I grew up in Geelong, which is very close to Torquay, the mecca of surfing. I love being in the ocean, but my passion at the time was getting into university, studying medicine and becoming a doctor. I missed my opportunity living on the coast to become a surfie chick and become really good at surfing. Learning to surf requires a bit of bravado, a bit of skill and a huge amount of time to practise. I came back to surfing when we moved to Mallacoota. I’m not sure how the town’s people really took that; they weren’t expecting their local doctor to come out surfing. It’s pretty embarrassing learning how to surf with a crowd of local surfers looking at us falling off our surfboards. In summer, I’ll get up at a quarter to six and surf for two hours before work. When you’re out in the ocean you have to be present. You can’t take your concentration off the waves because you’ll just get pummelled. You’re just being there and having to let everything else go. For me, it’s a fast track to relaxation and rejuvenation, which helps me keep going through the full-on stuff that happens in a small, remote general practice.

Dr Sara Renwick-Lau
Mallacoota, VIC