Centre for Volunteering Awards – Congratulations Gary Cook – nominated in the Senior Volunteer category

Gary Cook in Zoom meeting
Gary Cook in Zoom meeting

Last week the Centre for Volunteering held its Northern Beaches Regional Awards Ceremony which celebrates the efforts of our state’s volunteers across seven different award categories.  Our very own Gary Cook was nominated in the Senior Volunteer category. While Gary didn’t take out the award, his nomination recognises his 60 years of service to Surf Life Saving.

Gary has been a member of Newport Surf Club since 1960 and a Life Member since 1979. Gary also holds Life Membership of SLS Sydney Northern Beaches Branch and Life Membership of SLSNSW. Gary is a recipient of the President’s Medal SLS Australia which also recognises his service to Surf Life Saving Australia at Club, Branch, State and National level roles.

Gary served as President of the club for three years from 1980 to 1983 having previously held positions as Deputy President for seven years, and also served as Club Captain, Competition Manager, Publicity Officer, House Captain and Assistant Secretary. Gary currently sits on several of Newport Surf Lifesaving Club committees including the Judiciary Committee, Life Membership & Service Honours Committee, Ocean Swim Committee, and the Surf Sports Committee.

At Branch, Gary continues to server on the Life Membership & Service Honours Committee, Meritorious Awards Committee,  Judiciary Committee and Board of Surf Sports. As a long-serving scrutineer, Gary ensures that the Branch members compete on a craft that is to SLS specification and most importantly, safe.

At State Level Gary has served on the Beach advisory Panel, was Chairman of NSW March Past Panel 1996-2007. Gary has been Area or Sectional Referee at State Champs from 2004 to 2020 on 37 occasions with 20 as March Past Referee.

At the National level, he is the current National March Past Panel Chairman having taken on the position in 2006. Before this, he was Deputy Chairman for three years. He co-wrote the March Past Coaches & Judges Manuals starting from the early 2000s; then Pocket size updated editions in  2009,2016 & 2019. He drove the funding from SLSA for the printing of same and cost of Professional Photographers for shots in these Manuals.

Gary participated on the Planning Committee for the Celebration of Anzac Day and 100 years of Surf Boats and March Past at Australian Championships at the 2020 Aussies as March Past Consultant. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation. He is currently assisting Graham Bruce SLSA Life Member by researching SLSNSW State Championships and SLSA Australian Championships Programs and Surf Sports Official’s Appointments Listings to help with the presentation of Long Service Recognition Awards to Club’s members.

Gary’s contributions to Surf Life Saving span the full scope of the movement from hands-on Patrol, Administration, Competition, Officiating, Coaching and Instruction for new Bronze members.

In addition to these activates Gary spend a considerable amount of his time ensuring the members of the club are recognised for their efforts including preparation of SLSA Award Applications for Club members, research on Club members for Club Honours Awards and preparation of Nominations for SLSSNB, SLSNSW & SLSA Honours.

Finally, Gary also assists other clubs within and outside our Branch mentoring and coaching their past march teams. Outside the Branch, Gary helps the Lake Jindabyne “Yabbies” Nipper group with Boards and equipment sourced from Sydney Northern Beaches Clubs.

Gary Cook Certificate NSW Volunteer of the Year Nominee Certificate