Michelle Kirkwood is stepping down after more than eight seasons as director of lifesaving at the Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club.
The patrol captain and emergency callout team member has held the patrol rostering reins since 2012. She will step down at the club's annual general meeting in August.
She joined the club in 2004 as her children, Samantha, Mitchell and Jessica all progressed through the surf lifesaving nippers program.
"I'd decided to renew my bronze medallion after letting it lapse on the Central Coast and became part of the ladies boat crew here," she said.
"I started rowing and was approached to jointly hold the director's role with Lou O'Neill. We were the first female club captains since the club's inception in 1958. Neither of us knew exactly what it entailed but we worked together, fine tuned it and it worked well.
"After a few years Lou left to go travelling and I've probably done it on my own for the past four or five years."
Ms Kirkwood has played a role in overseeing patrols and beach management, inflatable boat driving skills for the clubs' 120 patrolling members.
She was named in the Chalkie Bob Smith Club Persons of the Year award and one of the top patrolling members for the 2013-14 season. She was also named Volunteer of the Year in 2015.
She faced a new challenge recently as patrol crews moved from hard-copy paper records to using the surf lifesaving app.
"The last few seasons we have done all the recording through the app. Getting our members to embrace the new technology, especially members who aren't tech savvy, has been really hard but also a really good achievement," Ms Kirkwood said.
"Last season we developed grab-bags for the emergency callout team. We put an automated defibrillator down at the tower - that was a big community initiative.
"I think our response when we had the fires as a emergency evacuation centre and patrol response was fantastic. Recently with floods, the teams worked together to spend four days out there and helped evacuations the whole time."
Ms Kirkwood said she will still continue with the club as a patrol captain but is willing to help a new director try some fresh ideas on the beach.
"I'm taking some time out but I'll probably find it really hard to resist checking in with patrols," she laughed.
"Overseeing what is a pretty large club, seeing them all rostered on and enjoying their patrols has been really good.
"I've loved being on the executive committee of the surf club. I really enjoy being a part of the decision making, helping to guide the club into the future.
"Fresh ideas and initiatives are important in any organisation to keep them moving forward. I'm confident that whoever takes over my role will not only build on what I have achieved but improve upon it."
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