Welcome to 2020 and 20 years of SurfAid. Our humble humanitarian organisation has now left the teenage years and we have been fortunate enough to start our adult life and new decade with full accreditation and exciting expansion opportunities. This 20th year of operation is a significant milestone for such a small NGO, and a milestone that we should all be proud of. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved!

Before I outline our coming year, it would be remiss of me to not mention the nationwide bushfire emergency taking place in the home of SurfAid’s International headquarters. Here in Australia, the bushfire season has been devastating to both the local communities that live along the south coast as well as the local wildlife and environment. SurfAid has a history of working with natural disasters such as the Tsunami’s that have rocked Indonesia’s coastline in previous years, and we know how hard it is for communities to recover from these events. Many of our SurfAid supporters have been directly impacted and the stories emerging from these fires are truly heartbreaking. It has been hard to see something like this hit your homeland and SurfAid would like to extend its support and sympathy to all those affected.

SurfAid 2020 has strong and achievable goals for the coming year. Our dedicated team will be continuing our effective and sustainable work in the Mentawai Islands and Nias, with the inclusion of the a new development program in Sumba and Sumbawa, Nusatani, that focuses on food security, economic development, and continued efforts to address malnutrition and stunting in children. The expansion of SurfAid’s unique community approach into the new areas of work in the Solomon Islands and Mexico is exciting and adds to the impact and reach of SurfAid in these remote communities connected with surfing.

In celebration of our 20th year, SurfAid will be hosting several events to help us continue to develop and build our programs. The 20th year SurfAid Dinner will be held on Saturday 14th of March at the ICMS on Manly Beach from 6-11PM. This celebration dinner will be incorporated of the Sydney Surf Pro event at Manly, and I encourage everyone to come along for a fantastic night in support of SurfAid’s 20 years of impact.

In closing, I would like to personally thank everyone who has played a part in these past 20 years of SurfAid. No matter how large or small this role has been, we are the sum of all our parts, and the SurfAid tribe is a wonderful collection of people committed to making a difference. I invite you all to help us celebrate 20th years of giving back and look forward to seeing you at one of our many coming events in 2020.

Happy surfing,

Doug Lees
CEO, SurfAid