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Hayden (left) cooking his colleagues breakfast
We all know good things come out of the Northern Beaches including local Hayden Quinn. The once Council Lifeguard and MasterChef finalist has returned from cooking up a storm around the world to his other love – Lifeguarding.
We asked him a few questions about his journey so far…..
Do you live on the beaches?
Of course! Who would want to leave this place!
How long were you a lifeguard and what beach did you work at?
I started as a Council Lifeguarding way back in 2004 straight out of high school. I did my first season on the beach at Narrabeen and then went to the USA to work lifeguarding there. I was still working casually up until around 2014.
Did you miss it?
I sure did! I love it. It's something that you don't ever want to let go of and that’s why I am back.
What did you enjoy most about it?
I think the best thing about working as a professional lifeguard is the team environment you work in. The entire crew of guys and girls are all the best at what they do and working on the beach together was a dream. It enables you to live a healthy lifestyle, a chance to travel during the off season and potential for longer term positions within the Council.
What was the most valuable thing about the role?
The most valuable thing would have to be the feeling you get when you do help someone in need. We get a lot of people coming to our beaches that aren't the most knowledgeable around the water so it is always a busy job.
Can you provide us some useful beach safety messages given we are in the height of the summer season?
Always swim between the flags, read the signs, swim within your abilities and ask the Lifeguard if you have any questions or are unsure.
What’s happened since you left lifeguarding and returned?
Many things have happened haha. It seems like a lifetime ago since my last full day on the beach in 2014.
In 2011, I applied to go on MasterChef and was successful. I took 6 months leave without pay from the Council to pursue it, not thinking that I would ever get too far!
I ended up doing pretty good and making it to the final week, and from there I have done a whole heap around the food and media space.
I write each month for delicious magazine. I have had numerous TV shows here in Oz and overseas (Hayden Quinn South Africa, Surfing the Menu Next Generation, Family Food Fight to name a few). I have also written two cook books, and outside of the food world I have a particular interest in business with partnerships in businesses such as Kooks Wine, The Cube Gym (based right here on the Northern Beaches), and have recently written, created and recorded my own podcast called The Roving Mic. So lots going on and always busy!
You did some filming (pictured above) with the lifeguards, what was that for?
We were filming a little piece for Jeep who I work with.
Do you have any advice for people about following their dreams/career choice?
Don't let anyone hold you back. Set your mind to something, work hard, be nice and don't expect anything to be handed to you - you have to go out and get it.
What does life have in store for you?
Haha, no idea! Do you know what life has in store for you haha? I wish I knew the answer to that question.
What’s next professionally and personally?
Continuing on in the world of food and media, lots of great projects we are working on so keep an eye out for those.
And I’m so glad to be working back home for Council again…..back to my grass roots. You’ll see me up and down the coast lifeguarding….home sweet home!