The Surfrider Australia Team
National Chairman of the Board
I love the ocean, the waves and beaches. Australia has an enormous coastline with so many amazing, unique and diverse ecosystems. To me its more than just a place of recreation, fitness and enjoyment. Its our home, it's life, it's everything. The next 25 years are critical for its conservation. If we want the next generation to have what we all grew up with and collectively took for granted then we all have to do something about it - now.
Something draws me to the ocean... I grew up in Southwest Queensland in Roma and learned to surf at Broken Head on annual family holidays. It was a lifetime goal of mine to live by the ocean, which I finally realized in 1997 when I moved to Sydney. I was able to commute to Curl Curl and surf weekly. However, it did take another 10 years to convince my family to move to the Northern Beaches. My local beach is now Longreef (past 10 years), and I'm proud to say it's where my kids are learning to surf and to do their part for the ocean. My kids often help out with Surfrider beach cleans and take the message to school with them. I find it so fulfilling to hear or read their assignments on the same issues that we are fighting at Surfrider. It may sound a little cliche but even if we lose the battle today, the fight will continue through their education and awareness.
When I was a kid we would twist in the sand, burying our feet as the waves washed back and forth trying to find pippies. Now my kids pick up bottles, bags and cigarette butts. So much has changed in just one generation and so much needs to change for the next one.
Dr. Kevin Roche
Originally from New Zealand, Kevin splits his time these days between Australia and Indonesia. During his day job Kevin is the Chief Financial Officer of a research and development company that works in the natural disaster space. An economist by training, Kevin’s main expertise is in the economic cost of natural disasters and the implication of sea level rise on the coastal strip. Kevin also has significant teaching experience at the post-grad level in coastal management and has designed and taught executive education programs on disaster management. Somehow over the years Kevin has convinced his bosses that he can work just as effectively remotely. So he uses this time wisely along the eastern end of the Indonesian Archipelago.
Kevin chairs the Finance and Governance Committee at Surfrider Australia and has a passion for trying to make peoples lives easier by using technology in and around the workplace. Surfrider should see some benefits of this soon. Kevin has been a keen surfer for 28 years and first became interested in Surfrider when he discovered he was surfing in hazardous waters after storm events on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
National Director, Rise Above Plastics Campaign Director and South Coast Branch President
I'm originally from Manly Beach NSW, but moved to the South Coast to raise a family. Formerly a competitive professional ice (figure) skater and Elite coach in Figure Skating, and Gymnastics.
I have my Bachelor of Education in Art/Music and Diploma in Graphic Art / Design.
I have been working for the past 28 years as an International Flight Attendant for Qantas Airways as well as being the Director / Owner of Planet Childcare in Coledale for the past 19 years. (Planet was built for my children, so that they could attend a quality preschool with an education in the environment and social, sustainable responsibility).
I ride a longboard very badly, and prefer small waves. I love snorkelling and swimming (in the ocean) and love holidaying in the Pacific. I have an unfortunate characteristic of picking up rubbish, preferably off beaches. I dislike plastic.
Simon grew up on the far north coast of NSW, a time when grommets trapped on little farms used to catch the train from Lismore down to Byron to get away all day and surf, or likewise the bus to Ballina and Lennox. Simon then had a 10 year hiatus from surfing doing a Bach of Int’l Biz Relations at Griffith Uni in Brizzy, 3 years corporate in Japan and 3 years dive master in Saipan. Upon returning to Sydney to breed 3 offspring and work in the healthcare industry for 12 years, the last 3 years have been spent building own biz, travelling around Oz and grabbing the odd surf here and there. A passionate protector of mother nature and a lover of the ocean and waves, a believer in local grass roots action instead of larger politics, it was obvious that SF was the perfect organisation to join and be a part of.
National Director, Surf Coast Branch President and Surfrider Life Member
I have been an active member of Surfrider Foundation since 1993 at the local, state and national level. During the last twenty odd years I have worked together with a fantastic group of surfers and beach lovers to organise rallies, beach clean ups, revegetation days, band nights, film nights, Indigenous workshops and a wide range of other activities. I have been Surfrider's representative on the Bells Beach Advisory Committee, produced a number of educational kits and videos, written what seems like a hundred submissions and spoken to everyone from students and councillors through to politicians about what matters.
