A Surf Life Saving volunteer runs into the surf with a rescue board

Who We are

The History of Surf Life Saving

The Birth of Surf Life Saving

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 312 clubs.
Surf Life Saving – The early Days
Surf Life Saving volunteers raise the red and yellow flags on the beach

The Surf Life Saving Foundation

Almost 90 years after its inception, Surf Life Saving had grown significantly and Surf Life Saving Queensland saw the need to develop a dedicated fundraising body. This fundraising body would allow the volunteers more time to focus on saving lives on the beach. And so the Surf Life Saving Foundation was formed. Initially, the focus was on appeals and donor communications, fundraising events and the management of a QLD based 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.

The Surf Life Saving Vision

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. 

How Does The Surf Life Saving Foundation Work?

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.