Sydney Branch


Welcome to the Sydney Branch page. The branch where it all began…which holds the largest Hands on Days! From the very humble beginnings when Gary and a few mates got together to take a few disabled people out to now catering for a hundred plus participants and a couple of hundred volunteers – the Hands on Days are huge…exciting and are not to be missed!

Our Hands on Days start before the sun rises and goes long into the afternoon. We are well supported by the majority of other DSA branches, members,  local Council, Collaroy Surf Life Saving Club, local community, our hard working volunteers AND our Sponsors and Supporters.

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Branch Contact Details

President: Shane Henn
Mobile: 0419 266 385
Email:    .
Secretary: George Mastrovasili
Mobile: 0401 586 646
Treasurer: Ange Kirkbride
Mobile: 0466 904 817
Email:        .
Address: PO Box 134 Avalon NSW 2107

Event Calendar


Sydney Committee has discussed the upcoming events this season at length and wanted to give as much time as possible before it make the decision with a heavy heart to cancel this seasons events due to COVID concerns not only for our Surfers (Participants) but our Volunteers.

We hope next year we will be able to be putting those smiles back on dials and celebrating all that the ocean an being at the beach gives our souls.



Recent Event / Hands on Day

Collaroy 27th February 2016 – 30 year anniversary

The DSA Celebrates 30 years of providing smiles on dials to the disabled community AND what an awesome day it turned out to be…

With days like these it takes a lot of determined and special people to make this happen and in no particular order the DSA Sydney Branch would like to thank and I apologies if I missed anyone – please let me know and I will update

  • JK Hire – Andre and his family for another big year donating the tenant, tables, chairs, bbq, bacon and eggs, sausages, etc – a huge huge effort that is greatly appreciated
  • Collaroy Back Packers – great accommodation right across the road from the beach
  • Aroma Ki day spa and hair studio (Maryanne) – for letting the DSA use their parking area for storing trailers and our vehicles
  • ALL our volunteers – the dedication and hard work is known and appreciated
  • ALL the DSA crews from around Australia and NZ
  • Balgowlah Bunnings Crew – totally awesome…even supplied us face painters
  • Collaroy Surf Life Saving – always there to lend a hand
  • Local Council with permits and parking assistance

Pre- dawn set up crew was hard at it when the sunrise over the horizon to revealed a beautiful sunrise. Many (volunteer) hands made light work of the tent city that is required to put on the best event ever…

A big call I know but the event was all the more special with a number of ideas that made the day a CELEBRATION – clowns, slushies’, pop-corn, fairy floss, birthday cake and mini cupcakes not to mention the usual bacon and eggs for breakfast, fresh fruit to get everyone through to  sausage sandwiches for lunch.

This year’s format was slightly different to previous years…the pool races were removed that allowed for participant to flow steady across the beach marshalling area for their surf. And what a surf it turned out to be…heavy shore dump made the conditions for our volunteer’s very trying and extremely hard work. At one point a 10 minute break was called to allow all the volunteers to catch their breath and top up on some fluids and a piece of fruit. Then it was back into it to take the remaining participant for their surfing experience.

After taking all the participant out for a surf for the DSA tag team surfing contest has held. Sydney showed that fierce rivalry and determination to win to defend their impressive record of being unbeaten. Unfortunately, some ‘interpretative’ judging allowed NZ to pip Sydney to take hold the annual trophy. Well done to the NZ team…Sydney you have to lift your game next year!

Wrapping up the day saw lots of celebrations, speeches with a few teary moments as well as a birth cake to celebrate 30 years strong – well done to Gary and the whole DSA team. Who would have every thought the DSA would grow to 16 branches around Australia and a branch in NZ from our very humble beginnings.

Let the good times and events roll on. To another 30 years!

Shane Henn

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