The Monash University Leader of the Month for July is Bianca Stranger from Mordialloc-Braeside Junior Football Club, for her courage, bravery and selflessness in the face of a potentially fatal situation.
Bianca is a trained surf life saver, and when her father picked up a distress call at Parkdale Beach of a kite surfer who needed urgent rescue, he contacted Bianca to see if she could help.
“It was a Saturday when Dad called and said a kiteboarder was in urgent need of assistance,” said Ms Stranger.
“So I ran down to the beach and talked to the police at the scene about my training with the surf life saving club and I could help if they wanted me to, which they said yes.”
Bianca has been involved with the Mordialloc Surf Life Saving Club her whole life, competing since the age of five.
“The Police on site told me the water police were about 40 minutes away, so I quickly ran home, got my gear and paddle out to him to make sure he was alright and keep him afloat.”
To make things even more of tricky for the young Mordialloc-Braeside defender, conditions were less than ideal with high winds creating plenty of bay waves.
“It was pretty rough, he was trying out a new board and probably wasn’t experienced enough to be in those conditions, especially when the wind swung around.”
For a 15 year old to show this kind of leadership and initiative in the face of serious danger is a remarkable effort, however when asked about her efforts Bianca’s humility shines through.
‘’I’ve said this before, anyone my age involved in Surf Life Saving in Victoria would have been able to do what I did.”
“Its really a credit to Surf Life Saving Victoria for the level of training they provide, and I am certain people even younger than me who have the same training as me could assist in something even more dangerous.”
Bianca’s heroic efforts have had an effect on the members of the Mordialloc-Braeside Junior Football Club, not only being extremely proud of Bianca but also being an example of leadership and compassion for both players and parents.
Bianca is a terrific leader not only within her team, but within the Mordialloc-Braeside Junior Football Club and her actions on the Saturday afternoon at Parkdale Beach demonstrates this in spades, hence why Bianca is the Monash Leader of the Month for July.
Written by Zac Jennings.