It’s been a busy and memorial six months for Forster’s Brian Wilcox.
Earlier this year Brian turned 50, and last month he was elected Surf Lifesaving NSW deputy president before being awarded the prestigious National Medal.
Brian is understandably chuffed about both his award and election, claiming they are equally exciting.
His elevation to Surf Lifesaving’s second top job follows a five-year stint as Lower North Coast branch president and various positions on club and branch executives since he became a surf lifesaver back in 1994.
Brian said he was thrilled the lifesaving movement had kept its country connection. The previous deputy hailed from Sawtell.
“It’s good for the organisation to have a country voice,” Brian said.
Brian described the new line-up of board members as a good mix of people, ranging in age from their 30s to 60s.
“And, there is lots of experience and diversity.”
Brian is keen to attract new members to surf lifesaving
“It is getting more difficult to get volunteers, mainly because of time constraints; everybody is so busy these days.
“But, the biggest problem is attracting people to do the administration side.”
Established in 1975, the National Medal is one of the original elements of the distinctive Australian system of honours and awards.
The medal recognises diligent, long-service in organisations that protect life and property at some risk to their members.
“It is a privilege to be recognised with this award; that you are eligible in the first place,” Brian said.
Before moving to the Mid North Coast in 1993 Brian was a pool lifeguard in Penrith.
“So, it was a natural progression to join the surf club when I moved to Forster,” Brian said.
Brian began his lifesaving career with a bronze medallion before moving through most committee positions within the Forster Surf Lifesaving Club.
“I have been involved with everything from education to administration.”
The lifesaving movement is a Wilcox family passion with wife Julie an active participant and life member of Forster – Brian is too – along with 12-year-old daughter Georgia.