The 27-year-old, who has spent nine years honing his skills in Australia and Britain, started imparting some of that knowledge to beach lifeguards on Phuket this week.
Beginning with Nai Thon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao, he will move to a different part of Phuket's coast each week until October 18.
Sponsored by Surf Lifesaving Australia, his aim is to help develop skills and sew the seeds of a Phuket beach culture.
''Australia has had lifesavers for 40 years and the Phuket project really only began three years ago, so it's difficult to strike fair comparisons,'' he said.
The arrival of more tourists on the island with little or no swimming skills appears to be the reason for more drownings this year, he said.
''I don't think any drownings should happen,'' he said. ''In all cases, it's down to the resources you can afford.''
People are warned at some Australian airports about beach dangers and the warnings were often repeated.
''Educating the public is the key,'' he said. ''It's not one person's responsibility, it's the responsibility of the whole community.''
Tom is aiming while on Phuket to try to establish a more obvious presence for lifeguards on the beaches.
He was aware of a dispute over a rough shack on Karon beach and said it would be great if simple structures in red and yellow could be provided for all beaches.
''If someone is in trouble in the water and another tourist is the first person to realise, you need to be able to find the lifeguards quick,'' he said.
Towers were not needed when beaches were quiet and only became useful when there was a need to see over the top of lots of people or umbrellas, he said.
''We don't have towers in our area of north Sydney around Palm Beach,'' he said.
''But what's really useful is a portable waist-high tower that can be moved where you need it as a lookout.''
He's also keen to pursue the education of children in schools and as ''nippers,'' which is what junior lifeguards are called, at Phuket's beaches.
''The sooner the kids are all involved, the sooner there will be a real beach culture of safety on Phuket.''
So far he has been impressed with the willingness of Phuket lifeguards. ''Everybody is really positive and the guys are keen to learn everything,'' he said.
Tom will be moving on to Surin, Patong, Kata, Karon and other beaches.