New CEO for SLSA

Brett Williamson OAM has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), to oversee the next period of growth and development for this iconic Australian organisation.

Brett, who has been CEO of Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) since 1991, is one of the most successful leaders of the surf lifesaving movement in the country.

“I sincerely thank the SLSA Directors for giving me the great honour and privilege to be the new CEO of SLSA, he said. “I am really looking forward to working with the National Directors and staff, and all involved in the State and Territory centres around Australia to ensure SLSA’s reputation as international leaders in beach and aquatic safety services continues.

“There are several exciting challenges and opportunities ahead for SLSA and I’m looking forward to being part of the team that will be leading and supporting Surf Life Saving at all levels as we move towards our second century.

His appointment comes at a key time for the surf lifesaving movement in Australia. Since its formation in 1907, SLSA has evolved from a mainly administrative and policy-making body into a major non government organisation (NGO) and national sporting organisation (NSO), with more than 110,000 members, turnover of nearly $20 million and net assets of $18 million.

With a strong portfolio of corporate partners including DHL and Westpac, a highly recognisable brand, a sophisticated fundraising arm and strong linkages with governments of all levels across the country, SLSA is uniquely placed to consolidate its position as the country’s major water safety and rescue organisation.

SLSA President, Ron Rankin AM, said he was delighted at the appointment and was confident that Brett had the experience and skills to lead the movement through its current phase of organisational change and growth. “The Australian Council and I are delighted to be able to make this key appointment from a very strong field of candidates, he said.

“The selection panel was impressed by Brett’s demonstrated successes in Queensland, many of which have had national impact, as well as his vision for the future of the entire surf lifesaving movement. “The coming years are full of opportunities and challenges for the surf lifesaving movement in Australia, particularly with 2007 Year of the Surf Lifesaver rapidly approaching, and I am confident that Brett will continue the great work of our previous CEO, Greg Nance.

“On behalf of all SLSA members, I welcome Brett to the position and I look forward to working with him closely at this very exciting period in our history, Mr Rankin concluded.

Brett has degrees in Human Movement Studies (BHMS Ed) from the University of Queensland and Education (B Ed) from the Queensland Institute of Technology.

He has been with SLSQ for 22 years and has worked as a National Development Officer, State Coaching Director, Deputy Administrator and State Manager before being appointed as CEO in 1991.
Brett has been involved in all operational and management areas of the surf lifesaving movement since joining as a nipper’ some 42 years ago.

He has an extensive range of lifesaving qualifications and awards, including 15 Year Patrol Service Award, 25 Year Service Badge, Citation of Merit’ from International Life Saving (ILS), an Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and a Centenary Medal’ from the Prime Minister for distinguished contribution to Surf Life Saving. He received his Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2004. Brett maintains structure and discipline within the organisation while understanding the focus of family for his employees. Brett himself won Father of the Year in Queensland in 1996.

As CEO of SLSQ he was responsible for a diverse range of services and operations ranging from rescue, emergency care, education and training to surf sports, research and marketing. As a member of SLSA’s Board of Management (made up of CEOs from all states and the Northern Territory and senior SLSA staff), Brett has already been involved in national affairs for more than a decade, and was instrumental in forming the organisation’s fundraising arm ” the Surf Life Saving Foundation. Brett will commence duties at SLSA in October.

The international Lifesaving Federations congratulates Brett with his appointment and wished him a lot of success in his new job.