Surfing NSW – New Chair and Deputy Chair (July 2024)

Surfing NSW today announced the election of Ben Rolleston as its new Chair, and Lyndel Gray as Deputy Chair. This follows the resignation of John O’Neill and Harry Hodge from the Board of Directors after almost 15 years of esteemed service.

The voting is done and the finalists are locked in for all 14 categories in this year’s Australian Surfing Awards Incorporating The Hall of Fame tomorrow night at QT Gold Coast. Iconic names like Wright, Robinson, Fanning and Tullemans are on the honour roll. 

As it is every year, the Nikon Surf Photo and Video of The Year Awards were hotly contested with the top twenty images of an extremely high standard once again. 

John Young, General Manager, Marketing, Nikon Australia, said “We’re proud to celebrate the incredible talent and passion of Australia’s surf photographers and videographers in partnership with Surfing Australia. Continuing to see the stories captured by the best surf photographers and videographers with such a high calibre of creativity has been awe-inspiring. Congratulations to all the finalists.”

Chris Mater, CEO, Surfing Australia, said, “Each year, we look forward to hosting such an esteemed event, where we recognise the outstanding achievements of the Australian surfing community and the creatives behind the lens who capture the action.”

 Curator of the Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame Nick Carroll’s words on Mick Fanning

“Public or private, there’s the sense that Mick Fanning, despite his renowned game face and rock-hard attitude in competition, is an open book. What you see is what you get, and that might be a quality Australians love in a person more than anything.

There were the inevitable comparisons with the original Coolie Kids of the 1970s: Wayne Bartholomew, Peter Townend and Michael Peterson. But these kids were different, and so were the times. Archetypal grommets of the late 1990s, they dived into the new century with gusto, making movies, signing contracts, and learning how to win. In 2001, Fanning did just that at world tour level, taking out the Rip Curl Pro at perfect Bells Beach as a 20-year-old wildcard. Four months later, he put in a defining series of free surfing performances in phenomenal winter waves at Lennox Head.

Both became classic defining moments — vital rites of passage for any great Australian surfer. But most of all, Mick has defined himself by comebacks. There was injury, like the hamstring avulsion that threatened to stop his title runs before they started. There was the crazily unexpected, like the white shark encounter during the J-Bay CT final in 2015, which remains the most-watched moment in professional surfing history. And more than anything else, there was family tragedy: the deaths of his brothers Sean and Peter.

In each case, he was able to draw out the lessons. The hamstring tear led to a strengthening and fitness regime that became a benchmark for elite surfing and contributed mightily to his first world championship. 

Through all this, Mick grew from an almost inarticulate grommet to one of the great modern spokespeople for the Australian surfing culture. His humble and easy way of communicating carries through his many media and public appearances, always reinforcing that natural sense of who he is, and in the process, engaging all Australians and millions of people worldwide.

Mick retired from competition in 2018, with three world titles and a wide range of major event wins to his name, including four each at Bells and J-Bay. He lives on the Gold Coast and surfs all the time.”

To compliment an already amazing night of celebration, the Indigenous Surfing Community Celebration Award and ACCIONA Innovation Award make their debuts on stage at the QT Gold Coast next Tuesday, May 4th in Surfers Paradise.

2021 Australian Surfing Awards Incorporating the Hall of Fame FINALISTS:

Male Surfer of the Year

Morgan Cibilic

Jack Robinson

Reef Heazlewood

Female Surfer of the Year    

Macy Callaghan

Tyler Wright

Molly Picklum
Griffith University Rising Star Award – Female

Sierra Kerr

  Nyxie Ryan

Ellie Harrison 
Griffith University Rising Star Award – Male    

Joel Vaughn

 Lennix Smith

Jarvis Earle

Max McGillivrayHeavy Water Award    

Laura Enever

Russell Bierke

Chris Lougher
ASB Greater Good Award    

Mike Durante, Ron Clarke, Jenna Clarke – Surf February

Tahlia Anderson – Surfing The Spectrum

Cooper Chapman – The Good Human Factory
Peter Troy Lifetime Award    

Martin Tullemans

Matt Grainger

Sandra English
Coach Of The Year    

Clancy Dawson

Adam Robertson

Stacey Galbraith

ACCIONA Innovation Award    

  URBN Surf Melbourne

 Surf Better Now

  Surf Lakes
Surf Culture Award    

 Tracks Magazine – 50 Years

Chris Nelius and Team – Girls Can’t Surf

 Vaughan Blakey – Postcards From Morgs and Free Scrubber

Simon Anderson Club Award    

North Shelly Boardriders

Queenscliff Boardriders Club
Indigenous Surfing Community Celebration Award    

Otis Carey

Naru Indigenous Corporation

Soli Bailey

Jalaan Slabb
Nikon Surf Video of the Year    

Spencer Frost – A Corner of the Earth

Tom Jennings – SPIRIT, Starring Jay Davies


The Winners of both the Nikon Surf Photo of the Year Award and the Nikon Surf Video of the Year Award will receive a Nikon Z 6II including a NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S and FTZ adapter each.

World-renowned Surf Journalist Nick Carroll continues in the role of Curator of the Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame.

The Australian Surfing Awards incorporating the Hall of Fame is proudly presented by Surfrider Foundation and supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, QT Gold Coast, Nikon, nudie, Hyundai, Australasian Surf Business Magazine, 2XP,  Griffith University, Acciona and OnStone.

Mark Windon
OAM Executive Director

Felicity Conlan
Board Member

Francis Coady
Board Member

David Gyngell

Mike Baird

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