Acclaimed chef Russell Blaikie (Chef/Partner: Must Winebar, Perth) has been named SurfAid's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year. Taking the baton from last year’s joint recipients: Kelly Slater and Shane Dorian, this prestigious award recognises outstanding individuals who are committed to supporting humanitarian action and making a tangible difference in remote communities connected to us through surfing.
The prestigious award recognises outstanding individuals who are committed to supporting humanitarian action and making a tangible difference in remote communities connected to us through surfing.
This year’s SurfAid Humanitarian of the Year, Russell Blaikie, created the hugely successful ‘Surfing Chefs for SurfAid’ fundraising event format in 2011, uniting pro surfers, top chefs and food lovers to support SurfAid’s work. He has since helped drive the event on Australia’s West and East coasts, with events in Margaret River, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney raising over $350,000 for SurfAid.
Upon receiving the award, Russell said:
“I’m stoked to be recognised with this award, and while this recognition is for me personally, it really puts a spotlight on a bunch of amazing people, chefs that surf and who care. They joined the Surfing Chefs bandwagon to enable life changing support for thousands of people across the Indonesian Archipelago.
And this wouldn’t have happened without the generosity provided by the pro-circuit surfers who have joined us in the kitchen to cook for our fundraisers – massive props to Martin Potter, Tom Carroll, Mark Occhilupo, Taj Burrow, Rod Kerr and more… these humans are more than Surf Champions, they’ve stepped right out of their comfort zone and into our kitchens, cheers for the great cooking and good times!
Along the way we’ve asked for support from the finest food, wine and beer producers in the nation who, alongside generous auction sponsors, understand the life-giving value of support for SurfAid. There is such a strong culture of care in the Australian and International surf communities and Surfing Chefs has harnessed so much of it. Surfers know how to party, and while we’ve partied we’ve raised awareness and cash for the important programmes of SurfAid."
Since 2000, SurfAid has been working with some of the world’s most remote communities, helping bring clean water & sanitation, access to basic healthcare, and improved nutrition, making a lasting difference to thousands of people’s lives.
SurfAid CEO Andrew Judge says:
“SurfAid was founded by surfers, and we’re sustained by surfers seeking to help others and give back to the places they love.
Russell really embodies this and we’re grateful to have his continued passion for what we do, through Surfing Chefs and beyond. Surfers are often called a tribe; Russell brings a huge heart to the SurfAid tribe. He brings the same drive he has in the kitchen to everything that he does with and for SurfAid.”
With Russell’s help, SurfAid saves and improves the lives of women and children living in remote villages in Indonesia close to some of the world’s most iconic surf breaks.
Previous Humanitarian of the Year Award recipients include schoolteacher and long-term SurfAid supporter Jackson English, stalwart SurfAid patron Kim Sundell, legendary big wave surfer Shane Dorian and 11x World Champion Kelly Slater.