About Us

Origins

Surfing WA is responsible for managing events across the state from grassroots level events through to international professional events such as the Margaret River Pro (WSL World Championship Tour event), Whalebone Classic (WSL Longboard Tour event) and the WA Pro Surf Series (Mens and Womens WSL QS1000).

Surfing WA has over 20 affiliated boardrider clubs and over 18 licensed surf schools, operating from Karratha in the north of the state to Esperance in the south.

Surfing WA is proud to now manage all disciplines of surfing including; shortboard, longboard, bodyboard and stand up paddleboard. The cohesion of all disciplines is an important goal for Surfing WA’s strategic direction.

Surfing WA encourages all members, boardrider clubs, coaches and judges to visit the play by the rules website here www.playbytherules.net.au. The website provides information, resources, tools and free online training to increase the capacity and capability of administrators, coaches, officials, players and spectators to assist you in preventing and dealing with discrimination, harassment and child safety issues in sport.

Click here to see SWA Strategic Plan summary

Board

Mike Best

Chairman

Mike Best enjoyed a successful career as a civil engineer and retired as CEO of Wood and Grieve Engineers, a large national consulting firm, in June 2012. Since then he has joined the boards of a number of not-for-profit organisations and privately owned companies. Mike has been a keen surfer from a young age until an injury forced his early retirement from the sport. He has since rediscovered the thrill of surfing, this time from the relative safety of a longboard.

Warrick Hazeldine

Independent Director

Warrick Hazeldine is the Managing Director and co-founder of Cannings Purple, one of the leading strategic communications consultancies in Australasia and the winner of the Asia Pacific Corporate/Financial Consultancy of the Year at the 2019 SABRE Awards. Warrick is an expert board-level adviser in media, government, investor, stakeholder and community relations. He also has almost 20 years’ experience with strategic management consulting and high-level crisis/issues counsel. Warrick enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, teaching them to surf, playing basketball and travelling.

Sam Dundas

Independent Director

Sam Dundas is a partner at the national law firm, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers. He has had experience both as a front-end transactional lawyer in London and also as a litigator in Australia dealing with a wide variety of contractual disputes, and he brings that broad ranging experience to the board. Sam has been a surfer for over 30 years and is a passionate advocate for all aspects of surfing life and issues affecting the surfing community.

Matt Woods

Treasurer

Matt Woods is the WA Chairman of Partners at KPMG and the Joint National Leader of Restructuring Services at KPMG Australia. He has over 26 years of experience in the areas of financial restructuring, operational restructuring and insolvency services. He has successfully restructured a number of high-profile companies in Australia, specialising in mining, oil and gas, engineering, property and retail. Outside work Matt is busy raising three children and enjoys his footy, cricket, fishing and surfing.

Chris Twomey

SUP Representative

This is Chris’s third year on the SWA Board and his experience both in surfing and across the public sector has proved invaluable. Chris currently holds the open and O50’s State SUP surf titles and recently won the 050’s King of the Cut downwind marathon. Chris is equally at home on a shortboard, growing up on the coast at North Beach, and like many surfers calls Yallingup his home away from home. He is the Policy and Research Leader for the WA Council of Social Service and a Senior Industry Fellow with Bankwest Curtin Economic Centre. Chris also chairs the Green Institute, a national think-tank on environmental and social issues, and sits on various research projects and State government advisory committees on issues from data sharing, to social services and early child development. Chris is married to Senator Rachel Siewert and recently became a grandfather.

Samantha Vanderford

Club Representative

Samantha Vanderford champions amateur surfing, particularly in relation to women and clubs. She currently holds the WA State Titles for both Longboard and Shortboard Over 50s. Further, she’s a founding member of Wavewalkers Longboard Club and a current member of both Geraldton and Lancelin Boardriders. She’s also a Level 2 Surf Coach and a Level 3 International Judge.
She re-joins the SWA Board as the Clubs Director after having travelled around Australia for five years surfing with friends she had made through National Title events. When not in the water, she is an educator in the field of English as an Additional Language.

Georgia Young

Long board Representative

Georgia is an avid surfer and has been part of the longboard community for more than 20 years. She has competed in State Titles, and at the Australian Titles in both longboarding and shortboarding. Georgia is a two time Australian Longboard Champion, multiple State Champion and has represented Australia in the ISA World Games. She has been competing on the professional WSL longboard tour for over 10 years, achieving a ranking of fifth in the world. Georgia has a Bachelor of Geography and Commerce, with a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, working as an urban planner for the State Government.

