Home » Podcast » Michael Bonnici, life saver, rugby referee and a life-long volunteer

Michael Bonnici, life saver, rugby referee and a life-long volunteer



In this week’s episode, Geoff is talking to Michael Bonnici who was the Overall Winner in the 2018 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards for NSW/ACT.

Michael Bonnici contributes over 200 volunteer hours every year. He is Director of Lifesaving, educational speaker and award-winning Patrol Captain at Wanda Surf Club. He also volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Australian Red Cross Blood Service and Salvation Army. Michael raised $3,000 for Samaritans Purse Australia and volunteered time to help build schools in disadvantaged Battambang, Cambodia. He was recently named as the Sydney South Young and Overall Volunteer of the Year.

I am a dynamic, organised and committed individual with the ability to pay attention to detail. I am quick to understand innovative ideas and able to work hard on my own initiative to meet deadlines. I also enjoy working in a positive team environment which ensures the best possible result for the organisation, team and client. I pride myself on my work ethic, always striving to continue to learn and improve my knowledge no matter what the task may be.

As a graduated City Planning (Honours) Student, I am extremely passionate about sustainable Urban growth, through a variety of social, economic and environmental factors that determines the future of our cities. With a passion for Strategic and Transport planning, I have high aspirations to work on future large scale development projects which ensure sustainable growth for our cities going into the future.

I am very outgoing person who enjoys volunteer Surf Lifesaving at the beach, Rugby League refereeing and working as a Senior Town Planner at Canterbury Bankstown Council.


In this episode:

  • You’ll be amazed at just how much Michael does in his volunteering roles
  • Michael’s advice to us?
  • Always have a mentor
  • Look outside the square try and look at it from a different angle
  • Work out ways to be organised to reduce your stress
  • Keep in touch with friends and family and talk to the
  • Put yourself out of your comfort zone


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[00:00:05] Annette

Welcome to the Inspirational Inspirational Australian’s podcast, where we chat to people making  a difference in their communities

[00:00:10] Annette

and in the lives of others.

[00:00:12] Annette

And here is your host  for today. Geoff Griffin.

[00:00:21] Geoff

Welcome to the Inspirational Australian’s podcast with stories of inspiring achievements  and community contribution.

[00:00:28] Geoff

Every week we will celebrate an award program

[00:00:32] Geoff

category  winner

[00:00:33] Geoff

or finalists.

[00:00:34] Geoff

We hope

[00:00:35] Geoff

you’ll be inspired

[00:00:36] Geoff

and encouraged to know that  Australia

[00:00:38] Geoff

is in good hands,

[00:00:40] Geoff

together with our corporate partners

[00:00:43] Geoff

and not for profit partners,

[00:00:45] Geoff

Awards  Australia,  showcase ordinary people

[00:00:47] Geoff

from right across Australia.

[00:00:49] Geoff

Doing extraordinary things.  If you enjoy hearing the stories about Inspirational Australian’s Australians,

[00:00:56] Geoff

please subscribe. Write us and review us.

[00:00:59] Geoff

We really appreciate it.  My guest  today is given so

[00:01:04] Geoff

much of himself to volunteering and making  a

[00:01:07] Geoff

difference across his short lifetime,  particularly to surf lifesaving. It’s also forged a very successful career as  a senior

[00:01:15] Geoff

town planner at Canterbury bankstown Council.

[00:01:19] Geoff

In recognition of his  achievements,  Michael Pinetree was chosen as the twenty eighteen freemason’s

[00:01:25] Geoff

New South Wales act,

[00:01:27] Geoff

community service and volunteering

[00:01:29] Geoff

award recipient

[00:01:30] Geoff

part of the Geoff Geoff  Achiever Awards.

[00:01:34] Geoff

Michael was

[00:01:34] Geoff

so highly regarded by the judging panel  that he was  also chosen

[00:01:39] Geoff

as the Young Achiever of

[00:01:42] Geoff

the Year.

[00:01:43] Geoff

It’s great to have you on the  podcast, Michael. Welcome.

[00:01:46] Michael

Thanks  Geoff. It’s great to be here.

[00:01:49] Geoff

You clearly were an outstanding

[00:01:52] Geoff

choice by the  judges. Not only to win the Freemasons award

[00:01:56] Geoff

for your efforts in your work in

[00:01:59] Geoff

community service and volunteering, but also as the  young achiever of the year  which is

[00:02:04] Geoff

pretty awesome. I know the

[00:02:05] Geoff

judges were just in

[00:02:07] Geoff

awe of the amount of

[00:02:08] Geoff

work  they do.

[00:02:10] Geoff

The progression that you had made through the ranks in surf Life Saving

[00:02:15] Geoff

and clearly we’ve got  a real passion for surf lifesaving.

[00:02:18] Geoff

What led you down that path initially?

[00:02:21] Michael

Yeah, so I guess I had

[00:02:23] Michael

a few troubles

[00:02:24] Michael

sort of growing up and hanging around the wrong crowds  and I actually had  a teacher that

[00:02:29] Michael

pointed in the direction of volunteering. And  I just sort of expose  myself to as much of it as I could and developed  a real passion

[00:02:38] Michael

for everything in volunteering and surf Life Saving the was the main  one growing up doing nippers.

[00:02:45] Michael

And it Gave me  a lot of leadership

[00:02:47] Michael

skills and

[00:02:49] Michael

positions. I guess that helped me with  my personal

[00:02:53] Michael

personal stuff that was going on

[00:02:54] Michael

as well as some career aspirations that I had. So

[00:02:58] Michael

yeah, I really just enjoyed every,  every moment with so many

[00:03:01] Michael

opportunities that were getting thrown at me and it was

[00:03:04] Michael

just a really good pathway as, as a young person coming through

[00:03:09] Geoff

it’s  a common story, isn’t it?  We get into the wrong

[00:03:12] Geoff


[00:03:13] Geoff

or bad habits for whatever reason. It is

[00:03:17] Geoff

an old palazzi  or  a teacher

[00:03:19] Geoff

that’s an inspiration itself for other teachers to suggest ways

[00:03:24] Geoff

young people  can get connected with things.

[00:03:26] Geoff

And often

[00:03:27] Geoff

it comes because of boredom  that we might  mix with the wrong people and clearly

[00:03:33] Geoff

we made  a really good choice. Your patrol captain, that one the surf club. Now,

[00:03:39] Geoff

how long you’ve been at wonder and what levels of service have you progressed  through to be where you are now?

[00:03:45] Michael

Yeah, so I’ve been there since I was five as  a nipper.

[00:03:49] Michael

I started patrolling when I was 14.

