Board Members & Patrons

The Surf Life Saving Queensland board comprises a President, Deputy President, and five Directors (including a Director of Finance), all of which are individual members of Surf Life Saving Queensland Clubs. Two Independent Directors, who are not club members, also sit on the Board.

The board is responsible for the overall business performance of the organisation in Queensland and enacts SLSQ’s strategic direction and priorities to be both appropriate and achievable; ensures the financial viability and security of SLSQ; establishes the policy and regulatory framework for governing SLSQ; monitors organisational compliance with relevant legislation and regulations; assesses risks facing the organisation; and appoints committees and honorary officers to carry out aspects of their work.

Board Members

Mark Fife OAM, President
Since joining the Surf Life Saving organisation in 1975, Mark Fife has become the epitome of the iconic Aussie surf lifesaver. Mark is a former Club and Branch President, was the Australian Director of Life Saving for five years and is the only person to have been awarded Australian Surf Life Saver of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

A Life Member of Broadbeach SLSC, South Coast Branch, SLSQ and SLSA, Mark received an OAM as part of the Governor-General’s Australia Day Honours List in 2013 and was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2015. A father of four, grandfather to five and a Property Manager for the State Government, you will still find Mark on patrol, training members and officiating at carnivals over the season.

Michael White, Deputy President
Since joining his local surf club a little over 20 years ago, Michael has been involved at all levels of the Surf Life Saving movement. Michael is a former director and secretary of the Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club and past member of the Surf Life Saving Queensland Judiciary. He has also acted as an independent director to a number of community association boards, including the Sunshine Coast Law Association and the Sunshine Coast Sports Federation. He is a past participant, facilitator and now mentor at Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Leadership College.Michael holds 90 lifesaving awards and has undertaken more than 1,200 voluntary patrol hours. He has also been a patrol captain for ten years and a rescue crewman for the Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service for six years. He was a contributor to the current edition of the SLSA training manual ‘Public Safety and Aquatic Rescue‘.

In the Surf Sports arena, Michael has competed at the international level, has won 24 national medals, is a five-time Australian Open Male Champion Lifesaver, and is captain of the current Australian Open Patrol Competition champion team. Outside of surf life saving Michael is a barrister at the Sunshine Coast Barristers Chambers.

Michael Kearney, Director of Finance
Michael joined North Kirra SLSC in 2002 and in the years since has undertaken roles at all levels of the organisation. Michael has been an active patrolling member and has held club roles including Club Captain, Chief Training Officer as well as Surf and Supporters Club Treasurer and President. Michael was the Point Danger Branch Director of Lifesaving, a member of the Branch Council and has held roles on the SLSQ Lifesaving Services Committee, Education Panel and Patrol Services Panel.

Michael is an experienced finance professional, managing and growing a large and complex debt portfolio. Michael has worked in both Australia and the UK for banks as well as a Fund Manager. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science (Property Economics) and a Graduate Certificate of Applied Finance.

Kaitlyn Akers, Director
Kaitlyn’s interest in surf lifesaving began in school sports when she was introduced to pool lifesaving competitions at boarding school in Toowoomba in 1985. She joined Mudjimba SLSC in 2001 and has since held a number of senior roles in Surf Life Saving. She is currently an active patrolling member, WaveRunner operator, trainer, Masters competitor, peer support officer, duty officer and a member of the 24-hour Emergency Response Group. In 2010-11 she was named the Queensland Surf Lifesaver of the Year. At Mudjimba SLSC she has served as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee, Club Captain, President and Treasurer.

Off the beach, Kaitlyn is leading an outsource partnership with a Federal Government agency. Prior to this, she served as General Manager for a leading private accountancy and financial services provider. She holds an Executive MBA, is a Fellow of AIM, and recently completed a postgraduate certificate in Strategic Talent Management at Stanford University and Strategic Innovation and Sustainability Reporting at Harvard Business School.

Tanya O’Shea, Director 
Tanya has been a member of the Bundaberg Surf Lifesaving Club since 2005, joining the club as a nipper parent, before being elected as the Junior Activities Chair (JAC) in 2007. Professionally, Tanya owns a plumbing business in partnership with her husband. Tanya has a strong background in business management (MBA), mental health practice (Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), Masters of Mental Health Practice) and community sector service development.

In 2007 Tanya participated in a Rotary Group Study Exchange tour in England, sharing best practice philosophies and strategies with other ‘for profit’ and not-for-profit organisations. Genuinely committed to community development and sustainability of not-for-profit organisations, Tanya seeks diversification and partnership opportunities to continually enhance service quality and the ongoing financial viability of NFPs.

Mark Wyer, Director
Over the past 10 years, Mark has held a variety of club roles including Patrol Captain, Radio Officer and Executive Roles of Deputy President and President. Mark has been a driving influence of club development and strategic planning during his time with Emu Park SLSC. Mark has also been a Councilor at Branch Level and was nominated by SLSA as a Masterclass Leader in 2016. Mark is a surf boat rower and is a patrolling member for Mooloolaba SLSC, while also maintaining his membership with Emu Park SLSC.

Based on the Sunshine Coast, Mark is an Associate Engineer (CPEng & RPEQ) and has over 16 years’ civil engineering experience in both urban and municipal planning and development. He has a continuing commitment to strategic planning, business development, leadership, engineering management, detailed design certification and project coordination. Mark is passionate about the opportunity of combining his professional knowledge of strategic planning and project management with volunteer lifesaving.

Tom Sealy, Director
Tom joined the lifesaving movement as a nipper back in 1998 and has since obtained numerous lifesaving awards and completed over 1,000 voluntary patrol hours. A current Patrol Captain at Mermaid Beach AEME SLSC Tom has held various executive roles at his club, most recently Club Captain. Tom was a member of the SLSQ Membership Services Committee for the last five years making a significant contribution to the implementation of the State Sustainability Project. Tom is a graduate of the SLSA National Leadership College and Masterclass development programs and was selected to represent SLSA at the 2017 Japanese Lifesaving Exchange Program.

Tom is a registered architect for a renown architectural firm in Brisbane and has over ten years’ experience completing architectural projects locally and interstate. Tom holds a Bachelor of Design (Architectural Studies), Master of Architecture and is completing a Graduate Certificate in Project Management.

Patron

We are honoured that His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC has accepted our invitation of patronage of Surf Life Saving Queensland for the duration of his term as the Governor of Queensland.

The Governor was born in Brisbane in 1948, the third son of school teacher parents Ronald and Moya (both now deceased).

He won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Queensland, from which he graduated in Arts in 1969 and Laws (with Honours) in 1971. Also in December 1971, the Governor married Kaye Brown. Mr and Mrs de Jersey have three children and three grandchildren.

The Governor was called to the Bar at the end of 1971 and was appointed as Her Majesty’s Counsel (QC) in 1981.

The Governor was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1985, when aged 36 years, becoming the 17th Chief Justice of Queensland on 17 February 1998, and served in that role for more than 16 years until 8 July 2014.

In recognition of his contribution to the Australian community, the Governor was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2000, and awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003.  He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Queensland (2000) and the University of Southern Queensland (2008), and has recently accepted an honorary doctorate from Griffith University.

Mr de Jersey was appointed the 26th Governor of Queensland on 29 July 2014.