Michelle Prior

Shortboard Representative

Michelle Prior is the Director of Active Transport at the Department of Transport and leads teams to make it easy for people to ride bikes or walk around in WA. She is a physical activity advocate, with extensive experience in public health, transport planning, behaviour change and advocacy. Michelle is sought for her strategic input and is currently a Road Safety Councillor and a former board member of Australian Women Sport and Recreation. Michelle enjoys being outdoors – whether it’s ocean swimming or riding bikes – and loves teaching her young daughter to do the same.

Sarah Parkinson

Bodyboard Representative

Sarah Parkinson’s interest in surfing developed while working at SRM, a sport and entertainment agency based in London. In this role, Sarah provided high-level strategic advice to corporate executives and their teams, ranging from top-tier sporting clubs and leagues (including the World Surf League), iconic entertainment rights holders and consumer brands. After returning to Western Australia, Sarah joined the Minderoo Foundation where she works across the Foundation’s hilanthropic initiatives and commercial projects.Working closely with the Chairman and executive team, Sarah drives strategy, company-wide alignment and helps to magnify the social and environmental impact of the Foundation’s key projects.

Staff

Mark Lane

CEO

Perth-born Mark (Laney) Lane has been surfing since he was a little boy. In between playing footy and breaking swim records, Mark’s escape was the surf. “It’s the only thing I have ever done that I have loved 40 years on, as much as when I started,” says Laney. “It’s about the adventure; surfing isn’t just about catching the wave. It’s about getting there, predicting where you should surf, the guys and girls you’re with. It’s about getting the right surf on the right day and the travel. Riding the wave is just a small part of it.” 

Sharon Lane

Finance Manager

Sharon started at Surfing WA in 1993. Sharon has always had a love of the ocean, spending her childhood years at the beach with her family and friends. Prior to working at Surfing WA, Sharon was an Assistant Manager at Esanda Finance,  where she gained years of experience in the administration and financial Areas.  Sharon shares her passion for the ocean with her three children,  and enjoys having her daughter Shani, as part of the coaching crew at the Surfing WA Surf School.  Sharon handles all the finance for both Surfing WA and the Surf School.

 

Tim Thirsk

Business Development Manager

Surfing WA relies on Tim for his many years of event management experience across all platforms including sports administration, risk management, event logistics, media and marketing. When Tim is not travelling down south or overseas to meet with Surfing WA’s many partners, you can find him in the office or in the water for a board-meeting. 

Justin Majeks

Events & Marketing Manager

Justin came to Surfing WA with a Bachelor of Sports Management and a Biomedical Science degree, and has been WA’s Events Manager at for over 13 years. With a strong connection to the sport through his year’s growing up in Margaret River. Justin has created a calendar of more than 27 grassroots, state, national, international and speciality events for shortboards, longboards, bodyboards and stand-up paddle boards.

Raeley Jones

Office Administrator

Raeley comes with 17 years experience in media and public relations and is the latest addition to the Surfing WA team. Her love for surfing started during a Learn to Surf program when she attended Churchlands Senior High School. Raeley has continued surfing ever since, and now shares that passion and love of the ocean with her two young daughters. In the office, Raeley manages the day-to-day part of our operations.

Matt Wilson

Operations & Surf School Manager

After coaching beginner, intermediate and high-performance surfers for numerous years here at Surfing WA. Matt now oversees the operation of the surf school, accreditations and coaches. Matt is a qualified high school teacher and has a real passion for both education and everything surfing. 

Sara Pickering

Executive Assistant

Sara had her first introduction to Surfing WA (or WASRA) in the early 1990’s when she was a Sport Consultant with the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR). With over a decade of experience with DSR in the areas of Sport Consultancy, Participation and Policy as well as some time with the Department of the Premier and Cabinet working in the area of Native Title, Sara comes with a range of skills and experience. In addition, she has personal experience in owning and operating fitness facilities, plus a background in elite sport representation in the sport of Hockey, and of course a love of anything to do with the ocean. 

Katja Verreydt

Community and Membership Manager

Kat joined Surfing WA in 2015. With little to no surfing experience when she started, she understands the frustrations of first-time surfers and is always happy to help anyone discover the joy of surfing. Her passion for the sport has grown over the years and she truly believes surfing can change your life. Kat currently coordinates the female participation program and looks after the members and boardrider clubs in WA.