[00:03:52] Michael

So this is my 10th year patrolling  for Wanda, I’ve given over a thousand hours

[00:03:59] Michael

as  a bronze medallion patrol member

[00:04:00] Michael

and being  a patrol captain.

[00:04:04] Michael

And I also

[00:04:05] Michael

operate the jet skis

[00:04:06] Michael

and I’m  a duty officer for Cole that’s after hours and stuff like that. So

[00:04:11] Michael

I really love

[00:04:12] Michael

everything I do with wonder

[00:04:13] Michael

and surf Life Saving and

[00:04:15] Michael

and it’s progressed me into further leadership and executive roles

[00:04:20] Michael

in the club with

[00:04:21] Michael

which have given me some great opportunities as well.

[00:04:25] Geoff

Yeah  I guess being on the jet ski would be a little bit of

[00:04:28] Geoff

fun as well.

[00:04:29] Michael

Yeah  absolutely.

[00:04:31] Michael

I love it. It’s

[00:04:32] Michael

It’s so good  especially even like it’s great fun. But even  in big surf,  it’s pretty amazing what we can do in terms of the rescues that we can perform and  the

[00:04:42] Michael

positions we can get,  get ourselves into around rocks and stuff like that on and pretty,

[00:04:47] Michael

pretty dangerous conditions.

[00:04:50] Geoff

Have you had any serious

[00:04:52] Geoff

rescues, really  Life and death rescues yourself?

[00:04:57] Michael

Yeah  I have actually I’ve had

[00:05:00] Michael

two unfortunate fatalities that were pretty  hit  me a bit to say that sort of especially as  a young person.

[00:05:09] Michael

But I’ve also had some pretty,

[00:05:11] Michael

pretty cool rescues both on the  a rescue boat with someone like

[00:05:15] Michael

someone I thought would have drowned for sure. And  we, we managed to rescue Them

[00:05:20] Michael

as well as a rescue on the jet ski where  there was  a man in trouble,  probably 20 metres from shore. And I rescued him and he was actually standing on  his wife under the water. When I pulled his pulled him up,  his wife came up after that. So that was another one that took me by surprise  but

[00:05:38] Michael

nonetheless, was  a good result.

[00:05:41] Michael

It’s moments like those that

[00:05:43] Michael

make me really proud. And  yeah  really,  really thankful for the training and the opportunities that I’ve got in surf Life,  Saving

[00:05:52] Geoff

all the training, pays off at those moments.

[00:05:56] Geoff

And as I say,  makes it all worthwhile and you appreciate why you have to go through those hours  and hours of

[00:06:03] Geoff

maybe sometimes tedious  training sessions that you may not fully  understand probably in the early days.

[00:06:12] Geoff

But that’s, I mean,  that’s

[00:06:14] Geoff

really amazing. The scenarios that you have had to deal with  as  a young person.

[00:06:21] Geoff

That is extraordinary for us,  as mere mortals to think what you have to go through and what you do.

[00:06:27] Geoff

Saving lives  it doesn’t get any more important than that. I opened to you and I remember

[00:06:35] Geoff

meeting you really humble guy.

[00:06:38] Geoff

Are you confident that you’re really humble about  what you do and the difference you make in a community?  And when we met at the 28 eighteen I was really impressed

[00:06:47] Geoff

with the young man you  are. So

[00:06:49] Michael

thanks, Geoff.

[00:06:50] Geoff

Yeah  absolute pleasure. And that’s what the Awards are all about  acknowledging people that may not

[00:06:56] Geoff

in the broader community  otherwise be acknowledged. So

[00:06:59] Geoff

you do an amazing job.

[00:07:02] Geoff

How many are  involved that want to surf club?

[00:07:06] Michael

We have 14, just over fourteen hundred members,

[00:07:10] Michael

but around two to three hundred of Them are

[00:07:13] Michael

really active and doing most of our  patrols. But all of those members

[00:07:18] Michael

are parents and grandparents, and

[00:07:21] Michael

it’s just  a really good community to be a part of even for those that don’t patrol this,  some might be down there making lunches or

[00:07:28] Michael

fixing things. And

[00:07:30] Michael

it’s just like  a little family. Fantastic.

[00:07:33] Geoff

A pretty busy beach

[00:07:35] Geoff

I guess.

[00:07:36] Michael

Yes  the cronulla beaches in Sydney, incredibly busy in the summer,

[00:07:41] Michael

is actually for surf clubs that share the same stretch of beach.

[00:07:45] Michael

So there’s  a few rivalries there  but we all work together

[00:07:48] Michael

nonetheless for the same common goal. So

[00:07:51] Michael

yeah,  it’s the Sutherland Shire is definitely

[00:07:53] Michael

a beach,  crazy and passionate community

[00:07:58] Geoff

just between you and iritis. This won’t go said

[00:08:03] Geoff

I am

[00:08:03] Geoff

presuming one does the best.

[00:08:06] Michael

Yes. Well we actually  we one club of the year for Sydney

[00:08:10] Michael

this season. Just go and say,

[00:08:12] Michael

you know the trophies there on the shelf to prove it

[00:08:15] Michael

and we always think we’re the  best.

[00:08:18] Geoff

Oh congratulations on winning  this year’s driver who won last year as  a matter of interest,

[00:08:25] Michael

was actually Gary in the royal national park. I think.

[00:08:28] Geoff


[00:08:28] Geoff

yeah, well I’m sure you have it for  a few Geoff to come

[00:08:33] Geoff

but I gather some dust there for  a few days. Yes.

[00:08:37] Michael

Let’s hope

[00:08:38] Geoff

we all do an amazing job. Protecting

[00:08:41] Geoff

the  community and making sure that they’re safe to every possibility

[00:08:49] Geoff

available to

[00:08:51] Geoff

how many clubs are dotted around New South Wales.

[00:08:55] Michael

There’s actually one  hundred and twenty nine.  So yeah, quite quite  a lot

[00:09:01] Michael

over Geoff thousand. Seventy thousand members. As part of

[00:09:06] Michael

the New South  Wales. Well that’s

[00:09:10] Geoff

that’s,  that’s amazing. So Geoff thousand members.

[00:09:14] Geoff

What percentage

[00:09:15] Geoff

of that would bevolunteer?

[00:09:19] Michael

That’s all volunteers. So

[00:09:21] Michael

100 to one hundred percent. Yeah,  that doesn’t include any staff there are staff, but  yeah,  the 70 odd thousand is one hundred percent volunteer based. Wow.

[00:09:32] Geoff

That’s  massive. That is really huge. Yeah.

[00:09:38] Geoff

You’re also director of  lifesaving. Can you tell us what that involves?

