With a lucky break, you can turn the beach into your office

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Sunshine Coast local Dev Lahey (inset) works as part of the Surfing Queensland team that delivers surfing events such as this week’s Wahu and Ripcurl grom searches.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Sunshine Coast local Dev Lahey (inset) works as part of the Surfing Queensland team that delivers surfing events such as this week’s Wahu and Ripcurl grom searches. Che Chapman And Erica Henderson

WITH a passion for the ocean and the beach it was always going to be difficult to work in an office, so Coast lad Dev Lahey decided to make the beach his office.

He works full-time for Surfing Queensland as its events and communications co-ordinator.

Dev is a part of the team that delivers surfing events almost every weekend of the year. This means he has a hand in managing two world tour events - the Quiksilver Pro and the Roxy Pro - as well as the Hurley Pro Junior, Oakley Pro Junior, Billabong Occy Grom Comp, Queensland Championship Circuit, Rip Curl MP Classic and many more.

This week the team has been on the Coast running the Wahu and the Ripcurl grom searches.

A "real local", Dev has fond memories of growing up on the Coast. He loved the beach and found himself in a good place at Noosa's Sunshine Beach State High School.

"I was part of the school's excellence in surfing program," he said.

"The program showed me that there are so many work avenues in the surfing industry.

"After high school I moved to the Gold Coast for study and I did a business marketing degree at Griffith University.

"I was originally working on the work crew for Surfing Queensland and when an opportunity came up I applied for a position and was lucky enough to secure this job.

"All the team have set roles and I oversee them at the event, but I also have to be ready to follow protocols should something not be going to plan.

"You really have to be a jack of all trades in this role. I take photos, write council applications, liaise with parents, negotiate with sponsors and local lifeguards, file press releases, feed the team and even pack and unpack the trailer."

Dev describes himself as lucky to get the opportunity and is keen to support the skills of other Coast locals, actively working to make them part of the team when Surfing Queensland rolls into town with an event.

"We love to use local crew when we rock up to Sunny Coast events - the local knowledge is always helpful and it gives the locals experience and opportunities like the one I've been given," he said.

Dev also brings his experience as an athlete to his role.

"I've got some surf lifesaving background - I raced for BMD Northcliffe after competing for Sunshine Beach Surf Club," he said.

"I've been lucky enough to race Australian and world titles with them - I was fortunate to have experience at that level and I can understand how an athlete feels at an event.

"And the skills I have learnt in surf lifesaving translate well to this position as I need to be able to read the conditions for these kinds of events.

"The Sunshine Coast has a great array of locations and there are places that handle every forecast we get."

Topics:  beach surfing queensland work life balance

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