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Riding the Wave: Emma Perrier needs to overcome a funding barrier to compete at the 2024 World Surf League Longboard Tour

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Vice-president of Evans Head Malibu Club Emma Perrier

Riding the Wave: Emma Perrier needs to overcome a funding barrier to compete at the 2024 World Surf League Longboard Tour

 

By Sarah Waters

When Emma Perrier was eight years old, she convinced her dad to enter her into her first surfing competition, the Annual Evans Head Malibu Classic.

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Fifteen years later, she has been selected as one of the top 24 women surfers, from across the world, to compete in the 2024 World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour.

Emma, 23, is still coming to terms with the news after only finding out a few weeks ago that she had made the tour, which starts at Bells Beach, in Victoria, in less than a month on July 13.

“I had just arrived at work and was making myself a coffee, checking my emails as you normally do and I didn’t really believe it, but an email notification (from the WSL) came up saying I had been selected,” she said.

“It was a very surreal moment.”

Emma has been active in the local longboarding community since she was a young surfer.

She grew up in Brisbane but spent her weekends among the waves on her longboard at Evans Head, where her parents had a beach house.

Her surfing style was shaped by the ‘veterans of longboarding’ at Evans Head Malibu Club, who helped her to fine tune her ‘drop knee.’

Over the years she has become a familiar name at local surfing competitions along the coast, but she had never competed at a professional level – until four months ago.

In February, Emma decided to enter the 2024 Gold Coast Open WSL Longboard Qualifying Series event (for the Asia Pacific region) at Burleigh Heads.

She was ranked as the last seed out of nine competitors but managed to finish in second place.

It wasn’t enough to gain her automatic entry into the WSL Longboard Tour, however.

The winner from each of the seven regional WSL qualifying events typically makes the tour.

Emma Perrier being lifted up at the beach

Tweed Heads resident Emma Perrier, 23, has been selected for this year’s World Surf League (WSL) Longboard Tour but needs help funding her travel costs

But the woman who bet Emma in the qualifier (Tully White) had been pre-selected for this year’s tour as she was one of the top 10 competitors from last year’s event.

Emma said it was ‘very exciting’ when she finally found out, via email, that she had made the WSL tour.

But it has only given her six weeks to prepare and scramble together the necessary funds to take part in the competition, which she estimates will cost about $30,000.

The tour will feature four international events, running from July – October.

It will start at Bells Beach, in Australia, followed by an event at the ‘birthplace of longboarding’ Huntington Beach in California.

The location of the third event is still to be announced, but the championship will take place at famed surf spot El Salvador.

Emma said as exciting as it has been to make the tour, it has also been daunting when looking at the travel costs.

“You have to pay your way to every stop on the tour, there is no funding provided by the WSL or Surfing Australia.

“I work full time (as a data analyst) and my work has been super supportive, but it would take me years to save up what I need for the tour, and I don’t have much time.

“I don’t have any sponsors yet – even at the qualifier event I was the only competitor who didn’t have any sponsor stickers on their board.”

Emma has started an online fundraising page in the hope it will allow her to participate in the opportunity of a lifetime.

“It’s all very new to me the self-promotion, but I’ve got to try, and that’s my goal for the next month to try and find some funds.

“This tour gives you the opportunity to surf waves that you might not ever be able to – and particularly by yourself.

“My goal is to win a world title and I’d love to make the Olympics, if they do decide to have longboarding in Los Angeles in 2028, but just been on a world tour is such an amazing learning curve.”

As an added confidence boost before the tour, Emma won the Open Women’s Final at the NSW Longboard State Titles at Port Stephens, two weeks ago.

She is the vice-president of the Evans Head Malibu Club and they have got right behind her to try and support her as much as possible.

In the past, Emma has helped to raise a huge amount of money for breast cancer research.

She started a popular surfing event known as ‘The Breast Comp Ever,’ a women-only longboarding competition in Evans Head.

The competition has helped to raise more than $155,000 since it started in 2021.

To help Emma participate in the 2024 WSL Longboard Tour please google: EMMA PERRIER – WSL LONGBOARD TOUR FUNDRAISER and donate to her fundraising page.

 

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Local News

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

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Harwood Sugar Mill Mural

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

 

A recently completed mural at the entry to the 150-year-old Harwood Sugar Mill is stopping traffic and creating excitement in the little village with the oldest Australian owned sugar mill.

In the lead up to the 150-year celebrations, artist Nitsua, has created an artwork that reflects the blending of the cane growing and milling activities in the Northern Rivers, that exists thanks to the all-Australian partnership between the grower-owned NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative and family-owned Manildra Group.

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The artwork was commissioned by Sunshine Sugar as part of the preparations to celebrate the significant milestone of 150 years continuous manufacturing operation and Australian ownership – all on the same location on the bank of the mighty Clarence River.

As Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors commented: “Not too many businesses in Australia can say they have achieved such a significant milestone, which is why we are making the effort to celebrate and promote the resilient industry we have here in NSW.”

Sunshine Sugar and the NSW sugar industry have a line-up of community events and activities happening at Harwood (near Yamba) in August. The celebrations with culminate in a massive outdoor community event to be held at the Harwood Cricket Oval on Sunday 25th August.

Find out more at: 150th Harwood Mill Landing Page – Sunshine Sugar

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Kyogle News

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

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Golden Wattle

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

 

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre, Golden Wattle, is set to visit towns in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, providing easy access to Centrelink, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs services.

Golden Wattle will visit:

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  • Nimbin: Wednesday, 17 July, opposite the neighbourhood centre, Cullen Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Urbenville: Thursday, 18 July, near Captain Cook Park, Urben Street (9:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Woodenbong: Friday, 19 July, in front of Woodenbong Hall, Unumgar Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Kyogle: Monday, 22 July and Tuesday, 23 July, in the Kyogle visitor centre car park, Summerland Way (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Bonalbo: Wednesday, 24 July, in front of Bonalbo Hall, Koreelah Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Tabulam: Thursday, 25 July, opposite the hotel, Court Street (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

About Mobile Services Centres: Mobile Services Centres are 20-tonne trucks operated by Services Australia staff, providing regional and rural Australians with friendly, face-to-face service and tailored support. On this trip, staff can assist with:

  • Centrelink claims
  • Medicare registrations
  • Accessing online services

Additionally, information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services will be available.

For more information, visit the Services Australia website.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Lismore News

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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