Surf Life Saving SA President John Baker was appointed Deputy National President on the weekend at the Surf Life Saving Australia National Board Meeting. His appointment is the first time a South Australian has ever held the office making him the highest ranking National Surf Life Saving officer ever to come from South Australia.
Mr Baker is looking forward to making a significant impact on the future of Surf Life Saving in Australia and continuing the current trajectory of growth, innovation and modernisation for the organisation. He said “it’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to continuing to support the President Graham Ford and the ambitions of our membership”.
John has been a Board Director for Surf Life Saving Australia for 5 years and has been an active contributor to several committees and working groups including the current National Surf Sports Review and Youth Championships Review. “The SLSA Board is a highly experienced group who are working closely with the Executive Team to drive significant innovation and growth across the movement” said Mr Baker.
John is a former State Director of Lifesaving Services and he is currently in his 6th year as State President. Under his leadership Surf Life Saving SA has expanded as an emergency service and we are now protecting more South Australians in more locations than ever before.
He was a member of the 2012 World Lifesaving Championships Executive Group and championed the cause to bring the event back to South Australia. He was successful in his bid for Surf Life Saving SA to become the first State body to host the event and is currently serving as Chairman of the International Lifesaving Federation World Lifesaving Championships which will be held in Adelaide in 2018.
As a volunteer lifesaver he has performed nearly 2,000 patrol hours with the Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club and the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter, where he has performed countless rescues, searches and first aid cases. John is one of the longest serving helicopter crewmen in a career that spans 23 years.
In 2011 he was awarded the South Australian Emergency Services Medal in recognition of distinguished and meritorious service. He has also been awarded the National Medal and his 30 year Patrol Service Award.
“The SLSA Board is a highly experienced group who are working closely with the Executive Team to drive significant innovation and growth across the movement” said Mr Baker.
His commitment to the community has also included significant volunteer service to other NFPs including; The Australian Red Cross, The Smith Family, The Australian Army Cadets, The Returned Services League.
“Surf Life Saving is one of the greatest humanitarian movements in this country and I’m extremely proud of my involvement” said Mr Baker.