Marine Rescue NSW Annual General Meeting 2021: two new life memberships honours, john lynch steps down
The Marine Rescue NSW 2021 Board elections have resulted in one change to the organisation’s strategic leadership, following the retirement of Mid North Coast Regional Director John Lynch ESM
Elections were this year due to be held for the positions of Northern Rivers, Mid North Coast and Hunter Central Coast Regional Directors.
Only one nomination was received for each of the Regional positions, with incumbent Directors Darcy Henriksen (Northern Rivers) and Jim Wright (Hunter Central Coast) returned, with Roman Mazurek elected unopposed to the vacated Mid North Coast position.
The Regular and Life Members in the participating regions eligible to participate again voted online, the fourth time this has been done. This has proven a successful initiative in terms of volunteer convenience and reducing costs and the service’s environmental footprint.
The AGM was held at State Headquarters and also via Zoom. It was the second to be live streamed on YouTube in a measure that continued support for the organisation’s COVID-19 social distancing requirements and encouraged greater volunteer engagement.
Chair Jim Glissan thanked the membership for the efforts during an extraordinary year, and welcomed new Regional Director Roman Mazurek to the Board.
He also paid tribute to outgoing Regional Director John Lynch. John has stepped down after ten years of distinguished service to Marine Rescue NSW and the boating community.
“John has been, if you forgive the pun, a ‘lynch pin’ of the Board and a most valued a trusted member.”
“On behalf of the Board I want to thank John for his distinguished service. We will miss his skills and experience, not to mention his sense of humour and charm.”
Mr Glissan thanked the membership for standing tall despite the many obstacles the year had provided.
“It was the great Martin Luther King Jr. who said the true measure of a man is not how he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience, but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges, and this year every one of our members has stood tall in the face of change and challenge, to their enduring credit.”
“In an emergency on the water, our members call on their resilience, adaptability and commitment to get the job done, and in the face of an ongoing pandemic, severe flooding and frequent poor weather, have this year drawn deeply upon all these qualities.”
“A sincere thank you to each and every one of them for their service.”
Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Stacey Tannos thanked the Board and the MRNSW membership for their work over the past year.
“The past twelve months have provided many challenges, from a record summer on our waterways, to multiple lockdowns, changing operating restrictions, floods and severe weather.”
“Through it our membership has shown their reliance and professionalism, and I sincerely thank them for their efforts.”
“Thank you too, to our staff who have worked tirelessly to support our members and to enable their vital work.”
Commissioner Tannos said that the NSW State Government’s $37.6 million investment in MRNSW had enabled the service to cement its place as the best resourced and most modern volunteer marine rescue service in Australia.
“As we head into what is expected to be yet another record summer on our waterways, the boating public can have confidence that our members have the training, equipment and vessels they need to get the job done.”
Auditor James Winter said that MRNSW had received an unqualified audit report and commended the service’s financial and accounting systems and the service’s management for their sound financial leadership.
The Board subsequently re-elected Mr Glissan as its Chair following the AGM.
Life membership honour for two marine rescue members
Two Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have received the Service’s highest honour of Life Membership in a ceremony following the Annual General Meeting of the Marine Rescue Board on 20 November.
James Glissan AM, ESM, QC of the MR Botany Port Hacking Unit, joined the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard Botany Bay flotilla in May 2008 and remains an active member of the unit.
Mr Glissan was pivotal in the establishment and development of Marine Rescue NSW (MRNSW) in 2010. A strong supporter of a unified volunteer marine rescue service in NSW, Mr Glissan was appointed by the State Government to the Facilitation Group established to guide the transition process, with his professional expertise ensuring the new organisation was able to meet its legal requirements and establish a secure legal, governance and financial foundation.
A Foundation Board Member and current Board Chair, Mr Glissan’s leadership and positive collaboration with the MRNSW executive has helped develop the Service into a world-class rescue and emergency organisation.
Mr Glissan was awarded the Emergency Services Medal in 2013 in recognition of his leadership, commitment and service to MRNSW and was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia medal in 2019 for his significant service to the Law in New South Wales.
Ron Calman OAM, ESM, of the MR Newcastle Unit, has been involved in water safety for nearly fifty years, playing a significant role in setting up the Swansea Australian Volunteer Coastal Group (AVCG), becoming the first flotilla commander of the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (RVCP) in the mid 70's, and remaining there through its amalgamation into Marine Rescue NSW.
In 2012, Mr Calman was asked to transfer to Marine Rescue Newcastle where he assumed responsibility for all governance, management and overview of administration.
As a member of MRNSW, Mr Calman has been instrumental in training and assessing across all boat related competency levels in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and further afield, and has played a significant role in promoting boating safety in the community.
Mr Calman continues to be available to be called in at a moments’ notice, and has notched up thousands of hours of marine rescues in all kinds of weather, conditions and situations.
Mr Calman was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours for his service to the community through the RVCP, and the Emergency Services Medal (ESM) in the 2020 Queen's Birthday Honours for his many years of distinguished service to emergency service organisations.