Chairman and Founder
A third generation surfer, Brad has explored coastlines of the world developing a global reputation as a determined advocate for oceans, waves and beaches and the salty communities who share them. His activism spans 25 years and as many countries. A former Greenpeace oceans and anti-nuclear campaigner, he was imprisoned by the KGB in the Soviet Arctic in 1990. He researched 1200 beaches for the first Surfing Guide to Australia in 1985, co-authored by Nat Young. His latest book, also on Australian beaches will be released in 2012. He has also produced a number of hard hitting reports on coastal issues which have resulted in new thinking around beaches and communities.
Brad has created two major national initiatives in Australia - Surfrider Foundation and National Ocean Care Day. He pioneered the model of a national Surfing Reserve in 1993 as the founding National President of Surfrider Australia, which then comprised more than 40 active chapters across Australia, becoming the nation’s peak coastal protection body. He later went on to become a coastal and environment adviser in the Australian Senate and was instrumental in forming Coastcare, sitting on the Federal Marine & Coastal Community Network’s first National Reference Group. Continuing his passion for community engagement, he formalised NSR Australia with Professor Andrew Short in 2004 to recognise and preserve iconic surfing sites.
More recently Brad was instrumental in seeding World Surfing Reserves (WSR) in California, modelled on NSR. On the WSR Executive Committee as co-founder, he drives WSR and global NSR development. He is also a seasoned contributor to tRACKS and other surfing journals. He has been honoured with the 'Power of One' Award by Surfrider International and is currently working on the concept of a World Council of Surfing Elders.
WAYNE 'RABBIT' BARTHOLOMEW - AM
Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew was invited to become Patron of NSR in 2009 after the resignation of founding NSR Patron, federal Environment Minister, Hon. Peter Garrett AM MP.
Rabbit was born and bred on the Gold Coast. In 1978, Rabbit fulfilled his prophecy, becoming World Champion, twice runner-up in 1977 & 1983, and spent 8 consecutive years ranked in the World's Top 5. He also added the 1999 & 2003 ASP World Masters Titles to his record.
Rabbit has also been heavily involved in coastal environmental causes, being a foundation member of Surfrider Foundation Australia, Groups Against Sewerage Pollution (GASP), the Kirra Environmental Protection Trust (KEPT), Ocean Care Day and the Kirra Point Committee. He was appointed US Ambassador for the Ocean in the International Year of the Ocean.
In 1999 Rabbit was appointed CEO and President of Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) International.
Rabbit recently retired from ASP after 10 years as President and a 36 year involvement
in pro surfing. His contribution as a champion, administrator, mentor and coach, as well
as contributions to environmental causes, earned him an AM, an Order of Australia, on
January 26, 2009.
PROF. ANDREW SHORT - OAM
Deputy Chairman and co-Founder
Andrew Short is a surfer and marine scientist specializing in coastal processes and beach dynamics. He has degrees from the University of Sydney, University of Hawaii and Louisiana State University and has worked on the coasts of North and South America, including north Alaska and Hawaii, Europe, New Zealand and the entire Australian coast. He is presently Honorary Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney; Adjunct Professor in the Griffith (University) Centre for Coastal Management; Senior Coastal Scientist (part-time) with CoastalCOMS.com ; Scientific Adviser to Surf Life Saving Australia; Deputy Chair of National Surfing Reserves (Australia); and on the Executive Committee of World Surfing Reserves. He also runs his own consultancy called Coastal Studies and serves on the NSW Coastal Panel and the Eurobodalla Coastal Management Advisory Committee. He has written 12 books and over 200 scientific publications.
He lives on 17 acres at Moruya Heads and more importantly enjoys the long rides at the Moruya River mouth and other usually empty breaks around the area. His extensive contribution to both coastal science and beach safety was recognised on Australia Day 2010 with an Order of Australia Medal.
