Surf’s up for local leaders

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Laura Adolphus and Carolyn Wilson from the Secret Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club.
Camera IconLaura Adolphus and Carolyn Wilson from the Secret Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club. Credit: Supplied

Two women from the Secret Harbour Surf Lifesaving Club have been selected to take part in an inaugural women’s mentoring program, aimed at addressing the low numbers of females taking up leadership positions within surf lifesaving.

The program had a wide range of applicants but only 40 women, including Secret Harbour’s Laura Adolphus and Carolyn Wilson, were chosen nationwide, broken down into 20 mentees and 20 mentors. The pair will take part in the year-long program, which was officially launched with an online ceremony this month.

Ms Adolphus has been paired with a mentor from Tasmania and said she was looking forward to working with her over the next year.

I’m most looking forward to working with some of surf lifesaving’s brightest, most dedicated and inspiring women,” she said.

“I’m looking forward to developing greater confidence in my leadership capabilities within surf lifesaving. I have been director of PR, sponsorship and marketing at Secret Harbour for two years.

“I am quite a young board member and felt from the beginning of my tenure that I would have benefited from some mentoring so when I saw this program advertised, I jumped at the chance to apply.”

Carolyn Wilson and Laura Adolphus from the Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club.
Camera IconCarolyn Wilson and Laura Adolphus from the Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club. Credit: Supplied

Ms Adolphus said surf lifesaving had historically been male-dominated and while this image was shifting, with general male-to-female membership “roughly equal,” the leadership ratios were “sadly not quite there yet.”

“We need more women taking up senior level positions within surf to show our young, female Nippers they belong up there too,” she said.

Ms Wilson said she had been selected as a mentor for a South Australian woman seeking to further her career, confidence and leadership.

“I applied to be a mentor, offering my skills, experiences and knowledge, I feel very privileged to have been selected,” she said.

“There is only one WA mentee and two other mentors from other WA surf lifesaving clubs.

“I hope to support and inspire my mentee to achieve her goals and to seek and enjoy the many opportunities available. I am also looking forward to personal growth and the support this program is offering to the mentors.”

Ms Wilson has been part of Secret Harbour SLSC for about 20 years now and said her whole family was involved.

“It has been an amazing journey. I used to hate the beach, but can’t imagine life without the beach now,” she said.

Ms Adolphus joined the club five years ago after moving from the United Kingdom and said the club had been like a second family. “I’m hugely grateful for the opportunities surf lifesaving has provided over the last five years.

“I never thought, when I boarded a flight from the United Kingdom in 2014, I would be immersed in the world of red and yellow,” she said.

The program is delivered by McCarthy Mentoring, which will host workshops at regular intervals throughout the program, where all mentees and mentors can get together at once.

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