I live in Torquay with my amazing family and a nine year old daughter who has been picking up beach litter since she could start to walk. She loves the beach and hates cigarette butts. Hopefully her generation can lead positive changes into the future
National Director and 1988 World Champion Surfer
Natural ability, a sharp intellect and an irrepressible social conscience combine to make Barton one of the most formidable figures in surfing of the last three decades. Barton emerged from the beach-breaks of Manly with a flexible style and a fiercely competitive drive, which helped him achieve an impressive junior career with victories in the Pro Junior, the Triple J Junior and the Australian Professional Surfing Association (APSA) ratings.
He refined his competitive act into a near flawless, fluid routine of vertical manoeuvres that brought him immediate success on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world tour. He spent 13 consecutive years in the elite top 16 rated surfers, earning a reputation as a tactical competitor as well as a forthright and articulate spokesman for the sport.
His greatest competitive moment could not have been more perfectly scripted, as he surfed the perfect tubes of Hawaii’s famed Pipeline, to take out the 1988 Billabong Pro and the World Title. He retired from competition in March 1998, after 15 years on the ASP tour and a total of 17 WCT victories.
Barton has been involved with Surfrider for over 20 years.
“I believe that as a surfer, I have a moral duty to give back to the ocean and the waves that have given so much to me and my family. Unless each of us take responsibility to protect the places we love, the sad fact is that they might not always be around for us and especially our kids to enjoy. Getting involved with Surfrider Foundation has allowed me to do my bit.” – Barton Lynch
Joe grew up in the United States of America but has quickly adapted to the wonderful Australian way life, which for him has revolved around the gorgeous ocean and beaches of Cronulla, NSW. His great love of mother nature was forged as a youth during the countless hours he spent with his father hunting and fishing the many magnificent lakes, rivers, streams, fields, and forests that their home state of Michigan has to offer. The importance of environmental conservation and protection was instilled upon him during those experiences, and it has stayed with him ever since.
He is a successful lawyer and business owner who is committed to putting his professional skills to work for Australia’s oceans and beaches through his involvement with the Surfrider Foundation Australia board, and as the President of the Cronulla Surfrider Foundation Branch. In his spare time Joe can be found working to improve his very modest surfing skills; and he is active member of the Southside Malibu Club.
Sarah Yani Vann-Sander
Sarah is a passionate marine scientist and ocean & conservation advocate and educator, with a BSc(Hons) and M.Env.Sci. She co-founded the Perth Chapter of Surfrider in 2012 and has been on the National Board since 2013. Sarah has primarily worked in nonprofit management for the last 9+ years, and also runs her own social enterprise, The Sandswell Movement, that runs 'surf for social good' programs and events. Sarah is also a published scientist in the field of marine & coastal management and citizen science. Her personal passions include surfing, diving, sailing, yoga, nutrition and wellness advocacy.
Alyssa is originally from the States, but has been calling Australia home for the last 4 years. Although she grew up in Arizona’s desert, she has a deep passion for the ocean and the coastline, inspired by her time in Australia and worldly travels. Alyssa loves the outdoors and the ocean, often spending her days at the beach, surfing, swimming, snorkelling, spearfishing and anything between. This desert queen is trying her best at surfing!
With degrees in Conservation Biology, Environmental Science and Marine Science, Alyssa has an in-depth understanding of coastal & ocean dynamics and issues. She has volunteered her time to many noble organisations, including WWF, Cancer Council and Surfrider Foundation, which is how she came across the opportunity to work at Surfrider. She loves her role as Operations Manager and is incredibly excited and inspired for the organisation’s growth.
Dan had the kind of idyllic childhood spent a five minute walk down a dirt track away from a beach in a national park where most of the time it was a pleasant surprise to see another person in the lineup. Its very much the experience of a childhood spent in this coastal utopia that has him continually confounded by the current state of our country's coast and drives a passion to ensure there are strong environmental advocacy organisations like Surfrider Foundation Australia. Today he lives with his wife and kids in the hills behind the Southern Gold Coast. While he has been involved in coastal management professionally for some time Dan got involved with Surfrider on the Gold Coast around 2011 when he wanted to reshape how the Gold Coast City council related to its local surfers, forming the Gold Coast Surf Council and advocating for the development of the Gold Coast Surf Management Plan as a way of protecting the surfing environment from the impact of development.