Respect Award 2023 « In Memory of Bill Wallace

Peppie Simpson

Peppie has multiple Australian and State Titles to her name. She formed the Victorian Womens Surfing Association in 1978 and helped to form the Australian Womens Surfing Association to encourage, train and promote women’s surfing in Australia through the 70s and 80s. A business owner who works within the NWSR teaching and providing research about the beautiful mammals that pass by our waters every year, on her boat WhaleSongs Noosa.  Peppie is a long time member of the Noosa Malibu Club, plays a prominent role in coordinating the Wrecks and Relics competition every year and 10 +  NHSLSC Patrolling member. She works as a Surf Coach for Surfdancer Academy and assists in facilitating their indigenous and school programs. A lady who leads by example, contributes all she can to the NWSR community and inspires many others to do so.

Environmental Award 2023

Javier Leon

Javier is an academic at UniSC, undertakes research and teaches in and about the NWSR. As a member of Surfrider he volunteers in activities including beach clean-ups and education outreach. 
Javier leads innovative research with international impact directly related to the NWSR and the surf ecosystem. This includes: 

  • assessing turtle nest site selection along eastern beaches (2017),  
  • quantifying the impact of tropical cyclone Oma on Main Beach (2020),  
  • determining the influence of wave direction on sediment headland bypassing (2021) 
  • assessing coastal changes along Noosa during the triple back-to-back La Nina (2023) 
  • He is a contributor towards programs for managing pressing environmental issues including shark nets and Burgess Creek’s water quality 
  • Volunteers and works on translating science to the local community including giving talks for Coolum Coastcare, Peregian Beach Community Association, Peregian Beach Community Kindergarten, Surfriders Foundation, Noosa Biosphere, Noosa Council and Noosa Parks Association just to name a few.

Cultural Award 2023

Waves Of Wellness (WoW)

Wow is a mental health and surf therapy charity, promoting positive mental health and wellbeing through a range of innovative programs. In Noosa, they are running an 8-week program for young people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander with an aim to facilitate functional recovery, while promoting social inclusion, engagement and enhanced quality of life.  
This Program is facilitated by mental health clinicians who are also trained in learn-to-surf instructing.  
Each program is supported by volunteers, which strengthens inclusion and social connection. Thanks to the support of the Kelly Family Foundation, they have been able to run this program for free to participants, removing one of the most commonly reported barriers to accessing mental health. 

Industry Innovation 2023

Golden Breed

Golden Breed have had an active positive presence in Noosa since 2000. An original long-time sponsor of the Noosa Festival of Surfing. Employed many long-time locals over their journey and promoted weekend casual work for local school kids wanting to get into and learn more about the industry.  
Recently they have completed a spectacular old school building to stamp its commitment to the area. Designed to look like it belonged in Noosa 50+ years ago, or today.  

Photography Award 2023

Justine Bath

Justine is an avid photographer of the beautiful and unique Noosa Surfing Reserve. Capturing images daily that portray the essence of the Noosa Surfing Community and sharing images with these surfers. Essentially documenting the beauty and wave quality of the NWSR for future generations. 

Videography Award 2023

Lewis Van Roon

Lewis captures the beauty of Surfing with drone footage of the Noosa surfing reserve. Having a positive impact by showcasing its Beauty and specifically the Local Talent we have within the community and why we need to protect and preserve such a beautiful location.

Community Surfer Junior Male 2023

Landen Smales

This young man has lived & grown up in the Noosa Shire. Surfed some of his first  waves at Noosa’s First Point and can frequently be seen charging cyclone swells at the pot or longboarding through the points. 
He has an excessive list of surfing accolades alone from this year from State to Australian Championships in both shortboard and longboarding titles 
Selected to represent Surfing Queensland and is part of the Surfing QLD Academy. Landen is also a member of the First Nations Youth High Performance Program run by Surfing Australia. An advocate for young indigenous athletes and always passes on advice along with wetsuits to youth that need a bit of extra help in our community.   
He is also often seen picking up rubbish and putting them in his pockets until after his surf & has also been involved in a number of beach cleans held during local events. As well as sharing the efforts of this preservation and respect for the environment amongst his peers.  
Just recently both Landen and his brother Kaiden who is a well respected surfer also, were surfing Alexandria Bay and involved in the rescue of a near drowning of 3 people. Always willing to lend a hand. 

Community Surfer Junior Female 2023

Larita Monroe

A member of the Noosa Malibu Club and member of the SBSHS Surfing Excellence program, Larita enjoys sharing the waves with a wonderful mix of local community surfers, respectfully and responsibly.  
Her dedication has allowed her this year for the First time competing in a WSL event, state and national champs as a 15 year old. 
Larita always projects a happy and fun image to the world when surfing in Noosa and stories like hers help to promote Noosa and the NWSR as a place to visit and protect. A great role model to the Noosa Malibu Club juniors. 

Community Surfer Senior Male 2023

Max Pettigrove

Max has been a Noosa Council Lifeguard since 1985. In that time he has coached and taught a lot of the youth within the Noosa Community to be great happy people, good swimmers, surfers, body surfers and lifeguards today. Sunshine Beach Head of surf sports coach from 2001 – 2016, swimming coach at Noosa Aquatic Center since 1999 and SLS QLD Lifeguard trainer since 2017.  
Ensuring our beaches are safe Max has always been a respected community member as well as assisting others to become proficient in the water and safer, more confident in a range of conditions.  

Community Surfer Senior Female 2023

Kelly Carthy

Over the last decade this Kelly has developed relationships with various local water sports businesses and has also helped initiate community programs such as Waves of Wellness. She has had the privilege to coach some of the businesses in the water sports community to support them in professional development through her business The Inner Leader. 
As a Leadership Coach, Kelly is an Educator and Retreat Facilitator passionate about connecting the water sports community with her clients to create unique transformational immersive experiences and support local industries.  Using the ocean as a base for cultivating confidence, building awareness and respect and encouraging a deeper connection with the preservation and conservation of the natural environment.   
A Member of Sunshine Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, President of Peregian Kindy and Secretary of the Junior Activities Committee for Sunshine Beach Surf Lifesaving Club.

People's Choice Award 2023

Luke Hutchinson

Also nominated for the Videographer award, Luke not only takes part in a number of events but also dedicates a significant amount of time to volunteer and capture the essence of this through photo and video. The best part about it is the raw commentary that accompanies many of our local crew shredding alongside candid interviews that show some insight into the life of these surfers.
By utilising his various social media platforms Luke creates a vibrant and inclusive community where people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds come together in an interactive way. This brings a diverse range of experiences and perspectives, enriching the overall atmosphere of our community.
By expanding their exposure, he helps support and promote local talent, fostering a sense of pride and appreciation within our community.