[00:09:43] Michael

Yes  I was director of lifesaving and then went on to be the club captain as well. And  for four Geoff really enjoyed my time on the board and

[00:09:53] Michael

it involved,

[00:09:54] Michael

I guess running the patrol operations at one

[00:09:57] Michael

or together with the Life Saving and  education

[00:10:00] Michael

team. So we,  we assembled all the patrols and we make sure that our patrols are up to standard  that way. We’re  offering New training and  annual skills  maintenance and proficiencies. And we also,

[00:10:15] Michael

if we get call outs  after hours or outside of our normal

[00:10:18] Michael

flagged area  we respond to those as well. So  it’s a, it’s an all of operation I guess,  response and

[00:10:27] Michael

management sort of tamba.  Yeah, it’s a really good role and Gave me  a lot of opportunities even just working on the board of directors for the club and  saying

[00:10:35] Michael

other things like financials or the surf sports side or the juniors

[00:10:40] Michael

and just  how they operate. Gave me a great understanding

[00:10:43] Michael

just in terms of operating on  a committee and how to speak, I guess  a bit more professionally and how to engage with

[00:10:51] Michael

more professional people as a, as  a young person.

[00:10:54] Geoff

Yeah,  I think that’s really important. Have you ever done anything across  a broader scale of

[00:10:59] Geoff

surf Life Saving other than just

[00:11:01] Geoff

with wonder?

[00:11:03] Michael

Well now my current role now the Life Saving manager for surf Life Saving Sydney,  I manage,  helped manage the 15 clubs in Sydney and the twenty odd thousand members that we  have in Sydney. So even sitting on that lifesaving

[00:11:18] Michael


[00:11:19] Michael

manage the support operations response, which includes

[00:11:22] Michael

everything from jet skis  helicopters, drones,

[00:11:24] Michael

and the like.

[00:11:26] Michael

And our duty officer and rescue coordinator team.

[00:11:29] Michael

And and yeah so,

[00:11:31] Michael

so I really enjoy the Life Saving manager role and it’s,  I guess it’s that upper echelon now of managing

[00:11:39] Michael

a lot more people and I

[00:11:41] Michael

guess needing to speak lot more professionally to  higher  skilled members in the organisation.

[00:11:47] Geoff

That’s fantastic.  What’s the average age of  someone in  a more senior position at club level and

[00:11:54] Geoff

certainly on the executive.

[00:11:56] Geoff

Would you  epitomize

[00:11:57] Geoff

your average

[00:11:58] Geoff

age, or would they normally be a bit older?

[00:12:01] Michael

Yeah,  normally what I would

[00:12:04] Michael

normally most people on the border between their 30s and

[00:12:07] Michael

60s  I would say  some being older,

[00:12:11] Michael

some being Life members that have have served in surf Life Saving for 40

[00:12:17] Michael

plus Geoff  sort of thing. So

[00:12:19] Michael

there’s definitely

[00:12:21] Michael

at the start of

[00:12:22] Michael

getting onto  a board the,

[00:12:25] Michael

this sort of feeling that all you’re on a youngster,  you know,  you’re just sort of there to fit the position. But

[00:12:30] Michael

I didn’t want to,

[00:12:31] Michael

I didn’t want to take that. I really wanted to be respected and I wanted people to  hear my opinion. And

[00:12:36] Michael

I think I presented

[00:12:38] Michael

a lot of  evidence based arguments  especially with our membership

[00:12:41] Michael

mostly being under the age of 25.

[00:12:44] Michael

I was able torepresent

[00:12:46] Michael

their concerns really well and,  and I gained  a lot of support for that and I’ve sort of carry that momentum into my current role  as well. Now. So say something I was really passionate about youth development and  giving the youth of our organization  a voice especially. You know that

[00:13:03] Michael

eighteen to twenty five bracket is

[00:13:05] Michael

usually when  a lot of people stop volunteering

[00:13:08] Michael

because other things that happen in Life or the  University boyfriends, girlfriends work  things like that. So

[00:13:15] Michael

that was an issue that I really wanted to focus on.Yeah.

[00:13:20] Geoff

Well apparently  you’ve also been a volunteer across other organizations  haven’t you?  What are some of those and

[00:13:28] Geoff

what were you and what were you doing in those  organizations?

[00:13:32] Michael

Yeah  so I guess through High School I did the Salvation Army  dornoch appeal every year.

[00:13:39] Michael

I donate blood every two weeks for

[00:13:42] Michael

Australian Life blood.

[00:13:44] Michael

And I was lucky enough to  go to Cambodia with samaritan’s purse

[00:13:49] Michael

Australia and help

[00:13:51] Michael

build schools in  the battambang province,

[00:13:54] Michael

which was  really  a highlight of my Life. So fast getting to see what

[00:14:00] Michael

they go through and also the  change that, that charity is making over the

[00:14:05] Geoff

we say that when we  are feeling

[00:14:08] Geoff

a little bit dejected about our lot in Life

[00:14:12] Geoff

that we should maybe think of people

[00:14:14] Geoff

in  Cambodia, Vietnam, some of those other poor countries,

[00:14:18] Geoff

I feel  a little bit happy with our position. Absolutely,

[00:14:22] Michael


[00:14:22] Michael

I guess the

[00:14:23] Michael

epitome of that was handing out

[00:14:26] Michael

the, there was like  a Christmas shoe box appeal in the shoe box,

[00:14:31] Michael

had like basic stationery and  things like that  a toothbrush toothpaste. And when we Gave those to those kids,  they were literally running around screaming and I was so happy and it really puts  everything into perspective  especially with what we’re going through right now with covid

[00:14:48] Michael

to think about  what  they were going through and even some of the stories about

[00:14:52] Michael

how much of their water  supplies not filtered and it’s not safe to drink and things associated with their  genocide and the still ongoing issues with that and corruption in their country.  And the inability to get work definitely

[00:15:08] Michael

puts it’s always in the back of my mind

[00:15:10] Michael

about people that are lesser, often how lucky we are in Australia.

[00:15:14] Geoff

Yes,  very true. I have someone that I respect that greatly in New Zealand.

[00:15:23] Geoff

He, amongst many, many things,

[00:15:25] Geoff

is  a  what he would call football. I would call soccer. Sorry to the purists

[00:15:32] Geoff

of the  roundball code listening.

[00:15:36] Geoff

He is  a rugby league referee

[00:15:40] Geoff


[00:15:40] Geoff

I feel he’s  a sucker for punishment.

[00:15:43] Geoff

But you

[00:15:45] Geoff

are also a referee

[00:15:46] Geoff

and  a sucker for punishment.

[00:15:48] Geoff

Tell us more about

[00:15:49] Geoff

what you referee.

