How did you begin your Christmas Day? Did it involve a leisurely morning where you had a relaxed breakfast, while opening presents with loved ones? Kingscliff Banking Advisor, Alex Torrance’s Christmas morning was slightly different. Alongside other members of the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club and 313 other Surf Life Saving clubs across Australia, he volunteered to keep our beaches safe.
“It keeps me young, fit, healthy and it’s great to make a difference in a small way by helping those on our beaches,” said Alex.
This is before Alex informs me that he “cycled 60km at the start of the day, just before the rain”
As an active and competitive member of the surf club, Alex is proud to say he enjoys taking part in beach sprints, runs and board racing.
Back in August 2019, Alex had to undergo knee surgery, following years of competitive sport. Whilst he was on crutches for 6 weeks, he was still able to help customers with their banking needs and retained his role as an educator at the surf club.
Alex is a certified training officer for Surf Life Saving and is on the Education Committee and Fund-Raising Committee at the surf club. He is also a certified AustSwim Swim Teacher and spends his Saturday mornings in the pool teaching kids and adults to swim. Talk about an active lifestyle! What was interesting to find out was what attracted him to volunteer more of his time and educate members of the club.
“It all started when I worked on a Surf Lifesaving Volunteer program in Vietnam for nine months in 2016. When I heard that over 15,000 kids drown in the country every year, which equates to over 40 a day, I couldn’t help but be moved by that.
“I wanted to make a difference by helping the people in Vietnam with their water safety, surf awareness and surf lifesaving education. It’s a credit to the system here in Australia that we have so few drownings – that’s down to the water safety education we have in place.”
Last year, Royal Life Saving Australia recorded there were a total of 276 drowning deaths across Australia. However, it is reported that only 71 of those were on our beaches. That’s testimony to the great work done by Surf Lifesaving Australia and its members. Crucially, the 0-4 years age group had a 30 per cent reduction on the 10-year average; which some would argue illustrates effective water safety education having an impact.
Sharing that water safety knowledge with others, Alex says is what will “one day make a difference and save a life.”
As someone who volunteers to keep our beaches safe on Christmas day, trains members to successfully graduate with their Bronze Medallion certification whilst keeping up his day job of educating customers on Summerland’s products, services and how to save money on their home loans, Alex is continuing to make a difference in the Kingscliff community.