Billy Jackson

09 September 2015

Mr SPEIRS ( Bright ) ( 15:31:12 ): I rise today to acknowledge the achievements of South Australia's 2015 Surf Life Saver of the Year, Mr Billy Jackson of Hallett Cove. Billy was awarded the title at this year's Surf Life Saving SA Awards of Excellence held at Surf Central on 1 August. I wish to put on record my own appreciation of Billy's involvement and support at my home surf club of Brighton. His contribution to the club locally and to surf lifesaving at a statewide level is second to none.

Billy and I are both members at Brighton and that is not the only thing we have in common because Billy is also a Scot, and it was great to see Billy's achievements recently written up in Scotland's Kilmarnock Standard newspaper under the headline 'Crosshouse lifesaver scoops top award Down Under'. I noted in the article that, while the village of Crosshouse is not known for its surf, being about 10 kilometres from the Scottish coastline, Billy did learn to swim in the River Irvine, near the old Laigh Milton Mill. Having seen the River Irvine just a few weeks ago when I was back in Scotland, I can confirm that Billy's decision to pursue his love of the water will be a far more enjoyable experience in Brighton than it would ever have been in his homeland.

Billy has been an active member at Brighton Surf Life Saving Club since 1998 and has served the club admirably in almost every volunteer role available in a surf club environment, including as a successful club captain between 2012 and 2014. He has also been involved in IRBs, surf competition, patrols and training, including providing me with my first radio training back when I did my bronze medallion. He has also been involved in providing support to get the Goolwa Surf Life Saving Club off the ground, and this has included regular surf patrols down there.

At Brighton Surf Life Saving Club, in the season just gone, Billy was awarded the club president's award for the most valuable member and the Harold Philpott trophy for the most valuable patrolling member. He also clocked up the most patrol hours at the club in the 2014-15 season at 186 hours.

While Billy is best known at Brighton, he is renowned in every metropolitan club due to his regular volunteering at SurfCom, surf lifesaving's command centre, where his accent is often heard across surf's radio frequency on patrol days, and I am reliably informed that he is known as 'that Scottish bloke on the radio' by hundreds of lifesavers up and down our coast.

Billy's achievements also saw him gain life membership of Brighton Surf Life Saving Club at its August 2015 Annual General Meeting. Deputy Speaker, I am sure you and all members of this parliament will join me in wishing Billy all the best for the upcoming national surf life saving awards of excellence to be held in Sydney in October. Congratulations Billy.

Extracted from Hansard