Surf life saving in Australia


How Surf Life Saving began in Australia...

Australia’s first volunteer Surf Life Saving clubs emerged in 1907 on Sydney's ocean beaches.  Surf-bathing had been rapidly increasing in popularity in the early 20th Century and in turn by-laws which had previously prevented bathing in daylight hours since the 1830s were gradually removed between 1902 and 1905, to reflect changing public attitudes.

These changes had a dramatic impact on local beach culture as the number of beachgoers entering the surf suddenly increased.  As many bathers couldn't swim the number of drownings and attempted rescues also suddenly increased. 

On October 18, 1907, representatives from Sydney Surf Life Saving Clubs, together with members of other interested groups, met to form the Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales, the organisation which is now known as Surf Life Saving Australia.

With 168,823 members and 311 affiliated Surf Life Saving clubs, Surf Life Saving Australia represents the largest volunteer movement of its kind in the world.  It is a unique not-for-profit community cause that exists through community donations, fundraising, corporate sponsorship and government grants.  Since Surf Life Saving was established in 1907, over 650,000 people have been rescued by our surf lifesavers.

Surf Life Saving exists to save lives, create great Australians and build better communities.  Despite significant advancements in technology, techniques and knowledge, people still drown on the coast in unacceptable numbers.  Surf Life Saving exists to save lives, and we are committed to reducing the coast drowning rate by 50 per cent by 2020.

And nippers are the surf life savers of the future.


Surf Life Saving Australia 
About Surf Life Saving


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