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.

Thanks to a grant from the Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program – an Australian Government initiative, managed by Sport Australia in partnership with the Office for Women – Surfing NSW will roll out a series of online and physical female-specific leadership development programs named Lead Her.
The series will be delivered across the state through Surfing NSW’s women’s surfing platform, Her Wave.
The WLIS Organisation Development Grants program supports national and state sporting organisations to inspire and develop women to become leaders in sport.
Surfing NSW will run four one-hour online “Drop-in” Masterclass experiences for NSW female surf school coaches and judges over September. Based on a set of criteria and in partnership with our network, participants will earn the opportunity to continue their development and be selected for the Lead Her “Level Up” Leadership Development Camp at the Surfing Australia High-Performance Centre.
The program aims to develop the quality of our current female coaching leaders through development opportunities that ensure potential leaders, and those in leadership positions, continue to grow and develop. The focus is to empower females in coaching roles to believe in themselves, put their hand up for opportunities and take a seat at the leadership table.
The first Lead Her online masterclass will feature seven-time World Champion Layne Beachley in an hour session titled Paving The Way. 
“Women hold up half the sky so I’m stoked to be collaborating with Surfing NSW to inspire, educate and empower future generations of female leaders in surfing, coaching and judging,” said Beachley. “Through the power of story-telling, I aim to share how I managed to thrive in a male-dominated world, challenge the status quo and pave the way for future generations. Creating a more inclusive, safe and equal environment for women is good for business and good for surfing.”
Former ISA World Surfing Games representative and professional surfing commentator Jess Grimwood is elated to host the four online sessions with Surfing NSW.
“I’m so proud to be a part of surfing and its growth at the moment,” said Grimwood. “It’s an exciting time with so many opportunities if you are passionate about it. For me, I’m doing a program with the AIS about leadership as a woman and finding my voice in surfing and through my commentating, so to have the opportunity to put some new skills to work in an environment with heroes I’ve looked up to is just amazing. I’m truly grateful that Surfing NSW and Surfing Australia have invested in us as surfers, ex-competitors and women to help grow the sport.”
For more information on Her Wave vision for female surfing in NSW see our website
Her Wave is Surfing NSW’s women’s surfing platform to help build a more inclusive and joyful female surf culture in NSW. By working alongside the Surfing NSW network of stakeholders and participants, we aim to increase access, connect communities, offer progressive and fun experiences, and provide leadership opportunities to help grow and nurture female participation in the sport. 
Lead Her is Her Wave’s leadership pillar which supports initiatives that will play important roles in supporting gender equity, reshaping stereotypes, empowering participants, and supporting women and girls in surfing.

Mark Windon
OAM Executive Director

Felicity Conlan
Board Member

Francis Coady
Board Member

David Gyngell

Mike Baird

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