Previously known as Veteran Sport Australia

Team Veteran BIOS:
Surf Life saving world champs 2022

Kelly March Team Veteran Surf Life Saving World Champs

Invictus Australia has worked with Surf Life Saving Australia to seek permission from the international federation to enter a veteran team into the 2022 Surf Lifesaving World Championships in Riccione Italy, taking place from 18th September to 3rd October.

We are proud to be providing support and assistance to the team where we can, and will cheer loudly as they represent Australia on the world stage.

Eight veterans have been selected to be part of Team Veteran with former Ironman, Zane Holmes named as coach.

For all Team enquiries, please contact Sean Lawler, Team Manager on 0478 157 853. From the 18 Sept-3 Oct, Sean will be travelling with the team in a different time zone.

You can also follow the team’s progress and training by searching #TeamVeteranSLS


COMPETITORS

Kelly MARSH

Freshwater, Sydney

Defence History

Kelly enlisted with the Australian Defence Force, Army Reserve in 1999 until discharge in 2003. 

Services include:
– Driver with the Royal Australian Corp Transport and was posted to 5th Brigade Administration Support Battalion (5BASB/CSSB) Banksmeadow.
– Army Recruit Training, 7-week course, Kapooka.
– RACT Driver Training Course (Regular), Puckapunyal 1999. Obtained Medium Rigid Drivers license, Advanced Defence Driving All Terrain.
– 4-month duty Operational deployment, Operational Search Battalion, Operation Gold, Joint Task Force 112 (ADF support to Sydney 2000 Games). Conduct vehicle check points, search & seal operations & short notice contingency tasks throughout the operation, providing transport to search teams and private driver tasks to key ADF personnel.

Kelly briefly combined civilian employment with SDRO, Defence Plaza and achieved the maximum days served per year for Reservists plus extensions for full-time work.

Her highlights were the multi-agency jobs and task variety attending Annual Training Exercises, search security training, performing support to various Corps Unit tasks and transport relocations.
 
Surf Live Saving History

Kelly joined the nippers at Freshwater SLSC where she completed her Surf Rescue Certificate in 1992, competing in nipper and junior cadet activities in surf and R&R. She then joined Newport SLSC completing the Bronze Medallion in 1994, competing Junior & Open surf and craft events, IRB racing team, IRB Driver and role as IRB Captain aged seventeen, a Youth Forum representative and club instructor.
 
Kelly was employed to SLS Beach Services in rookie program and was a professional Lifeguard (1999-2000 season) obtaining Senior First Aid, Advanced Resuscitation, Patrol Captain & Life Support (Silver Medallions) certificates.
 
Kelly joined Surf Life Saving NSW as a Surf Education Instructor (2001-2006) seasonally, training school and private groups and completed her Level 1 Surf Coach Accreditation in 2003.
 
Kelly has since patrolled and competed in surfboats for numerous clubs, Mona Vale, South Curl Curl, Collaroy, South Narrabeen, MacMasters, Ocean Thunder Series crews for Dee Why & Batemans Bay and is currently rowing for Queenscliff. Currently, Kelly is a long-service member at both Freshwater SLSC and Queenscliff SLSC, representing at local carnivals, ASRL, Branch, State & Australian Titles, Virtual Cooly Gold and Enduro Rainbow Gold.
 
In 2021, Kelly competed for the first time in Masters water & beach events at State and Australian Titles for Freshwater. This years 2022 Australian Titles, Kurrawa, Kelly was a Silver medallist in Masters Ski race and shared Gold with her Queenscliff Masters surfboat crew.
Along with her fellow Team Veteran women, Kelly recently competed NSW Pool Rescue Championships in preparations for the upcoming Worlds.

“This team opportunity has been both life-changing and life saving. Access to participation in sport has reconnected me to community and various local sports, giving me back the confidence and space to develop new skills and importantly connection. I will be forever grateful for our journey, the support of Invictus Australia, our mateships and adventures so far.” Kelly Marsh

Kelly Marsh Team Veteran SLS

Dane HURST

Cronulla, Sydney

Defence History

Dane joined the Australian Army as a Riflemen in October 2005. After completing initial employment training, Dane was posted to 4th Commando Regiment (now 2nd Commando Regiment) in 2006.

In 2007 and 2009, Dane was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG), and in 2010 was a member of Tactical Assault Group East (TAG-E) and completed multiple short deployments to Afghanistan as part of VIP protection.

In 2011, Dane was employed as 2IC within the sniper team on TAG. During 2011, Dane was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of a continuous role in VIP protection. On 14th October 2012, Dane separated from the Defence Force and in 2014 joined the 1st Commando Regiment (Reserves). 


