Hi Team Tama
I hope everyone is having a good week and staying dry (when out of the ocean).
Can you believe this is the last profile of our Tama Women series?! It’s been quite a journey I think and it is fair to say that we have highlighted the tremendous talent we have across all our women at Tama, and I know some were a little shy but we know you are all awesome too.
Well, we are finishing on an even higher note! It is only fitting that our Woman of the Year for last year, takes the honours to finish our series.
It is a great pleasure to introduce Lisa Bodrero, or Lisa Frenchie to many of us. I was lucky enough to be part of the same Bronzie cohort in 2020, and now she is one of my closest friends. That's the magic of Tama again.
Lisa is one of our key Comms team members, she is our club Registrar, she is a key helper for our ‘She’s a Lifesaver’ campaign, she ensures that these profiles are out every week! She was integral to our Celebration of Women in SLS weekend, she was also one of the main event organisers for our incredible Awards Night last year, she is IRB Crew and Driver in training and she will soon be one of our club trainers. I know she is highly regarded and appreciated by our Management Committee for all her hard work, energy, and time she devotes to our club.
Aside from all of that, she is also incredibly tough, as many of you know, she is recovering from an IRB knock, but is already itching to get back in the ocean. She is also one of the most organised, structured people I know, whenever I need assistance trying to solve a problem that requires logical thinking, there is only one person to call (she usually finds it quite amusing as well!). She is a social bunny, passionate Gropers member, extremely generous with her time and a damn good friend.
So over to our Tama Woman of the Year 2021…to you, Lisa
Zoe - VP
Tell us a bit about yourself? On paper I’m French. I grew up in Paris and spent my pre-teens in Malaysia where my dad was working. Fair to say the beach and travel was a big part of my upbringing. And I took every opportunity I had! Did my undergrad exchange year in Barcelona and moved to Sydney for my master's degree. It’s been home since then despite a couple of years' hiatus in London ☔️
Lisa with Sandra, receiving the Tama Woman of the Year Award 2020/21
In three words? Curious, adventurous, organised
How did you get into Surf Life Saving? How did you join Tama? I’d just moved back to Sydney and settled in Bondi to live the beach life I'd really missed during my years in London. Tama was the closest (and quietest) beach near me and I’d go down on the weekends for some “me” time and kept running into my colleague Arnaud. Both of us being French we’d been introduced at work. At the time he was on crutches, recovering from an IRB accident, and we started talking about Surf. He mentioned the women 2 for 1 offer and the fact that Harriet (Gillies) was also considering joining. I’d never lived by the beach and thought it would be a great way to meet new people. Harriet and I met at the pool after our timed swim. I’ve always loved the water and swimming but I’m not a competitive swimmer, I much preferred scuba diving and playing in the waves when given the chance (which is not as often when you live in Paris) but I still managed to do my 400m timed swim somewhere between 8 & 9 minutes, pfew! 8 weeks of twice-weekly training and early Saturday start for this Frenchie, Covid delaying our assessment by 3.5 months saw us graduating on a drizzly, windy and chilly 4th July 2020. The rest is history.
Infamous Corona Bronzies, doing their best Boy Band pose
Graduation Day finally after the longest Bronzie course in the history of SLSA :)
What are the best things about being part of the Surf Life Saving community? The community is incredible, Tama’s the best of course but the other clubbies I’ve met in various training, swims, and squads are all great people.
And let’s not forget we save lives! It’s given me a different perspective on many situations. I swear my colleagues are sick of me saying “no lives lost” when something goes wrong 😂
How would you describe our community at Tama? A colourful beach loving family! As a Corona Bronzie we’ve had a less traditional Bronzie experience and have created an amazing bond. There’s always something going on, someone to go for a swim or a board session (to my PC’s despair, Chris, I’ll always choose a swim over a paddle :)
The winter swim weekend away when the Tama Gropers name became official
What has been your biggest achievement from being part of life saving? Whilst very early in my SLS journey, I’ve surprised myself more than once already.
Finishing our bronze and not being aware of the club life and therefore missing the 2020 AGM, triggered some of us to start a comms team with a weekly newsletter during the season, campaigns to profile our Patrol Captains last season and our amazing Women this season, an incredible weekend of celebrations of Women in Surf and more to come. I was asked to chair the awards selection last season and absolutely loved the privilege of reading all the amazing achievements of our club members. I’m very proud of the work the Comms team does as well as the incredible Tama members.
From an aquatic point of view, I never thought I’d swim long distances in the ocean. But the Corona Bronzies and subsequently the Gropers just made it happen. Yes a few of us were crazy enough to swim 50k in the ocean over the month of July 2021, who’s keen to do it again 😜 ?
Flying the flag for all women at our all-women patrol in March
Tell us what you do when not at the beach at Tama looking after people? I work as a Product Manager for an Aussie Data Analytics Tech company. Meaning I spend a lot of time figuring out what the users of our products (analytics websites) want whether it’s new data, functionalities, etc and how we can deliver it from a user experience, technical and business perspective.
I mostly work from home, giving me plenty of time to go for a swim and coffee (I don’t like coffee, only the social side of it) or just a walk by the beach before I start work.
IRB Crew and soon to be Driver
Favourite place to go for food in Sydney? As a vegetarian, I’m always down for delicious Middle Eastern, Italian, or Indian food. Abdul’s by central station is always a crowd (and wallet) pleaser.
Ideal holiday destination right now? All the holidays' Covid canceled! Skiing in the French alps with my parents is always a great one. I’m also itching for a tropical scuba diving trip, Fiji, Sri Lanka, or Indonesia are in my mind.
Lisa and IRB Captain, Brandon
What would be your advice to any woman thinking to give surf life saving a go? If you’re curious about it, do it! With a little bit of organisation it all fits. Once you’ve got your Bronze the only “requirement” is that you patrol 4.5hrs with a great bunch every 3 weeks between September and April. That’s a forced beach day that you’ll look forward to, even on a rainy day as you’ll be sheltered in our new shiny Clubhouse!
What have you learned from your time at Tama? What has been something that surprised you? The ocean is a great connector!
Connecting us despite our widely different backgrounds, stories, journeys and abilities.
Connecting us with nature, reminding us that she is the queen and all we can do is surrender to her moods and enjoy her beauty.
Lisa at home in the ocean :)
Lisa, those words you refer to what you have learned from SLS and how the Ocean connects us all are beautiful. Thank you for everything you do for our club, all the work, energy, effort, and enthusiasm you give to Tama and our members and thank you for being you!
You nailed it “ let’s not forget we save lives! It’s given me a different perspective on many situations. I swear my colleagues are sick of me saying “no lives lost” when something goes wrong”
A massive thank you to all the women who took part in our ‘She’s a Lifesaver’ profile series, to Lizzie, Audrey, Michelle, Lauren, Jemima, Sue, Marin, Sandra, Harriet, Jo, Ellie, Nat, Gretchen, Sarah, Charlotte, Veronica, Zoe, Kate, Alice, Marilee, Imogen, Meg, Margie, Steph, Nikki and Lisa. Thank you to our members, friends, and community for embracing this series, it has been a pleasure and simply inspiring, what a wonderful club we are.
To women everywhere, ‘Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Bright, Be Big, Be Beautiful’ like the legendary women of Tama.
Stay well, stay healthy and see you for some wonderful winter swims.