During the early 1900’s, Australian beaches were growing in popularity but many of the bathers going to the beach could not swim. Drownings were common and after multiple drownings in Sydney, concerned locals grouped together to form the Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales. The recognition and success of this vital service grew into the National body now known as Surf Life Saving Australia. Over the decades, Surf Life Saving has grown in both size and complexity and has more than 169,000 members across over 300 clubs.
The Surf Life Saving Foundation was established to ensure Surf Life Saving’s financial sustainability. We do this by engaging with the wider Australian community and initiating and managing fundraising programs aimed at maximising funds available for the Surf Life Saving movement. This fundraising allows the volunteers more time to focus on saving lives on the beach. Initially, the focus was on appeals and donor communications, fundraising events and the management of a commercial lottery program. Today the foundation has grown into a National body with the mission to provide a sound financial base for Surf Life Saving both now and into the future.
Along with Surf Life Saving Australia we aim to make Australia’s beaches safer by striving for zero preventable deaths in Australian waters. We want to inspire all Australians to see that Surf Life Saving is a worthy cause and to Give, Get Involved and Be Safe.
To contribute to the financial security and viability of the Surf Life Saving movement.
In addition to this, the Foundation Board continues as the Trustees of the Surf Life Saving Rescue Fund Trust. The Trust was established in 2002 to provide an additional, and more assured, ongoing source of funding for the movement.
The funds we raise are predominantly used by Surf Life Saving to maintain and replace lifesaving rescue gear and equipment, enhance the training and development programs for volunteer Surf Lifesavers, expand community surf safety campaigns and fund aquatic safety research and development.