”

She also wants to look at strategic plans and organisational direction at a regional and club level.

Toni, who is also a Canterbury Local Lifesaving Committee Member, a patrol captain and instructors award facilitator, a National Lifeguard School mentor and the Sumner Surf Life Saving Club call out squad coordinator, says the college encouraged her to think about succession planning.

“How can we develop, mentor and encourage others for the long term sustainability of Surf Life Saving in New Zealand?”

James Lloyd from Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services

The National Leadership College has been running for more than 20 years and provides future leaders with the skills, support and knowledge to reach their leadership potential.

Surf Life Saving Australia Chair of Development, Nancy Joseph says the course is designed to challenge, inspire and motivate all participants.

“The week was all about personal development and personal growth,” Nancy says. “It was about the participants getting to know themselves and supporting and encouraging them to take everything they learn back to their clubs and/or real life and work situations.

“The sessions give people a sense of empowerment, belief and confidence. The change in someone from day one to day five is extraordinary. I really can’t describe the change in people!”

James Lloyd, the 2019 NZ Lottery Grants Board Lifeguard of the Year, attended the National Leadership College
in Australia and met his counterpart Mathew Harper, the 2019 DHL National Lifesaver of the Year.


Watch more here.

For more information please contact:

Melanie Louden
Media and Communications Manager
Surf Life Saving New Zealand
021 757 433