Surf Life Saving Australia’s Women’s Mentoring Program.

Wednesday 02 December 2020

As part of marking 40 years of women in lifesaving, 2020 saw the launch of Surf Life Saving Australia’s Women’s Mentoring Program.

The program has paired 20 female mentors with 20 female mentees from across the country. They are working together for a 12 month period, focussing on empowerment, support and leadership skills. The aim is that participants can then apply new skills to both their professional and everyday lives - both within and outside of surf lifesaving.  

Of the 40 women participating in the inaugural program, Tasmania is being represented by Amanda Mackinnon (Carlton Park) and Lynette Barratt (Devonport) who are program mentors, and Amber Loone (Devonport), Emily Price (Burnie) and Lara Emmett (Ulverstone) who are current mentees. Lately we’ve been catching up with each of the Tasmanian women involved and will be sharing their experiences in the program over the coming week.

Perhaps they will inspire you to apply for a position in the 2021 program? Expressions of interest are now being called for, with applications are due by December 14 for the second cohort commencing 1 February 2021 click here for more information.

Here’s what some of our 2020 Tasmanian mentors or mentees have to say about the program:

“My mentee is based in Western Australia and we were matched based on a shared passion for marketing and communications. Over the past few months we’ve been working through her goals with a particular focus on how she can carve her own path – both in her professional career and in surf lifesaving. Our discussions are open, honest and all about throwing around different ideas, experiences and perspectives.

The Women’s Mentoring Program rich in networking opportunities and professional development. I’d encourage anyone who thinks they could be a mentor to volunteer their time. For those looking to develop their leadership skills – apply to be a mentee. There’s a whole network of women within our organisation waiting to support you!”

Amanda Mackinnon, Carlton Park SLSC

‘I was excited to participate in the SLSA Women’s Mentoring Program as a mentor to Sophie Valdek from Bronte SLSC in Sydney.  The program is supported professionally by One2One, McCarthy Mentoring - with monthly topics and online materials for personalised support and guidance.

My mentee’s goals were to strengthen leadership skills, broaden networks, build confidence and improve influencing skills. We worked together to achieve these goals not only from a personal but also professional level.

I would encourage you to participate in this great program where you get to network with many amazing like-minded women in surf lifesaving.'

Lyn Barratt, Devonport SLSC

"Acceptance into and involvement in the SLSA Women’s Mentoring Program has been one of the highlights of my year.  This has been my first experience in a mentoring program and if definitely wont be my last. The program combines professional speakers with monthly reflection sessions with your mentor. It is self directed, meaning that you are able to work through the program at your own pace, focusing on the areas that resonate with you, your interests and your goals. The program has provided benefits to both my involvement surf life saving and my family and professional work life and I have met many wonderful, inspiring people from around Australia.

My mentor Sue resides in South Australia. Whilst our professional and surf experience are different, we have been able to find many similarities, and with Sue’s help I have been able to develop and extend my skills and abilities personally and professionally. I am delighted to see that this program is being supported for another group of women. There are so many exceptional women that are involved in surf life saving in Australia. This is a great way to connect and learn from each other. I am sure that in years to come you will see that future leaders in surf clubs from around Australia will have been part of this exceptional program."

Emily Price, Burnie SLSC


"It's been an absolute honour to be a part of SLSA Women's Mentoring Program. My mentor is beyond inspirational and resides in Western Australia, where she is an incredibly successful woman in both her working career and life saving areas.

Together, we share a passion for youth development and have common goals to increase youth involvement within our respective states. The program has enabled us to share resources, which has significantly helped me in my state youth roles. 

Whilst I have had several great mentors over the years, this has been the first time I have had a true female mentor in life saving. I love being able to work closely together and am appreciative of having someone who understands the challenges set against you when being both female and young in leadership roles.

Everyone needs a mentor. I encourage every female out there in life saving to reach out and take on this opportunity."

Lara Emmett, Ulverstone SLSC

Surf Life Saving Australia’s Women’s Mentoring Program.