Jim Bradley may have ruffled a few feathers in his time, but his heart has always been in the right place.
The former director of the Disabled Surfers Association and founding member of Gerringong SLSC is selling his Kiama Downs home and moving to Victoria to be closer to his two daughters.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house, metres away from the sand, was the pinnacle for much of Mr Bradley’s life’s work.
“A little old humble house to start off with,” he said.
“At the time you could have bought four times the amount of land anywhere else, in fact the real estate agent tried to talk us out of it.”
In the late ‘60s Mr Bradley and his wife Sue were working as teachers in Dubbo, but tragedy struck when his parents were involved in a horrific car crash.
It left his father dead and mother in need of constant care.
Once relocated to Sydney, a nurse offered one day to look after Mrs Bradley senior so the young couple could take a break.
The pair headed south and stumbled upon the vacant block across from Jones Beach with views of Cathedral Rocks.
Jim Bradley knew then this would become his family home.
The block was bought for $6300 in 1969, Mr Bradley saying the teachers salary back then was just over $4000 a year.
“There were only two houses here at the time, they were my neighbours either side,” he said.
“I just looked at the point of view I wanted to surf, fish, the kids could grow up on the beach.”
Only a few weeks after moving into their new home in 1971, Mr Bradley found out about a jetty proposal which he believed would be detrimental to the coastal environment.
And so began his passion for conserving surf spots like The Boneyard and Jones Beach and preserving them from “industrialization”.
Over the years Mr Bradley has also leant his voice to many other causes like including surfing as a school sport and the development of Radhats surf helmets (manufactured in Jim’s under-house workshop during the ‘80s).
“I really believe this corner where we live is one of the only unheralded gems of the South Coast,” Mr Bradley said.
“It hasn’t quite hit me because I’m so concentrated on getting things done [for the sale]. But I’m sure it will catch me … it’s really special.”