New Torquay SLSC president excited for tasks ahead

July 8, 2024 BY

New Torquay SLSC president Matt Carmichael. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

THE Torquay Surf Life Saving Club has appointed a new president, with former junior lifesaving co-ordinator Matt Carmichael taking over the reins from Julian Sweeney.

The club announced Mr Carmichael as the club’s new president at its most recent general meeting, as preparations begin in getting Torquay SLSC “patrol ready” for the 2024/25 season.

“There’s a lot of pride in the club and coming through the junior development role, I’ve seen so many passionate people help out on the way,” Mr Carmichael said.

“Our age managers do 130 unpaid hours a year to help our junior athletes continue to grow around the water, and it’s so easy to get along with the others.

“People might have different opinions on things, but at the end of the day everyone wants to achieve the same goal and that’s to see the continued growth of the club.”

Mr Carmichael praised Sweeney’s efforts in improving community relationships during his time as president.

The Torquay SLSC redevelopment project is also an ongoing project Carmichael will investigate in his new role, with conversations about financing the prospective pavilion now several years in the making.

“Lifesaving services are apolitical, therefore we as a club are an apolitical association, so we’re happy to support any government that is happy to help us, so we’re open to talking to both major parties and minor parties on how they can help us deliver lifesaving services to the Surf Coast,” Mr Carmichael said.

“The costs associated with the redevelopment have expanded as well as industry costs since the last federal election.

“They’re daunting right now and will need to be quite an investment from government and any good Samaritans willing to help.

“We’re conscious our social licence means the money needed to redevelop the club has to be weighed up against other requirements of the community.”

Former prime minister Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party committed $6.5 million at the last federal election towards the cost of the overall build.

Torquay SLSC is consulting with the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority to complete a Marine and Coastal Act consent form for the redevelopment.

In addition to Mr Carmichael’s appointment, director of lifesaving Jono Griffiths, marketing director Heather Felix, director of member services Danny Phillips were also appointed to new roles.

The club is now fielding applications for a club captain and a director of facilities.

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