Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Surfing Australia elite program manager Bede Durbidge set to leave impressive legacy

Surfing Australia elite program manager Bede Durbidge set to leave impressive legacy
September 10, 2021

Following four productive years at Surfing Australia in the role of Elite Program Manager and head coach of The Irukandjis Australian Surfing Team, Bede Durbidge has announced he will be leaving his role as he shifts focus from December this year to spend more time at home with his family.

Durbidge, alongside National High Performance Director Kate Wilcomes, took The Irukandjis to their inaugural Olympics in July this year, looks forward to spending more time with family and has loved every minute of his tenure at Surfing Australia.  

Now heading into the Paris Olympic cycle, the amount of travel required, multiple hotel quarantines now required, heavily contributed to the tough decision to not stay on for another Olympic campaign.

Durbidge advised “I really want to thank all the athletes, coaches, support staff, parents and all other stakeholders for being so open and welcoming me to this role just under four years ago and I hope I added some value to your campaigns. The main reason for moving on was based on my values of wanting to spend more time with the family and not travelling. This role involves a hefty amount of travel to maximise performance goals and It’s just not for me anymore.

“It’s been a very tough decision, but the time has come for me to finish up my duties at Surfing Australia in December. It’s been such a privilege to work for such a great organisation and sport that has given me and my family everything. I can’t thank enough all the staff at Surfing Australia past and current that have helped shape the human I am today.”

“I will always be invested in the program and care deeply about the future off Australian surfers.  I wish the High-Performance Program all the best for this next cycle into Paris and the WSL seasons and can’t wait to be watching from the sidelines cheering The Irukandjis on.”

The former Pipe Master, Triple Crown Champion and long-time World Surf League (WSL) competitor accepted the role of Surfing Australia Elite Program Manager back in August 2017 and oversaw multiple campaigns as The Irukandjis head coach including two World Surfing Games and most recently the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Surfing Australia Chief Executive, Chris Mater adds “Bede did an incredible job at Surfing Australia and every day had surfers’ interests as his number one priority. He is without doubt one of the best coaches in the world and his love, passion and knowledge of surfing is unmatched.

“Working through COVID 19 has not been easy and I’m very thankful for the sacrifices he has made to take our team to our first Olympics. He will be deeply missed by the team not only for his skills, but he is such a great person and I thoroughly loved working with him every minute.

National High Performance Director Kate Wilcomes shared “we are extremely grateful for Bede’s involvement in the High-Performance Program, He bought an enormous amount of experience and expertise to the surfers and coaches in the network. A great accomplishment for himself and Surfing in taking The Irukandjis to their first Olympic Games! We will miss him in the Paris cycle but look forward to continuing working together over the next few months.”

Durbidge’s Biggest Moments:

1. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Campaign and Owen Wright’s Bronze Medal

2. The 2021 ISA World Surfing Games and Sally Fitzgibbon’s Gold Medal

3. Leading the High Performance Program’s Coaching Strategy which supported 10 coaches across the network throughout 2020/21

4. Being a part of conceiving The Irukandjis Australian Surfing Team

5. Sharing the stoke every day!

Image: Surfing Australia Elite Program Manager Bede Durbidge in his happy place.  Credit: Blainey Woodham/ Surfing Australia

Related Articles

31st August 2021 - COVID-19 outbreaks cause cancellation of 2021 Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles

17th August 2021 - Inaugural memorial surfing event raises awareness of mental health issues

15th May 2021 - Western Australia hosts its second world surfing championship in 2021

29th April 2021 - Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles return to Bells Beach in 2021

14th April 2021 - Surfing champion Mick Fanning launches FS8 fitness training studio network

17th February 2021 - Surfing Victoria to host Bolt Blowers Invitational in support of mental health awareness

22nd December 2020 - Margaret River secures professional surfing event until 2024

27th November 2020 - Surfing Victoria relaunches Surfers Rescue 24/7 Public Courses under COVIDSafe Plan

11th November 2020 - Surfing Victoria formalises partnership with Victorian based Indigenous Youth Organisation

3rd November 2020 - Surfing Victoria announces event rescheduling in line with Victorian Government easing of restrictions

12th May 2020 - Surfing Victoria engages with its community online

11th February 2020 - Queensland Government announces new partnership to boost surfing

30th January 2020 - Surfing Australia set to launch new female participation program

24th November 2019 - Surfing Australia and Acciona launch partnership

24th August 2018 - Surfing Australia announces new Chief Executive appointment

18th August 2017 - AIS performance manager to lead surfing’s charge to Tokyo Olympics

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more




The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology



revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology


TPEC Pool Enclosures

TPEC Pool Enclosures provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing residential, local government…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business