[00:15:52] Michael

I’ve always loved  rugby league and I played growing up. And I’m  a passionate Canterbury Bulldogs

[00:15:59] Michael

supporter  even though we’re becoming dead last but

[00:16:03] Michael

I guess when I transitioned from from not  playing,

[00:16:07] Michael

I still wanted to be involved in the game and that’s why I took up

[00:16:10] Michael

refereeing and

[00:16:11] Michael

I  think I’ve been doing it for about ten

[00:16:13] Michael

Geoff now and

[00:16:15] Michael

I spent

[00:16:15] Michael

three Geoff in the New  South Wales junior, refereeing squad, refereeing Karen Matthews  Tasha Gayle and

[00:16:24] Michael

ash bowl and got to be coached by

[00:16:27] Michael

some of the likes of Gavin badger  Ben Cummins, Alan shortall some a lot of first grade referees in the NRL,so

[00:16:35] Michael

I really loved refereeing and

[00:16:38] Michael

I don’t, I’m not  a sucker for punishment. I genuinely

[00:16:41] Michael

go out there just to have fun and  I know  there’s a lot of

[00:16:44] Michael

a lot of

[00:16:45] Michael

abuse and things like that  but it’s sort of white noise to me when I’m on the field. So. Yeah,  I just genuinely love being on the field around the game and being involved.

[00:16:54] Geoff

What’s  the secret to shutting out?

[00:16:57] Geoff

Negativity from the sidelines.

[00:17:01] Michael

As I said it’s, it’s  a lot like white noise when I’m out there in the game,

[00:17:06] Michael

I guess stoppages in play.

[00:17:08] Michael

You hear it a bit more specifically,  but I just ignore it.

[00:17:12] Michael

I know at the end of the day there’s nothing to gain out of  engaging

[00:17:15] Michael

with any of it. Unless

[00:17:18] Michael

there’s something

[00:17:18] Michael

specifically said by  a player on the field  the crowd doesn’t mean anything to me when I’m on the field. So

[00:17:24] Michael

it’s  a skill that you learn. And it’s definitely  a skill that I’ve adapted into things I do in surf, Life Saving and my work  the way that I speak to people, I guess it makes you think  a bit more about what you’re going to say before you speak. You think you speak  more directly and  change the different language that you use depending on the  conversation. Yeah,

[00:17:46] Geoff

well, that is  a good learning for sure. And  it’s important to understand

[00:17:51] Geoff

in any leadership role  and referee is a leadership role in  a sense

[00:17:56] Geoff

that you can never be right all the time. And certainly, refereeing  is  a prime example that  if there are a 50 50 crowd  you’re going to be wrong. 50 percent of the time every call you make.

[00:18:08] Geoff

So you think  I constantly. I love AFL and I’m constantly amused  when they go into the football.  Every single decision

[00:18:21] Geoff

is wrong to someone.

[00:18:23] Geoff

It’s fascinating.

[00:18:26] Michael


[00:18:27] Geoff

we’re all a little biased, but

[00:18:28] Michael

you know, some people maybe just  a little extreme

[00:18:35] Geoff

subsequently the sucker for punishment thing. I  don’t think anybody takes it on is amazing because you need our referees and people  are always trying to make the

[00:18:45] Geoff

right call with the  fact they can’t possibly seeeverything

[00:18:50] Geoff

from every angle in the right way. But You get  a caning now just changing tack.

[00:18:59] Geoff

Tell us about your role at Canterbury bankstownCouncil.

[00:19:03] Michael

Yeah, so

[00:19:04] Michael

I’m currently a senior town planner, just got  a promotion actually a couple of weeks ago.

[00:19:09] Michael

And I started off as  a cadet town planner, progressed to a town planner,  now monsignor and I assess development applications. Say anything from

[00:19:19] Michael

residential  commercial, industrial childcare centres, everything of the like say yeah  I really enjoy my job, but it gives me an insight into  a lot of the developments out in the industry. Sort of gives me  a bit of an urban design and architectural feel on,

[00:19:37] Michael

on development as well. So yeah,  I’ve been working at Council for

[00:19:43] Michael

almost four Geoff now.

[00:19:45] Geoff

I’m pleased you explained  your role because I was thinking maybe

[00:19:48] Geoff

you planned stuff for older folk.

[00:19:52] Michael

Yeah.  Generally,

[00:19:53] Michael

the first response people say when you’re a town planner  especially in Sydney, is who, you know,  they’re always the ones pointing the finger at me and saying  oh you’ve planned Sydney so poorly and it’s

[00:20:02] Michael

so it’s not quite what I do for a job  but it’s kind of along the same lines. So we do have  a strategic plan is that think more,  more strategically and broadly. But

[00:20:12] Michael


[00:20:12] Michael

in development assessment  it’s to be more specific.

[00:20:16] Geoff

So you have junior planners,  middle aged people  planners  and seniors.

[00:20:21] Geoff

I’m just kidding.

[00:20:23] Michael

Yeah. Yeah.  You think that way when you first read  it,

[00:20:27] Geoff

it’s just just that trying to

[00:20:30] Geoff

tell us something that most people wouldn’t know about.  You

[00:20:36] Michael

Probably I lived in the USA in  Denver  Colorado for six

[00:20:40] Michael

months, and I

[00:20:41] Michael

went to Columbine High School.  Now. So it’s  a bit of a fun fact. I guess a lot of people know Columbine High School,  I guess its history. But

[00:20:52] Michael

yeah, I was lucky enough to go there in 2013 as part ofa

[00:20:56] Michael

six month exchange program. And then  had my, the American partner  who was her partner with she  she came and stayed with my family in Australia for six months.

[00:21:06] Geoff

That would have  been a cool experience.

[00:21:09] Michael

Yeah, it was we,  it was with the count  the Council sponsored the program. So we,

[00:21:16] Michael

we had to

[00:21:16] Michael

do the Toastmasters public speaking course before we went because we were  representing the Council.

[00:21:23] Michael

And we did  a lot of networking events over there as part of the sister cities, partnership  in  a little town in the town, in Colorado.

[00:21:32] Michael

And yeah, it was  a great experience. I got to go

[00:21:35] Michael

skiing in the snowy mountains and  the Rocky  mountains. Sorry. And as I said, got to

[00:21:41] Michael

experience American High School,

[00:21:43] Michael

like all the movies and playing the school soccer team, and

[00:21:47] Michael

we’ve got to do  a few trips around America to Las Vegas and in L.A.  as well. So

[00:21:52] Michael

definitely an experience that changed my Life.

[00:21:56] Geoff

Other schools and  colleges what you see

[00:21:58] Geoff

on the movies?

[00:22:00] Michael

Pretty much. Yeah. It surprised me.

[00:22:02] Michael

I think the first question I had on day one was

[00:22:05] Michael

did you have to learn English before coming to America?