Surf Life Saving History

From 2000 – 2005 Dane competed in the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series, with his best result in 2003 finishing 3rd overall. Dane have been part of Tugun SLSC Taplin team, being part of four out of the five Australian titles won as a swimmer.

Dane won the U/19 Australian Ironman and was part of multiple winning team events in junior’s and open events. In 2005, he placed second in the Australian open Ironman before retiring and joining the Defence Force. 
 

Dane Hurst Ironman Invictus Australia Team Veteran

SIMONE READ

Towradgi, Sydney

Defence History
Simone joined the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) as a Steward in May 1995. After completing the initial military training, she was posted to Wagga Wagga to complete employment training. Not long after that, Simone was posted to RAAF Base Glenbrook. On joining the RAAF, Simone was inspired to become a Flight Steward. This position was only available after serving an initial period of service, which she did. In 1997 Simone was posted to RAAF Base Richmond then RAAF Base Fairbairn to take up a Flight Steward position at 34 VIP SQN. During her time at 34 SQN, Simone was privileged to serve with our head of state, Defence leaders, overseas dignitaries and support missions such as EAST Timor. In 2009 Simone transferred to part-time service to focus on her family and support her children, one who has special needs.
 
Surf Life Saving History
Simone started her SLS journey as a nipper at Greenmount Surf Club, later transferring to Currumbin to complete her Surf Rescue Certificate. During her time in these clubs, Simone competed at many carnivals, including State. In 2009 Simone joined Towradgi Surf Club as an age group leader, later completing her Bronze Medallion and taking up a volunteer patrol position. Simone’s love for swimming, the ocean and being a role model for her children has drawn her back to the surf carnivals. During her time as a member within Towradgi Surf Club, Simone has helped establish the Illawarra Junior Triathlon Club (ITC) to help provide cross-training and additional open water paths for the community. The ITC and Towradgi Surf Club has worked together for many years to help grow juniors in sport across the Illawarra. This position is a tribute to her surf background, without the knowledge, skills and training Simone received she wouldn’t be the junior coach, race director and competitor as she is today.

Simone Read Team Veteran SLS

Ryan Garlard  

Sunshine Coast, QLD

Defence History
Ryan joined the Australian Army in May 2009 as part of a Direct Recruiting Special Forces Scheme. After successfully completing Commando selection and reinforcement cycle, Ryan was posted to 2nd Commando Regiment in November 2010. Ryan is currently still serving in the Australian Army Reserves with 1 Commando Regiment.

– 2011 Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – SOTG (Special Operations Task Group) Rotation 15
– 2012 Operation Slipper (Afghanistan)
– 2013 Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) – SOTG Rotation 20
– 2014 Operation Haywick (Netherlands/Ukraine)
– 2014/15 Operation Ocra (Iraq)
– 2017/18 Operation Highroad (Afghanistan)

Surf Life Saving History 

In 1983 Ryan joined North Caloundra SLSC (now Dickey Beach) as a Nipper and went on to complete his Bronze Medallion with the club in 1990.

Ryan has been a member of North Caloundra, Alexandra Headlands and Palm Beach (Qld) Surf Clubs. In 2003 Ryan became a member of Kawana Waters SLSC where he is still currently active. Ryan has remained an active patrolling member throughout his military service.

– 1996 – KNGNSL Representative – Melbourne Rips
– 2001 – KNGNSL Repesentative – Queensland Marlins
– 2001 – Sir Adrian Curlewis Scholarship Queensland recipient
– 2006 – IRB Men’s Mass Rescue and Men’s Teams Rescue World Champions

Ryan Gaylard Team Veteran SLS

CHRIS O’BRIEN

Canberra, ACT

Defence History

Chris joined the Australian Army in 2002 through the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA). Following his graduation from ADFA and the Royal Military College (RMC) Duntroon in 2005, Chris was commissioned to the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery and posted to 20th Regiment (20 Regt) in Brisbane. From 2006 – 2009 Chris served as a Troop Commander of Weapon Locating Radar, Ground Surveillance and Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capabilities, and in 2008 was deployed to Afghanistan with UAV Group 2 on Operation SLIPPER. 

In 2009, Chris was posted to the UK as an exchange officer with 32 UAV Regiment, Royal Artillery. As part of that exchange, in 2010 he was again deployed to Afghanistan with 42 (Alem Hamza) Battery as part of Operation HERRICK 12. On his return to Australia in 2011, Chris was posted to the School of Artillery as the Instructor-in-Gunnery (UAV). Chris was selected to attend the Capability and Technology Management College (CTMC) program in 2013, where he graduated with Masters Degrees in Systems Engineering and Program Management. Chris was also posted to Capability Development Group (CDG) as the Staff Officer Air Defence, where he was responsible for managing the Australian Army Missile Defence program.

Chris retired from full-time military service in 2015 and is now the Director, Business Development for L3Harris WESCAM. 

