By Sam Watson
ON Monday, Kimberley Gee received an Emergency Services Medal for the 20-plus years she has dedicated to the Venus Bay Lifesaving Club.
Gee has played a big role in blooding the next generation of lifesavers and has spent over 600 hours patrolling the frontline of one of Victoria’s most dangerous coastlines.
In that time, she has accrued 98 lifesaving awards and multiple national meritorious citations for bravery in the execution of lifesaving duties.
Gee said she never would’ve expected to receive an award for what she’s done at the lifesaving club.
“It is an honour to receive such a prestigious award for simply doing something that I love,” Gee said.
Gee made history when she was the first person to be recognised as the top lifesaving trainer in Australia for a second time.
But she said she’s the lucky one in her time as a lifesaver.
“I’m so lucky, being able to volunteer and give back to the community in such a beautiful part of the world with the most amazing team,” Gee said.
She said teaching people new skills, watching them develop and grow in confidence, then seeing them put those skills to use to help save lives is incredibly rewarding.
And she couldn’t have asked for a better place to do it.
“The club is like a second family to me.”
“We have a wonderful community at Venus Bay SLSC.”
On top of her physical training, she has led diversity and inclusion initiatives, including gender equality and outreach programs for community members with disabilities.
“I believe every individual should be able to access quality training and education to develop their skills and knowledge, and become part of this valuable organisation,” Gee said.
“I see my role as a trainer as one where I have the opportunities and responsibilities to develop self-esteem, leadership, cooperative learning and an atmosphere of encouragement and support.”