[00:22:10] Michael

Or do you ride your kangaroo to school and things like that?

[00:22:15] Geoff

And how fascinating

[00:22:18] Geoff

as we know,  success generally doesn’t come by chance,  and I know

[00:22:23] Geoff

you’re really

[00:22:24] Geoff

Super committed to your work  and also of course surf Life  Saving.

[00:22:29] Geoff

What’s the key to your success to, to the,

[00:22:33] Geoff

to everything that you do?

[00:22:35] Michael

I think the,

[00:22:36] Michael

the key and I’ve had times where I’m down or I’m

[00:22:40] Michael

just so stressed or burnt out is  to be organized.  So we have  a diary or use your calendar and your phone and actually map out everything that  you need to do

[00:22:50] Michael

and do what you love.

[00:22:52] Michael

So for me,

[00:22:53] Michael

surf Life Saving and all my volunteering is something that I love.

[00:22:56] Michael

I don’t do it  for the recognition,  I do it genuinely to

[00:22:59] Michael

make New people learn New things and put myself out of my  comfort zone. And I always say to people in surf Life Saving that it,  it’s given me more than I’ve given it because of the person that it’s made me and

[00:23:14] Michael

the things that it’s taught me.

[00:23:17] Michael

And I guess the other key to  to success is to make

[00:23:20] Michael

positive networks. So

[00:23:22] Michael

surround yourself by  people of similar  interests. People that they’re going to be

[00:23:26] Michael

positive  that they’re not going to put you down

[00:23:30] Michael

and ultimately,  ultimately going to guide you in the right direction.

[00:23:34] Geoff


[00:23:35] Geoff

to grow we have to come face to face with failure and how we deal with that. The  lessons that we learn

[00:23:43] Geoff

are really

[00:23:43] Geoff

important as to how we grow.  What’s the mechanisms  or things you’ve learnt along your journey

[00:23:50] Geoff

of help you to cope and to grow?  Yeah, my,

[00:23:55] Michael

my,  the mechanisms I used to just always look at the bigger picture.

[00:23:59] Michael

So if you,

[00:23:59] Michael

if you find yourself getting a bit bogged down,  just take  a step back and look at the bigger goal  the bigger picture of what you’re trying to achieve and break it down into  increments and you find that you can achieve it  a little bit easier  and celebrate small goals, small milestones,  because That’ll help get you to that bigger picture.

[00:24:18] Michael

Always look for constructivecriticism.

[00:24:21] Michael

Is  a big one for myself. You’re never going to be

[00:24:24] Michael

perfect to always look about,

[00:24:27] Michael

especially people with more experience or even of lesser experience

[00:24:31] Michael

about  challenges that they faced or,

[00:24:33] Michael

or take advice that they’re giving you. And always be receptive to that and adapt  your personality to that as well. If it doesn’t fit in,

[00:24:45] Michael

try and always display resilience where you can.

[00:24:49] Michael

And the last one I wrote

[00:24:50] Michael

down  there was

[00:24:51] Michael

to always have a mentor.

[00:24:53] Michael

It’s a big one for myself.  I have  a mentor that I’m pretty close with and I’ll probably call him

[00:25:00] Michael

twice  a week and he’s really experienced  but he always just

[00:25:04] Michael

knows how to calm me down if I’m  a bit stressed and point me in the right direction

[00:25:11] Geoff

or fantastic advice and  people can watch

[00:25:15] Geoff

or listen rather to the podcast again or give the show notes

[00:25:19] Geoff

to  guide those are

[00:25:21] Geoff


[00:25:23] Geoff

good learnings and good observations,  Michael. 90 is so successful

[00:25:27] Geoff

and I think you’re right

[00:25:29] Geoff

to realize

[00:25:30] Geoff

the error of my  ways. I’m not organized. I

[00:25:33] Geoff

carry my diary everywhere. So I’m not

[00:25:36] Geoff

serious and  something that’s fallen on

[00:25:38] Geoff

be organized  but also critique yourself and be open

[00:25:42] Geoff

to people giving you constructive feedback

[00:25:45] Geoff

as well and do what you love.  If we have that opportunity  then that’s pretty special.

[00:25:52] Geoff

And we should be very thankful for that.

[00:25:55] Geoff

And give our  utmost that’s something that I was always taught by my father.

[00:26:01] Geoff

You can do something,

[00:26:02] Geoff

give everything to it as well. So what are your  future plans and goals?

[00:26:09] Michael


[00:26:11] Michael

my main priorities being successful in my career and giving my all to my job. But  outside of work, I’m currently, as I said, the Life Saving manager for surf Life  Saving the Sydney branch, which is  a New New role. And it’s really exciting and there’s a lot happening  especially going into this New summer season

[00:26:31] Michael

with, with cable

[00:26:34] Michael

I’m,  I’m still really passionate about

[00:26:36] Michael

being a duty officer and responding to  a lot of those High profile  jobs and responses. I was

[00:26:42] Michael

lucky enough to

[00:26:43] Michael

go to the  flooding event that happened in Western Sydney

[00:26:48] Michael

in March this year  and we had responded alongside SES and  a lot of other emergency services. And it was  it really opened up my eyes. I really came to sort of broadened my,

[00:27:01] Michael

my learnings and opportunities in that

[00:27:03] Michael

in that higher

[00:27:06] Michael

upper echelon of emergency services.  And  hopefully spending covid hopefully get some overseas travelling  as  a future plan.

[00:27:17] Michael

But we’ll see how that pans out. I

[00:27:20] Geoff

got  a feeling when things open up a little  it’s going to be rather hectic

[00:27:25] Geoff

on those flights and the last time.

[00:27:29] Geoff

And it is in our hearts to go out to everybody that have been through significant  lockdowns over the months, particularly in New South Wales.

[00:27:39] Geoff

And in Victoria,

[00:27:42] Geoff

And I,  you probably have had lots of ups and downs as well. You would have had to have had  because you’ve had some pretty responsible roles. Things don’t always go right. Go  right for us

[00:27:53] Geoff

at this time motivated and strong bounce back

[00:27:56] Geoff

from those low moments.

[00:27:58] Michael

Yeah, I try and try and keep it balanced

[00:28:02] Michael

as much as possible. So  you know,  things just like

[00:28:05] Michael

even scheduling  for myself just to do some exercise or go for  a walk or go for a swim.  Or for me  just socializing with my friends outside of work and into surf. Life Saving can can  often be a good breather. I guess,  but as I said surrounding surrounding myself with people like that are positive and  just just happy to have a good time staying organized. As I said, having  a diary really helps me.

