At our AGM on Friday evening, our members unanimously endorsed and awarded life membership to two of our amazing members
Albany SLSC Life Member: JEFF MEDCALF
Jeff Medcalf joined the Albany SLSC in 1997 to obtain his Bronze Medallion so that he could teach VacSwim. However, he remained as an active member for the club (with a 2 year break in service) and has taken on a range of volunteering roles within the club during this time.
In 1999, Jeff transferred to Broome where he was an active member of the Broome SLSC. Whilst in Broome, Jeff obtained his Silver Medallion IRB Driver’s award and Silver Medallion Patrol Captain’s award. This was also where he began his love of surf boats and in particular sweeping. He was part of a crew that competed in the Northern Territory SLS State Titles.
In December 1999, two drowning fatalities on Education Department excursions significantly changed the duty of care for organisations taking children on open water-based activities. Being a high school teacher and linked with the Education Department, Jeff was perfectly positioned to work collaboratively with Celia Waugh to develop a strategy to coordinate and deliver Surf Rescue Certificate training for schools and other community groups so they could provide water safety for children to attend open water-based activities.
Jeff returned to Albany in the year 2000 and started sweeping master’s surfboat crews, which he continues to do to this day. During this time, he has swept crews at State, National and World championships. He has held the position of Boat Captain for many years and been instrumental in recruiting many new members to the club into boat crews who have then gone on to being patrolling members.
Jeff has been a trainer and assessor for the club since 2001 and delivered training in many awards including Bronze Medallion, IRB Driver/Crew, Senior First Aid, ART, Beach Management, Pain Management, in fact all awards Surf Life Saving offer. He is a dedicated trainer who is highly skilled, approachable and always well organised. Over the years he has volunteered many hours training squads for awards keeping our patrol teams well skilled and ready to perform their roles.
In 2019, Jeff took on the role of Education Officer and encouraged many club members to become trainers and assessors. He mentored and provided quality support to the new trainers ensuring they feel capable and at ease taking on squads of their own.
In 2020, Jeff became a member of the SLSWA Education Advisory Committee. This committee oversees the implementation and design of training programs and provides submissions to SLSA on updates and changes to current awards. Jeff’s years of training and assessing along with his career background in education ensured he was able to provide a respected and valuable contribution to the Committee.
Jeff was awarded the WA Assessor of the Year at the 2021 WA Surf Lifesaving Awards of Excellence for the amazing work that he does for the Albany SLSC, the community education programs he delivers, his contribution to development of courses through the SLSWA Education Advisory Committee and his willingness to assist other clubs with training and assessing.
In December 2022, Jeff coordinated the 23rd annual Surf Rescue Certificate proficiency and new award day for teachers. There were 72 candidates supported by 15 club volunteers. During the time he has been organising this event Jeff has developed an extremely well designed program with designated time slots for teachers to attend, reducing the time they are away from the school and enabling the club volunteers to process a large volume of participants. Over the years he has received significant positive feedback from the schools and candidates.
Jeff has been a Patrol Captain for many years and has 546 career patrol hours. He always makes himself available to do water safety at club and other events that require qualified water safety.