Chris competed at the Invictus Games The Hague in 2022 across a range of sports, including swimming.
 
Surf Life Saving History

Chris began Surf Lifesaving in 1997 after crossing over from pool swimming. Training at Palm Beach (QLD) SLSC under Grant Baldock, Chris specialized in the swimming events – Tube, Board Rescue, Swim and Taplain Relay. He has competed at multiple regional, state and national events as a junior, culminating in a top 15 finish at the 1999 Australian Surf Lifesaving titles at Kurrawa Beach, QLD

Chris O'Brien Invictus Games 2022 Swimming

SBLT Dana RICHARDS, RAN

Shellharbour, Sydney

Defence History

Dana joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Communications and Information Systems Sailor in October 1998.

In 2021, Dana decided to re-engage full time upon completion of her Graduate studies at Charles Sturt University combined with a passion for coaching, teaching, and instructing. This was made possible with full support of her family, and in particular her husband Paul (ex-serving RAN member).
 
After raising two young adults, Tylah (17 years of age and currently doing her HSC), and Kai (19 years of age who is studying and working in Hayman Island in Nautical Science/Deckhand work), Dana felt it was her turn to have a full-time career and changed over to become a full time Training Systems Officer back in the RAN.
 
In 2021, at the age of 45 Dana completed her Naval Office Entry Course (NEOC) at HMAS Creswell, and is still undergoing training, working, and juggling study to get to the end of 2022 when she will be posted again. Dana believes that by keeping active over the years assisted her in getting through the physical and mental side of NEOC training.

Service History:
– HMAS Westralia – 1999
– HMAS Darwin – 1999 – 2001 with many Southeast
Asia deployments and also working within numerous ADF operations around Australia.
– HMAS Canberra – 2001-2002 where we were deployed to the Solomon Islands for peacekeeping and taskings to the Antarctic area intercepting illegal fishing vessels.
– HMAS Stirling
– HMAS Cerberus – Instructor

Reserve postings include:
– HMAS Albatross
– Hydrographic Office – Wollongong
– Defence Force Recruiting- Wollongong.
– HMAS Creswell
 
Surf Life Saving History


Dana is a member of Shellharbour SLSC, having joined in 1982 as a nipper and becoming a State and Country medalist in water events. Actively competing until 1991, Dana then took up the sport of Ocean and Open water swimming.

Dana patrolled at Shellharbour beach up until 1998 when she joined the Navy, during which she had a break in patrolling.

In 2004, Dana was posted to WA so joined a newly formed surf club, Secret Harbour, with her husband, actively patrolling until her return to NSW in 2007.
 
In 2008 Dana resumed patrolling at Shellharbour SLSC. “A bunch of master’s ladies convinced me to swim around the cans again, and the next thing I knew I was competing in Masters and training most days. I have loved these friendships and cherish them as it gives me something to look forward to every day and week.”

Dana has held roles such as the Junior Club Secretary, the Club Secretary, and Age Manager when my children were in nippers.

In 2010 Dana became a Surf coach and resumed her passion for swim teaching and coaching, in a volunteer capacity.

“I absolutely enjoy the connections with the families in my community and sharing my passion about lifesaving, education, and surf sports. I absolutely love catching up with friends at competition, not just for the competition, but for the outlet that my training and sport brings me and my whole family.”

“The community of Surf lifesaving, and Ocean swimming which two of my many activities are my favourites.”

You will often find Dana at the local pool or beach swimming, followed by coffee. And Dana plans on doing that for a long time to come.

Louise SKJEIME

Sylvania, Sydney

Defence History

Louise joined the Royal Australian Navy as a Boatswain Mate in April 2006. After completing recruit training June 2006, Louise transferred categories to Maritime Logistic Support Operations and completed the category training November 2007 then proceeded on posting to HMAS Watson.

In 2008 Louise was posted to HMAS Manoora where she was deployed to Operation Resolute for Boarder Protection. After completing the posting, Louise posted to HMAS Diamantina February 2010 for six months. In July 2010 Louise returned to HMAS Watson where she has been working in a variety of roles and looking forward to future sea postings in the second half of 2020 as a current serving member of the Royal Australian Navy.
 
Surf Life Saving History

Louise joined Shellharbour Surf Life Saving Club in October 1996 as a nipper, progressing through the ranks and completing her Surf Rescue Certificate October 2001 and her Bronze Medallion in April 2003.

Louise was a member of the competition team that attended Country and State Titles from 1998-2005. In April 2006 Louise joined the Royal Australian Navy and whilst was under training and initial posting, Louise was unable to complete any surf lifesaving service until she found a more hospitable work life balance in 2009 joining Kiama Downs Surf Life Saving Club. In 2012 Louise was recruited to return to Surf lifesaving and more specifically IRB Racing for South Maroubra Surf Life Saving Club. As a result of joining South Maroubra, Louise was a part of the Worlds 2012 IRB team that represented down in Glenelg South Australia, where it was a successful campaign returning with a Bronze in the Tube Rescue Race.