[00:28:33] Michael

Always communicate with those close to you speak with  a mentor

[00:28:37] Michael

and always try and look outside the square. So try and look at it from  a different angle  but there’s been times where absolutely. I’ve wanted to just give it all away  a couple of Geoff ago. I was writing my a

[00:28:49] Michael

thesis for my Honours degree,

[00:28:51] Michael

trying to do all my surf Life Saving volunteering  hours as well as

[00:28:56] Michael

maintain full time work. And I was

[00:28:59] Michael

sort of waking

[00:29:00] Michael

up at five a.m.  and going to sleep at

[00:29:02] Michael

midnight trying to get all that in. And I almost

[00:29:05] Michael

hit breaking  point to be honest. But

[00:29:10] Michael

I think there was times where I just had to just say,  I’m going to take  a day off and just not do anything or

[00:29:15] Michael

just call up someone that I haven’t spoken to  in a while and just have  a casual chat to get my mind off things

[00:29:22] Michael

as well.

[00:29:23] Geoff

Yeah. Very good idea  that  explains  a lot because the judging we were trying to debate how

[00:29:30] Geoff

you fit everything into  what you do

[00:29:34] Geoff

now. We know you just don’t sleep.

[00:29:36] Geoff

Yeah. And  it’s an important lesson  there too, isn’t it? Not to pack too much in because it can become  a burden

[00:29:45] Geoff

and it could have easily become something

[00:29:48] Geoff

that you didn’t

[00:29:49] Geoff

enjoy any longer.

[00:29:51] Geoff

But obviously you to be able to manage that. Well  things started to open up

[00:29:57] Geoff

for you.

[00:29:59] Geoff

Going back to the Awards in two thousand and  eighteen

[00:30:03] Geoff

must have been  a thrill initially just to have been nominated for one of

[00:30:08] Geoff

the young achievers  Awards.

[00:30:11] Michael

Yeah, it was, and it’s something  it always leaves  a weird feeling for myself

[00:30:16] Michael

winning Awards in volunteering because we’re all  in my  opinion of equal equal value. We all do it for the same reasons. We’re all there  not to be recognized. So

[00:30:26] Michael

it was a great

[00:30:28] Michael

to me, it was  a great feeling for

[00:30:30] Michael

my club.  We’re going through a bit of  a transition stage and

[00:30:34] Michael

to sort of Be put on the map for this Awards

[00:30:38] Michael

celebration was,  was really humbling.

[00:30:42] Michael

And  just to be there as well. And not and  and before the night,  just to read all the stories  was really inspiring and it was just  it was just such a happy place to be, to be honest  there’s just so much

[00:30:55] Michael

positivity in the room at the time. Yeah.

[00:30:59] Geoff

I think the  thing with the Awards that people don’t

[00:31:03] Geoff

necessarily realize  is that more than the  individual, as you say  it’s about  acknowledging and validating the work of so many around you.

[00:31:14] Geoff

One person  gets the knowledge,

[00:31:16] Geoff

but it’s the whole group that goes on the journey of validation  and excitement for  the nomination. And it helps to put people on the map for charities for  organisations like surf Life, Saving, wonder

[00:31:30] Geoff

to,  to be acknowledged

[00:31:32] Geoff

for the work that you do personally,but

[00:31:35] Geoff

for the broader group as well. And that is very important to

[00:31:39] Geoff

nominate potential  nominees to understand

[00:31:42] Geoff


[00:31:43] Geoff

might be nominating one person  but is the whole group.

[00:31:46] Geoff

Sometimes people say to us,

[00:31:48] Geoff

I don’t want to single one person out, but you are recognizing  a lot. You are recognizing the broader group

[00:31:55] Geoff

by acknowledging one so  it might the finals of course,

[00:32:01] Geoff

as I mentioned earlier for the Freemasons New South Wales act,  community service award.

[00:32:07] Geoff

But you also went on to win the young achiever of the year.

[00:32:11] Geoff

That must have been an absolute you.

[00:32:15] Michael

Yeah, it really was, and  I was  it was

[00:32:17] Michael

totally unexpected. I remember going up to the stage

[00:32:21] Michael

after hearing  everyone’s stories and,  and all the other nominees and I just had signed off on it in my head that I wasn’t  going to win. Because I knew that they were all better than me in my head.

[00:32:35] Michael

And to win I was

[00:32:37] Michael

I hadn’t had  a speech prepared. I was caught. So off guard and yeah,  I was totally blown away and incredibly humbled to win. And

[00:32:48] Michael

yeah, it really, it,  it put me on a

[00:32:51] Michael

projectile  I guess for everything else that I’ve achieved since as well. I didn’t rest on our  laurels after that. And I really wanted to

[00:32:59] Michael

show to other young people say,  tell my story and say, you know, use this as an example,  especially for those that might be struggling or looking for opportunities to,  to try and get opportunities. And yes,  it’s just such an

[00:33:17] Michael

incredible night and I was lucky to have my family there with me  and my best best mate and family friends is there as well. So

[00:33:26] Geoff

he wants  to empower people

[00:33:28] Geoff

to go to another level, often to be able to do more  to be

[00:33:33] Geoff

more aware in the community

[00:33:36] Geoff


[00:33:36] Geoff

raise awareness for others about what you’re  doing.

[00:33:39] Geoff

And it’s great that you’re able to take advantage and use that opportunity.

[00:33:44] Geoff

Is there anything that stands out in your mind still

[00:33:47] Geoff

that you will never forget  about? Well, it’s not. Um,

[00:33:52] Michael

I think my speech

[00:33:54] Michael

was  a little bit could have been better prepared because I didn’t prepare one. So I was  a bit of tangent  but the thing that stood out was would probably

[00:34:04] Michael

be listening to everyone else’sstories.

[00:34:07] Michael

Obviously it’s not all about volunteers  it’s about there’s

[00:34:10] Michael

different categories and

[00:34:12] Michael

there was  I think some amazing people working in

[00:34:14] Michael

health and doctors and stuff at the time  or people that were working on cures for cancer and

[00:34:19] Michael

things like that. And it’s just  it to me

[00:34:22] Michael

that put it all in perspective about some of the real change that  some  young people out there are doing. And

[00:34:27] Michael

it makes you feel like

[00:34:30] Michael

you need to do more  I guess. And

[00:34:32] Michael

I think

[00:34:33] Michael

especially at  a time when

[00:34:34] Michael

I felt that  everything you hear in the media was always negative  negative,  and you go to an event like that. And you just see all these positives  especially that young people were

[00:34:43] Michael

working on it.

[00:34:44] Michael

It blew me away and  it was even so  good to have

[00:34:48] Michael

John barilaro there as the deputy premier

[00:34:52] Michael

to for him to  to take that out of his time and to,

[00:34:55] Michael

to be that really shows the level of,  of the Awards that it

[00:34:59] Michael

and the respect that it has in the,  in the community  I guess. Absolutely.

