Generations of Australian women’s surfing royalty gathered on Saturday 28 October to celebrate the iconic women of the sport at a glamorous black-tie gala event, hosted by the Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation.
The annual Celebration of Australian Women in Surf attracted over 220 guests who joined in celebrating the incredible lives of Pam Burridge and Layne Beachley. Both women were honoured for their sacrifices and achievements in shaping the careers of our country’s top competitors.
“It’s quite a remarkable opportunity to have lived the life we’ve lived as professional surfers,” said Layne Beachley.
“To be back in this room with so many influential friends, families, mentors, champions and legends of the sporting world is incredible. To look back on the career that I’ve lived and go, wow… the opportunities surfing has presented me are incredible to consider.”
“I’m just grateful I’ve been able to stand on the shoulders of giants, like Pam (Burridge), like Pauline (Menczer) and other people who’ve shaped the career I’ve lived.”
Other greats in the room included Australia’s first wold champion in 1964, Phyllis O’Donnell, 10 times Bells Beach Champion, Gail Couper, 1993 World Champion Pauline Menczer, former #2 pro surfer, Jodie Cooper, Rookie of the Year, Keely Andrew and future star, Sabre Norris.
In accepting recognition, Pam Burridge said, “I’m really proud to be here. This is such a special event. Last year, I remember going home saying to myself, ‘I can’t wait for next year’.”
“Congratulations to Sally and the foundation team. To back it up again this year – I mean, one is easy, backing it up is hard,” the 1990 World Champion joked.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this”, said Sally Fitzgibbons. “To be a beneficiary of the legacy, the energy, the heart and soul you’ve put into your performances. It’s a great night to share our stories. Bringing us all together is a privilege for me, it’s completely humbling. Thank you for celebrating.”