Louise remained a member of South Maroubra but also joined Garie Surf Life Saving Club in the Royal National Park in August 2018 to assist with the club’s struggling membership and also to become IRB Captain, where she still holds this position and is an active member in the club. In March 2019 Louise joined Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club to compete for the newly established IRB Team. She still maintains patrols at Garie and competes for the club in summer competition but transferred her competition rights to Bondi to compete for them in winter.

Louise SKJEIME SLS family photo

ALEX TIBBITS

Buddina, Brisbane

Defence History

Alex enlisted into the Australian Army in April 2013 under the Special Forces Direct Recruitment Scheme. After completing initial employment training, Commando Selection and reinforcement cycle Alex was posted to 2nd Commando Regiment in Dec 2014. Alex completed a rotation Tactical Assault Group East (TAG-east) in 2015 and was deployed on Operation Okra Rotation 4 in 2016 under a Special Forces Advisory Team (SFAT). Alex was deployed on Personnel Security Detachment to the Middle East in 2018 then back onto TAG-East in 2019 for before separating from the ADF on July 9 2019.
 
Surf Life Saving History


Alex first joined nippers at Mooloolaba SLSC in 1998 and completed the Bronze Medallion in 2005. Alex had competed and was a patrolling member for Mooloolaba SLSC up until enlisting in the Army in 2013. Alex competed at every National title from U15s and won Gold in U19 Single Ski in 2009. From 2009 – 2013 Alex was a competitor in the Kelloggs Nutri-Grain Ironman Series and competed in the Coolangatta Gold in 2011 and 2012 finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively. From 2015-2018 Alex joined North Cronulla Surf Club but only attended a limited number of patrols and competitions due to military service. Alex re-joined Mooloolaba SLSC in 2019 and have returned to the Patrolling the beaches.

Alex Tebbit Ironman

Coach: ZANe HOLMES

Brisbane, QLD

Surf Life Saving History

Since the age of five, Zane has been involved in Surf Life Saving, starting his involvement with Northcliffe SLSC on the Gold Coast before moving to the Sunshine Coast with his family when he was 14 years old. Zane quickly rose through the ranks and became one of the most dominant athletes in the history of the sport.

Zane is the only man in history to win all major ironman titles – Queensland, Australian and World titles plus the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Series & the prestigious Coolangatta Gold. Zane now resides back on the Gold Coast with his wife and 3 children where he owns and operates the Waterman Store at Burleigh Heads. Zane is also the Head Ski Coach for Currumbin Beach Vikings.

Career Highlights
– 12 x Australian Team Representative (captain of one of these)
– 5x Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series Champion
– 2004 and 2006 World Ironman Champion
– 2006 Coolangatta Gold Champion
– 2004 Australian Open Ironman Champion
– 6x Queensland Open Ironman Champion
– Former Australian Board Race Champion
– Former Australian Surf Race Champion
– Former Australian Belt Race Champion
– Won 22 Australian Gold Medals

Zane Homes Ironman Team Veteran

TEAM MANAGER: SEAN LAWLER

Sydney, NSW

Defence History
Sean joined the Australian Army as a Riflemen in February 2004. After sustaining an injury in 2005 he became a Clerk and was posted to 4 Commando. In June 2008 Sean was promoted to the Rank of Corporal and deployed as part of the Special Operations Task Group Rotation 7 (SOTG7, Operation Slipper).

In 2009 Sean was posted to the Special Air Service Regiment where he later Separated from the Australian Regular Army and Joined the 41st Battalion Royal NSW Regiment. In April 2011 Sean was deployed to East Timor as part of Timor Leste Task Group Three (TLTG3).  On 6 July 2013 he separated from the Defence Force.

Sean participated in the 2016 and 2017 Invictus Games.

Surf Life Saving History


Sean first joined the Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club in 1992 after completing his Basic Resuscitation Certificate. In 1993 he completed his Surf Rescue Certificate and two years later his Bronze Medallion (1995).

From 1993 – 2004 Sean was a competitive member racing at both State and Australian level. From 2000 – 2004 Sean also worked for the Coffs Harbour City Council as a professional Lifeguard. Sean have been a member of Coffs Harbour Surf Club for almost 25 years, however due to his military service he was unable to patrol for approximately 10 of those years (2004-2013).

Sean Lawler Team Veteran Manager Three generations – front l to r: Oliver, Abbey, Bailey & Payton Lawler & back l to r: Sean, Bruce, Grant & Melina Lawler. Image by Brendan Ray

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