- Change Agent
For over 30 years, Ms Lisa Happ has been actively involved in Australian Surf Life Saving across three Australian States. As a leader who promotes and lobbies for access for women in male-dominated sports, Lisa has broken down many barriers for women.
When Lisa started in surf life saving her club had only two women members, no toilet or shower facilities for women, and no women represented in leadership roles. Today, thanks to many of Lisa's activities, clubs have an equal ratio of male to female membership and all have facilities for women.
Lisa has been directly responsible for the inclusion of women's events and increasing the participation of women in Victorian and Australian Surf Life Saving competitions. Clubs are now encouraging and training female competitors and women are taking on other roles to support Surf Life Saving once they are no longer competing.
Lisa has made a particular contribution in the area of inflatable rescue boat racing for women, used to train lifesavers in surf rescues. Lisa strongly lobbied for four years in the face of a male dominated environment to successfully instigate the introduction of female inflatable rescue boat racing at the Australian and the World Surf Life Saving Championships. Women now have the same number of these events as men in competitions.
Lisa is an active mentor and coach to women's racing teams across Victoria and to female surf lifesavers in general. In 2010, she became a life saving officials mentor and co-ordinator of the formal program of mentors.