Short has investigated all 10,685 mainland beaches (inc Tasmania) plus another 1500 on 30 major islands. This information is available on line (www.beachsafe.org.au) and as an iPhone app, and has been written up in eight books, one for each state and territory, with his most recent book titled "The Coast of Australia".
MR NORMAN FARMER - ESM MRMIA
National Reference Group Member
Norm has had significant involvement with water safety and lifesaving over many years; including at club, State, National and International levels and with safety at swimming pools, beaches and inland waterways. Norm has been active in a broad range of innovative and best practice aquatic (pool and coastal) safety guidelines, lifesaving training and program initiatives, and aquatic facility design, management and operation across Australia. Norm is currently the General Manager Strategic Development at Surf Life Saving Australia and member of the Lifesaving Commission of International Life Saving Federation. Victorian based, Norm is a valued member of the National Reference Group, and incidentally is not related to NSR Chairman Brad Farmer.
CHRIS TOLA - JP
National Reference Group Member
Mr. Chris Tola was born in Terrigal in New South Wales, and now resides in Newcastle with his Wife Kristen and three magical Daughters, Isobelle, Sophia and Luisa. Chris has travelled extensively and has been surfing for most of his life. His passion for surfing and the coastal environment has always kept him involved in everything from University Surfing, Coastcare, to being a Life Member, former Chair and current Hunter Branch President for Surfrider Foundation Australia.
Recently leaving the role of Business Development Manager for Coastalwatch, and Coastalwatch¹s CoastalCOMs initiative, Chris is currently spending more time with the Family after commuting from Newcastle to Sydney for many years. Chris is President of the Australian University Alumni Council, Founding Member of the Australian Coastal Society, National Judge and supporter for Keep Australia Beautiful¹s Australian Clean Beach Awards, along with being an Assessment Panelist for the Australian Government Community Coastcare initiative and former Archivist for the Department of Environment and Climate Change, and Community Representative for the Nuclear Safety Committee of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. Chris has a long and valued association with NSR in Australia.
National Reference Group Member
Mr David McPherson was born and bred at Angourie on the North Coast of
New South Wales. Dave grew up surfing the waves of Angourie and still lives and surfs there. He has travelled and surfed around Australia and overseas. After 16 years of coastal management, vegetation and water management with State Government, Dave spends his time co-ordinating the planning, assessment and management of almost 4000 North Coast Crown reserves with Crown Lands Division of the NSW Land and Property Management Authority. David has been instrumental in grass roots NSR development in NSW and provides invaluable support and advice to NSR.
Ex officio NRG Member
Graham took his first ride on a malibu at just 12 years old in the early 60s and has loved surfing ever since. He is currently General Manager Crown Lands with the Land and Property Management Authority NSW and has been a strong supporter of the National Surfing Reserve initiative, driving legislative change to dedicate reserves under the Crown Lands Act.
Graham also chairs the Interstate Committee for the Tweed River Estuary Sand By-Pass, is General Manager of the Festival Development Corporation, and a Board Member of the Hunter Development Corporation. Newcastle-based, Graham has been involved with NSR since in 2006 and has been invaluable in facilitating both community and government relations, attending all NSR dedications in NSW and WA.
DR JESS PONTING
National Reference Group Member
Dr Jess Ponting was raised on the (then) secluded beach breaks of mid north coast New South Wales. He studied science at Sydney University, resource and environmental management at the Australian National University and received the world’s first PhD to investigate sustainable surf tourism research management from the University of Technology Sydney. He has lived, worked, and consulted in natural resource research and management in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Fiji (where he wrote the Fiji Surf Tourism Development Plan) Mexico, Jamaica, and the United States, where he currently resides with his beautiful wife Dr Sandra Ponting. Jess is Professor in sustainable tourism and Director of the world's first Center for Surf Research at San Diego State University.
Jess was a part of National Surf Reserves founding Reference Group in 2005 and in addition sits on the boards of Walu International and the Surf Resource Network, California based non-profit organizations working with surf destination communities to protect their environments, health, and socio-economic development through tourism.