[00:35:06] Geoff

I think we underestimate

[00:35:08] Geoff

how much

[00:35:09] Geoff

appreciation there is from

[00:35:12] Geoff

High levels of the community for our young people  and  the need for our young people to create change, as you rightly said.

[00:35:21] Geoff

In fact,  the Geoff Geoff young achiever award nominations are open

[00:35:24] Geoff

right now,  right across the country. And

[00:35:27] Geoff

if anybody wants to nominate someone

[00:35:30] Geoff

head to Awards  dot com, or if you want to know how to make  a contribution

[00:35:35] Geoff

for our prize grants to go to the winners for the coming program.

[00:35:40] Geoff

And you can head also towards Australia at dot com for more information

[00:35:45] Geoff

prize grant

[00:35:47] Geoff

coming harder and harder to find and to put together to anybody who’s able to  help  make education. Those funds go directly to our winners for the twenty one twenty  two program.

[00:36:00] Geoff

In addition to being invited back the following

[00:36:03] Geoff

year,  after winning your award

[00:36:05] Geoff

at the  Awards gala presentation turned aside  a few words to the 400. Yes,  that were there  which your speech was

[00:36:15] Geoff

excellent on that particular occasion.

[00:36:17] Geoff

You’re  also invited to be an executive judge for the twenty nine eight Awards. How did you  find that experience?

[00:36:25] Michael

Yeah, it’s exhilarating. Definitely,  definitely interesting to be at the other side of the piece of paper I guess

[00:36:33] Michael

reading every like it’s such  a

[00:36:35] Michael

tough job for the judges having to read through those nominations.  But it was,  it was really good and I learnt  a lot out of it too. About some of the discussions that we had and

[00:36:44] Michael

trying to  actually

[00:36:46] Michael

you know,

[00:36:47] Michael

rank  I guess some of these amazing young people coming through and,

[00:36:51] Michael

and the Awards night

[00:36:53] Michael

was another

[00:36:54] Michael

amazing not just saying everyone else that was  coming through and actually being able to sit back and I guess not be nervous about  being a finalist and so forth. Was really

[00:37:04] Michael

enjoyable. So

[00:37:05] Michael

yeah, it was  it was really,

[00:37:07] Michael

really amazing. And it was,  it was good to see some of the other young people and I think some of Them were as  young as 14

[00:37:14] Michael

that year. Them winning higher Awards as well.

[00:37:18] Geoff

What have been  fascinating watching

[00:37:20] Geoff

and listening

[00:37:22] Geoff

and experiencing  judging from the other side

[00:37:26] Geoff

of, of the fence, not being a nominee, but being  a judge.

[00:37:30] Geoff

It is daunting, isn’t it?

[00:37:32] Michael

Absolutely. I don’t envy judges. And

[00:37:36] Michael

yet it’s a tough thing to do  especially for all these young people that are all doing the same amazing things  and trying to you know, look at the impact

[00:37:48] Michael

that they’re all having and  and kind of measure that is a, is a really tough thing to do it’s

[00:37:54] Geoff

always  a

[00:37:55] Geoff

wonderful experience to participate in the judging across the country

[00:37:59] Geoff

because we  get together

[00:38:01] Geoff

as a like minded group of people who really came

[00:38:06] Geoff

to give back  but also make  a difference in people’s lives.

[00:38:11] Geoff

And that one month long judging process

[00:38:15] Geoff

two weeks for the executive

[00:38:17] Geoff

panel on that final long day

[00:38:21] Geoff

of fun. But very  serious responsibility. It’s such  a privilege and

[00:38:28] Geoff

then to

[00:38:29] Geoff

meet and see all of the finalists

[00:38:32] Geoff

in  person on the night is just so exciting.

[00:38:37] Geoff

Are there any other  hobbies or  interests

[00:38:41] Geoff

you have, you know, when you’re not when you meant to be sleeping?

[00:38:46] Michael

Well,  since lock down, I’ve been playing a hell of a lot more PlayStation  which is probably not  a good thing. But trying to still maintain some exercise and been swimming at the  beach a lot, which has been good and I just

[00:39:00] Michael

purchased and moved into

[00:39:02] Michael

my New home  which has been exciting. And I’m studying  a diploma

[00:39:08] Michael


[00:39:08] Michael

Public safety and emergency services. So that  is another  extracurricular thing that I’ve, I’ve got, but I’m enjoying that as well. So still  a lot to do,

[00:39:19] Michael

but it’s  nonetheless all keeping me

[00:39:22] Michael

busy and,

[00:39:23] Michael

and entertaining. I guess.

[00:39:27] Geoff

Well,  I think the PlayStation is the entertainment part

[00:39:30] Geoff

of that.

[00:39:31] Geoff

Congratulations on your  New home. That’s very  very exciting.

[00:39:35] Geoff

Thanks. And is the  New study does that lead you into  a Kinect

[00:39:43] Geoff

outside of surf Life Saving or is

[00:39:46] Geoff

it more of  a connection with other services potentially with surf Life Saving?

[00:39:52] Michael

So it was actually through surf  lifesaving that put me onto it. I was lucky enough

[00:39:57] Michael

to get  a scholarship through the Australian Institute of disaster resilience

[00:40:01] Michael

a couple of Geoff ago.

[00:40:03] Michael

And it sort of funded about half of it.  Yeah,  that’s sort of how I got into it and yeah,  it doesn’t really benefit my career in any way  but other than just benefiting my own personal development. So  for surf Life Saving  so it’s not often you see

[00:40:18] Michael

people in volunteer roles  aspire to up skill with extra curricular and or postgrad learning.

[00:40:24] Michael

And I think  that’s what this was trying to achieve and

[00:40:27] Michael

it’s been really beneficial. So

[00:40:29] Michael

I’d  recommend to anyone out there to actually try and look at that sort of stuff if  you’re in the same field as me. And yeah, I think it’s,

[00:40:36] Michael

it’s always good to keep learning New things and

[00:40:39] Michael

keep your head in the books at  least somewhere.

[00:40:43] Geoff

What’s the passions  that makes Michael tick?

[00:40:49] Michael

I like being busy. I think I think being busy.  If I’m not busy  I probably don’t know what to do. I like

[00:40:57] Michael

I like to put myself out of my comfort  zone. I like to always strive to be better and to challenge myself.

[00:41:03] Michael

And I just like  to do things that I enjoy. So at the end of the day  I

[00:41:08] Michael

really enjoy going down to the beach and surrounding myself with the same people  that are happy to volunteer their time. And

[00:41:16] Michael

are  I really enjoy getting out of the

[00:41:18] Michael

footy field

[00:41:19] Michael

and talking to players or blowing the whistle. So  there’s things like  that that,

[00:41:25] Michael

you know, really, it’s the,  it’s the highlight of my week. I look forward to it and all that. I love hanging  out with my mates and

[00:41:33] Michael

hopefully we can all see each other as soon as well.

