ROLE MODEL: Meli-Lisa Eayrs, 16, is one of 80 young surf lifesavers to partake in a Breaka Youth Excellence Program.
ROLE MODEL: Meli-Lisa Eayrs, 16, is one of 80 young surf lifesavers to partake in a Breaka Youth Excellence Program. Matt Taylor GLA030419SURF

Leadership core part of Tannum surf life saver Meli-Lisa

SURF LIFE SAVING: Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club's Meli-Lisa Eayrs, 16, is a natural-born leader.

And the bright Tannum Sands State High School student will put those skills to great use at the Breaka Youth Excellence Program tomorrow to Sunday in Lake Moogerah.

"The club sent out nomination forms because I thought that this would be a great opportunity would get involved," Meli-Lisa said.

Rather than to concentrate on the competitive aspects of surf life saving, Meli-Lisa said it's the other aspect of the sport that has appealed to her.

"It will be a really amazing experience with the team-work activity and also a lot of personal growth as well," she said.

"For me, it's not necessarily the competition side of surf lifesaving, but more like the community aspect and doing patrol."

Meli-Lisa and her family moved to the Gladstone region eight years ago from Johannesburg for more opportunity and safety.

Her brother Thraves got involved with TSSLSC.

"I got to speak with the coach Mark Bryant and I was in grade eight and in the under-14 age-group then," Meli-Lisa said.

"I like meeting new people and it's such a family-based organisation."

Surf Life Saving Queensland membership development manager Jamie Findlay said the program provided a fantastic opportunity for aspiring leaders.

"Meli-Lisa has been identified by Tannum Sands SLSC for her passion and commitment and our aim is to further ignite that passion, and develop a range of skills that participants can apply to all aspects of their lives," Findlay said.

"Attendees will be required to complete problem-solving tasks and undertake a series of team-building activities through both mentally and physically challenging exercises."

Findlay said YEP would enable participants to extend their knowledge across all lifesaving disciplines, recognise their contribution to the community, and reaffirm their ability to shape their own future.

"Traditionally, the 15-17 years age group is generally where we begin to see a decline in membership as other interests and commitments tend to compete," he said.

State membership services officer Robert Campbell said the lifesavers selected for YEP were existing leaders within their clubs and already role models to young nippers.

"It's wonderful to see Meli-Lisa pursing leadership a leadership pathway within lifesaving and with 82 participants across the state, it goes to show the future of our surf lifesaving clubs is in good hands," Campbell said.

Meli-Lisa said she hopes to aply to get into the Australian Defence Force aid with a longer aim to work for the United Nations.

That's one talented and intelligent young woman.