Board with pollies

IN a bid to raise money for Surf Life Saving Australia, Gippsland MHR Darren Chester donned the board shorts at Parliament House, Canberra, last week.

He was not alone in the stunt, with Tasmanian MP Geoff Lyons and West Australian MP Luke Simpkins, joining him in the quest to get people to recognise Boardies Day this Friday.

“Boardies Day is a fun initiative to help raise money for a great cause and celebrate the contribution surf lifesavers make in protecting the lives of beach goers across our coastal communities,” Mr Chester said.

He is urging people to wear their board shorts to school or work this Friday to help raise money for the cause.

“Over 165,000 members across 310 surf lifesaving clubs around Australia help make Surf Life Saving Australia the largest volunteer movement of its kind in the nation,” he said.

Mr Chester said Surf Life Saving Australia performed more than 15,000 rescues, 35,000 first aid treatments and 920,000 preventative actions during 2011-12.

He said it was committed to reducing drowning deaths by 50 per cent by 2020.

Mr Chester said a large number of Gippslanders and tourists were still frequenting local beaches as summer approached its end.

“Our surf lifesaving volunteers all do a fantastic job in keeping local beaches safe and I urge anyone visiting a patrolled beach this summer to take their advice and swim between the flags,” Mr Chester said.

To donate or find out more information about Boardies Day log on to

Mr Chester is the club captain of the Parliamentary Friends of Surf Lifesaving and a volunteer Water Safety Officer at surf lifesaving carnivals across Gippsland.