[00:41:36] Geoff

Well,  tell us the truth, you feel like sending people off with you?

[00:41:42] Michael

I don’t,  I really don’t. But I think the first few rounds of the season I had one each week.  And as I say, it’s not something I enjoy. But yeah,  I really don’t enjoy that at all.

[00:41:56] Geoff

I guess you got to do it. Otherwise everybody’s  going to go a little while.

[00:41:59] Michael

Yeah, that’s right.

[00:42:01] Michael

You maintain that control?

[00:42:03] Michael


[00:42:04] Geoff

Do you have any other words of wisdom you’ve given us plenty.  Anything else  you can think to impart

[00:42:11] Michael

words of wisdom?  I think I’ve already said it  but put yourself out of your comfort zone.

[00:42:18] Michael

The thing I always think about and it  might sound a little bit cliche, but

[00:42:22] Michael

at the end of your Life,  what do you want to be remembered for?So,

[00:42:28] Michael

you know, I always think about that and I think about, you know,

[00:42:31] Michael

leaving your,  your stamp or your footprint

[00:42:33] Michael

on this world or on you,  on your home town or whatever it is,  your family name

[00:42:38] Michael

about something that you’ve achieved. And  as you said  if you’re going to do something

[00:42:42] Michael

to it

[00:42:43] Michael

really well, or as best as you can  and that’s the way sort of  I think about everything that I do.

[00:42:49] Geoff

Great words of wisdom.

[00:42:53] Geoff

Michael, where can our listeners connect with you online?

[00:42:58] Michael

I’m on LinkedIn,  Facebook  Instagram probably

[00:43:02] Michael

won’t say like Snapchat or

[00:43:04] Michael

anything like that or keep it limited  to LinkedIn. I think.

[00:43:10] Geoff

Is there anything else that you want to add  today before we close to that?

[00:43:16] Michael

I just like to say thank you to the Awards Australia Geoff and your team

[00:43:21] Michael

especially  for the recognition that I got in twenty eighteen

[00:43:24] Michael

and the projectile that that put  me on and even to be on this podcast today. And to share my my story.

[00:43:31] Michael

To see

[00:43:33] Michael

how passionate you guys are about sharing young people’s stories and

[00:43:37] Michael

it’s something  that

[00:43:38] Michael

I think a lot of organisations in Australia can be better at but it’s  gaining  a lot of momentum at

[00:43:44] Michael

the moment. So

[00:43:45] Michael

yeah, it’s just  a really big shout out to

[00:43:47] Michael

you guys for all the hard work. Do I think it’s  for most  of it  it’s thankless

[00:43:52] Michael

work and you guys don’t probably get the recognition you deserve. So  thank you and to anyone that’s listening,  please nominate as many people as you can. Or if you know anyone in business  Please sponsor

[00:44:05] Michael

one of the Awards if you can because

[00:44:08] Michael

it really goes to  a great cause.

[00:44:10] Geoff

Oh thanks man  that’s very gracious

[00:44:12] Geoff

of you. We do our best and for us it’s not about  us personally  It Awards Australia  getting the recognition. It really is

[00:44:20] Geoff

about that connect

[00:44:21] Geoff

between businesses.

[00:44:23] Geoff

You  might want to partner because we don’t get any

[00:44:25] Geoff

funding other than the

[00:44:27] Geoff

category  Naming sponsors that come on board.

[00:44:30] Geoff

So here is for us,  are acknowledging Them and connecting Them with community in their chosen industry.

[00:44:38] Geoff

So really appreciate your kind words. We love what we do  which is why we’re very passionate. All about team.

[00:44:43] Geoff

Is passionate

[00:44:46] Geoff

about our purpose  to make a difference, I think. And

[00:44:50] Geoff

you are a real champion,  it’s

[00:44:52] Geoff

been an absolute pleasure to have you on the podcast today. Michael,

[00:44:55] Geoff

it’s good to catch up to even virtually to see you again after 18 and 19

[00:45:02] Geoff

because  you are an absolute champion.

[00:45:04] Geoff

Thank you so much for sharing some of your story with  us.

[00:45:08] Michael

No worries. Thanks, Geoff.

[00:45:10] Geoff

Well,  good luck with that New home. Good luck with all of your roles at surf Life Saving.  Really appreciate everything you do on behalf of those people that you help and  support

[00:45:21] Geoff

that day on the beaches.

[00:45:23] Geoff

We hope everybody listening to enjoyed hearing  some of Michael’s story today.

[00:45:28] Geoff

And during these tough times,  I encourage everyone to dream bigger and bolder,

[00:45:32] Geoff

be strong because whilst there often

[00:45:34] Geoff

seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel  is to end. Now until next week,  please be kind to yourself and others. And remember,

[00:45:42] Geoff

together we make  a difference.

[00:45:45] Geoff

I hope you enjoyed today’s interview as much as I had.

[00:45:49] Geoff

We would love  you to subscribe to our podcast,  that you won’t miss

[00:45:52] Geoff

an episode showing us each week as we talk

[00:45:55] Geoff

with ordinary  Australians.

[00:45:57] Geoff

Achieving extraordinary things.  Did you know that Awards Australia is  a family owned

[00:46:02] Geoff

business that proudly makes  a difference

[00:46:05] Geoff

in the lives of those

[00:46:06] Geoff

that make a difference for others?  And we thank our corporate not for profit partners  to making award  programs  possible  to, you know, someone that’s making a difference

[00:46:18] Geoff

or maybe  a

[00:46:19] Geoff

business might like to sponsor an award.

[00:46:21] Geoff

Contact us through our Instagram page,  Inspirational Australian’s  dot Australians will head to our website.

[00:46:28] Geoff

Awards Australia dot com.  Would be great

[00:46:32] Geoff

if you could share this site with your network.

[00:46:34] Geoff

Because who

[00:46:35] Geoff

doesn’t  like a good news story,  and please write and review us.

[00:46:39] Geoff

We would really love to hear your thoughts  until  next week. Stay safe. And remember

[00:46:45] Speaker 4

together we make  a difference.

[00:46:50] Annette

Thanks for joining us today on the Inspirational Australian’s podcast.  We hope you enjoyed listening

[00:46:56] Annette

and have been inspired by

[00:46:57] Annette

ordinary Australians  Achieving

[00:46:59] Annette

extraordinary things.

[00:47:01] Annette

So it’s goodbye for another week. Remember together

[00:47:05] Annette

we make a difference.