Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter visits school during 50th year celebrations

October 12, 2023

Over 1,200 students from Carmel College in Thornlands were treated to a special visit from the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service today, as part of the Service’s national 50th anniversary celebrations. 

In partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia, Westpac (then Bank of New South Wales) has been proudly supporting the Service since it began in 1973, making it one of the longest community partnerships in Australia. In Queensland, the Service has been operating since 1976, when a base was established on the Gold Coast. 

As part of the Queensland celebrations, hundreds of students were invited to see the helicopter up close, hear about the operations it delivers and learn about how the Service has saved countless lives over half a century.

Operating helicopters from bases at Carrara and Caloundra, Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service – operated by Surf Life Saving Queensland – provides a vital free community service to Queensland communities each year, carrying out search and rescue missions, beach patrols and aerial surveillance and disaster response across South East Queensland.

“Westpac is proud to continue its longstanding support of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service and help educate our young people about emergency services,” said Andrew Carroll, Westpac Bank Manager, Capalaba.

“For the majority of the Australian population, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service has been in operation for their entire lives which is a testament to just how vital the service it provides really is.

“Making school visits like the one to Carmel College today allows the students to see this state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment close-up. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also hopefully as close as they’ll need to come to seeing the helicopter in action,” Andrew said.

Along with the pilot and crew from the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service, representatives from Surf Life Saving Queensland and local clubs were also on hand to provide an insight into what the surf lifesaving community has to offer and encourage new members to join.

Nearby Point Lookout and Coochiemudlo Island Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC) are currently in an active recruitment drive, keen to welcome new members who can lend their time to help their community.

“We’re always on the lookout for new members and there really is a role at our clubs for everyone,” said Matt Robinson, Point Lookout SLSC President. “From teenagers keen to get their bronze medallion and patrol the weekends to those who want to earn higher qualifications or just lend a helping hand, we’d love to see more people coming through the doors.”

Des Kerr, Coochiemudlo Island SLSC President said, “It’s wonderful to see so many children here today excited and inspired by what is a wonderful piece of lifesaving equipment. 

“We were able to speak to the kids about what volunteering at a surf club can mean for their community, and what they will get back in return. I’m certainly hopeful to see some of these kids and their families down at the club really soon.”

Click here for more information about the popular Westpac Schools Landing program.

Click here for more information on Queensland’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.

Click here for more information on how to join a Queensland Surf Life Saving Club.