Sydney’s illustrious Bondi Beach is famous for its white sandy shores, unmistakable beach breaks and, of course, its resident lifeguards turned household names through Channel 10’s ‘Bondi Rescue’ series. These down to earth Aussie blokes have become quite synonymous with the beach destination, but none more so than young lifeguard and Willi Footwear ambassador Trent Maxwell [Maxi] who’s recent crowning as Cleo Bachelor of the Year 2013 has thrust him further into the spotlight than ever before. Bondi’s man of the moment speaks to GCMAG where we learn about life as a Bondi Lifeguard, his recent most-eligible-bachelor status and what he really hopes to achieve from all the extra attention..
Hey Maxi, a big congrats from us on taking out Cleo’s Bachelor of the Year, coming out in front of stacks of big names and famous faces. How did it feel to win?
I was honestly just stoked to be in the top 50. I did not think I was going to win it. All the boys there were top blokes! It was a great experience.
Thrust into the spotlight as a teenager from series Bondi Rescue, how did you come to be on the show?
I was in year 10 and my mates were all leaving to do a trade. I was going to do the same, but instead I did work experience one day a week with the lifeguards down at Bondi.. & it was lucky I did because when I finished school Hoppo (Bruce Hopkins) offered me a traineeship at a mere 16 years old – now I’m nearly 22! I started from the bottom up..
Being a lifeguard who spends most of his time around the beach, you strike us as a pretty relaxed kind of bloke? How has the Cleo bachelor title fit into your lifestyle?
It hasn’t changed me much at the end of the day; I’m just a lifeguard. But it has its perks. I got a free coffee the next day but that’s about it! I think everyone who’s close to me still don’t believe it haha, but it’s a cool thing to be awarded & something to tell the kids one day!
So what drew you to a career in life guarding in the first place?
I’ve always wanted to be a fire-fighter (still do) so I think it’s being an ocean lover and liking the emergency field – the two mix together and I love everything about being a lifeguard. We are all very good mates in everyday life on-and-off screen. We have some good times.. and a good bagging and write-off session doesn’t hurt 😉
What’s your favourite aspect of the job?
Everything is pretty cool but the best thing is having the skill to bring someone back to life and I have had that experience. To this day it is one of the best moments of my life.
Are you using your newfound platform from Cleo to boost awareness for any causes?
Yes, I am trying to raise awareness for mental health and suicide prevention!
..& has it boosted the attention from the ladies?!?
Yes and no… It’s been very interesting! But I’m very level headed. I don’t really have much time to be with the ladies haha..
We see some pretty outlandish and humorous things take place on the show. Is there one incident in particular that you won’t forget in a hurry?
Everything you see on the TV is pretty out there, but just when you think you have seen it all something tops it. There is a lot of nudity though haha.
It’s not all fun and games though; a lot challenges must come with the gig..
Yeah unfortunately we do deal with some heavy situations. Not only do we deal with rescues we also get called by the police to a notorious suicide spot around the corner from Bondi called the “gap” a few times a month. I was only 16 on my first call out and that made me grow up real fast! Sadly the ones I’ve witnessed have seen have been under the age of 30. Suicide is the biggest killer for young Australians and I want to do something about it.
Following that, what’s one message you would give to patrons coming to Bondi from all over the world?
Swim between the flags at all patrolled beaches and if you are going through a tough time, there’s always someone to talk to. Most cases are preventable so get talking it will make you feel better.
So what do you get up to away from the beach when the cameras aren’t rolling? (Apart from posting some entertaining Instagram videos- yes, we’ve watched them!)
Sorry in advance about the Insta videos I have a bit of fun with that. My goal is to make people happy even if they are laughing at me, it’s still a smile. For 9 months of the year I’m full time on the beach I work 7 days on 4 days off so to be honest on my days off I like to be indoors and relax. A good movie is always at the top of my list.
At age 21 having already achieved so much, what’s next for Maxi?
I got a few things up my sleeve. As part of my fight to raise awareness for mental health and suicide I will be riding a jet ski from Bondi to cairns on September the 21st with fellow lifeguard Jesse Polock stopping along the East Coast to speak to communities about mental health and suicide prevention. We’ve both experienced a fair bit of it and want to tell our story. We’re helping out the charity “headspace” so check in and see how we are going in a month’s time! You can use the hashtag on twitter and instagram #therideeastcoast.