Administrators keep the region’s SLSC train on track

October 14, 2021 BY

Some of the region's administrators that form the group posing on Jan Juc SLSC's lawn. Front to back: Sue Bettanin (Jan Juc SLSC), Jaci Chin-Jewson (Anglesea SLSC), Anna McDonald (Ocean Grove SLSC) and Michelle Gilling (Torquay SLSC). Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

A GROUP of administrators working out of surf life saving clubs on the Bellarine and Surf Coast have added three new members to their ranks with administrators from Barwon Heads 13th Beach SLSC and Lorne SLSC coming aboard the team that keeps the regions’ lifesaving on its tracks.

There are approximately 6,000 patrolling lifesavers across Victoria with the Geelong and Surf Coast regions accounting for a large portion of those members.

However, there has been a group of administrators working tirelessly behind the scenes in surf life saving clubs (SLSC) across Geelong and the Surf Coast sharing the best practices to keep their respective clubs running smoothly.

The group continues to meet once or twice a year to throw around ideas to ensure local clubs are fully equipped to keep their beaches safe.

The group now covers more than 80 kilometres of coastline from Point Lonsdale to Lorne.

Some of the region’s administrators that form the group. Front L-R: Michelle Gilling (Torquay SLSC) and Anna McDonald (Ocean Grove SLSC) Back L-R: Sue Bettanin (Jan Juc SLSC) and Jaci Chin-Jewson (Anglesea SLSC).


“For me, one of the biggest parts of this group is seeing these women as colleagues,” Jan Juc SLSC administrator Ms Bettanin said.

“Essentially they do the same job as me just in different parts of the region, but in this kind of job you don’t actually work alongside a colleague because you are the only person in your respective club that works as an admin.”

Ms Bettanin started the administrator group back in 2012 on a strictly casual basis, but then formalised it in 2015.

Since then, more administrators have started joining the group bringing the ongoing total of members to nine.

The group met again two weeks ago with a Life Saving Victoria volunteer support officer in attendance to discuss various practices that might come in handy as the summer season fast approaches, including topics such as COVID-19 and interclub competitions.

Attendees included Sue Bettanin (Jan Juc SLSC), Jaci Chin-Jewson (Anglesea SLSC), Nicole Clarke (Fairhaven SLSC), Michelle Gilling (Torquay SLSC), Ronnie Hutchinson (Point Lonsdale SLSC), Anna McDonald (Ocean Grove SLSC) and Caroline Woods (Point Lonsdale SLSC).

Administrator from Anglesea SLSC Jaci Chin-Jewson said while there are deep-seated rivalries within these clubs at the competition level, that certainly isn’t the case between the administrators in the group.

“We are all doing the same thing,” Ms Chin-Jewson said.

“We are all here to put our lifesavers on the beach and that is what we have got to do, as well as provide various programs for young kids so they too can become lifesavers.”

“It wasn’t until our LSV support officer [Sharyn Brigham] actually told us that no one else in Victoria is doing this that we just sort of said it’s pretty tough learning this job and running a club on your own.

“An administration role is quite complex and there is a lot to learn, which is why I am grateful to have this group of women.”
The newest members of the group include Stephanie Dimitrio (Barwon Heads 13th Beach SLSC), Vicky Adams (Barwon Heads 13th Beach) and Tina Westacott (Lorne SLSC).

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