COBDEN’S James Green admits he got quite the surprise when members of his family walked into his office unexpectedly recently.
They came to witness him receive the Graeme Long Memorial Medal as Life Saving Victoria’s (LSV) Volunteer of the Year, which were presented online on August 1.Green, a member of the Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club (PCSLSC), was one of five nominees for the award and was nominated by Mildura Surf Life Saving Club for his efforts as Western Area Training and Assessment Officer.
He said he was humbled to receive the award, which recognises the contribution of a volunteer who has significantly benefited their club or enhanced the development of LSV’s mission and values.
“When you’re one of 35,000-36,000 volunteer members and you receive the top award it’s very humbling,” Green said.
“It’s also very surprising. I knew I was nominated by Mildura but it was amazing when they awarded it to me.”
Prior to the online awards night, Green said he had not thought about the award until he found out he had won it on a Zoom call with LSV president Paul James leading up to the event.
Without his knowledge, Green’s family, GreenCon employees and LSV had conspired to keep the announcement a surprise until he sat down in his office chair for what he was told was an important meeting.
What followed next had him more than surprised as he was joined by his parents Laurie and Thelma, sister Sally and daughter Darci to discover the news.
“I didn’t really think much about it but I was very surprised when I walked in my office and the president of Life Saving Victoria was on the laptop,” Green said.
“The boys all knew about it and had planned it so I would walk in and jump on Zoom and then next minute my father and my mother walked in and Sal walked in so I didn’t know what was going on.
“Then on the screen there were all these squares and Darci was in the background too so there was a fair bit of effort that went into getting the presentation set-up. It was amazing to share it with them.”
As part of his role, Green co-ordinates training and assessment activities within five clubs – Port Campbell, Portland, Port Fairy, Mildura and Warrnambool - and promotes life saving in the community.
He can train and assess aquatic awards including the Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion; boat awards including Inflatable Rescue Boat, driver and crew; and lifesaving awards including CPR, first aid, spinal assessment and advanced resuscitation.
Green said he thoroughly enjoys his role and gets a kick out of teaching what he says are “valuable life skills in any setting” so they are second nature to the holder.
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