Join a Club
Ways To Participate
Become Part of an Australian Icon and join your local surf club!
You might be young or simply young-at-heart. Either way, there’s a role for everyone in and out of the water to make a valuable contribution to the safety of our beaches and your local community.
All sorts of people are surf lifesavers. They come from all walks of life, in all shapes and sizes and with all abilities. Surf Life Saving is built on volunteers who love the beach and their community, are looking for fun, friendship, a healthy lifestyle and want new skills and challenges. You don’t even have to be a super fit swimmer! Nor do you have to get your toes wet if you don’t want to. As long as you have a positive attitude, you’ve got what it takes.
You might choose any number of ways to be involved. For the young, there’s Nippers, youth development programs, awards and personal development opportunities. For the young-at-heart, there’s a huge array of roles from patrolling, coaching, officiating, surf sports, first aid, committee member, age manager, fundraising, radio operator, trainers and assessor, drone operators and rescue boat drivers.
Becoming part of Surf Life Saving means embracing the Australian way of life, meeting great people and getting involved – it means being Australian for life.
Become an Iconic Nipper (5-13)
To become a “Nipper” is to join a junior activities program aimed at children aged between 5 and 14 years of age where the beach is the classroom.
It teaches children about surf skills, awareness and safety in a fun way whilst making new friends. The season generally runs from October through till March and is a weekly event held on Sunday mornings for a couple of hours. Parents are most welcome to assist with activities which are run by qualified Age Managers. Nippers can join at any stage of the program which delivers valuable learning outcomes.
Supercharge Your Skills as a Cadet (14-18)
This is an exciting time for youth within the Surf Life Saving movement.
Nippers graduate when in the U14 age group and up until the age of 18 are in the transition phase from Nippers into the active patrolling ranks. Their focus is on developing surf awareness, surf skills, resuscitation skills, first aid skills and being a part of the regular beach patrol.
Having gained the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC), the next step to becoming an active patrolling member is attainment of the Bronze medallion. Once this is achieved, members are allocated to a patrol team and wear the iconic and much respected red and yellow uniform. They can also compete in the Open Surf Sport events.
Youth are also supported through a “Rookie Program” which offers numerous personal development opportunities to gain leadership and teamwork skills through activities and education:
- U14’s sleepovers in a Clubhouse;
- Weekend development camps;
- Outdoor challenges;
- Attainment of awards such as the Junior Lifesavers of the Year;
Continuing education is also a focus for 15-17-year-olds with Members able to chart their own course depending on their area of interest. Possibilities range from advanced first aid modalities through to certificates enabling participants to become a crew member on jet boats and inflatable rescue boats (IRB).
Youth development programs are also on offer. These are designed to engage and motivate members and offer the opportunity to network and build self-esteem and confidence in a supportive and safe environment. Two such programs are the Youth Opportunity Makers Program (YOMS) and the Development Network Program.
Finally, this age group can also hold elected position within their club.
Patrol our Beaches as an Active Member (15+)
The North Coast Branch has over 2,300 patrolling volunteer Surf Life Savers. Some members come up through the ranks from the Junior club but anyone can join a club at any age.
To become a full patrolling member and wear the red and yellow uniform, you need to obtain a Bronze medallion which is one of the most respected qualifications in Australia. The course is available to member from 15 years of age. It takes a couple of months to complete and participants must demonstrate proficiency in surf awareness, survival, patrol and rescue procedures, emergency care, a knowledge of anatomy and physiology and pass timed physical tests.
Upon successful completion, a Surf Life Saver assists the public and maintains safety on our beaches through:
Beach Patrols: most beaches are patrolled during the warmer months from September to April on weekends and public holidays. Hours vary for each beach so it’s best to check with your local club for information.
Surf Awareness: Ability to read the surf conditions and understand wave movements;
First Aid: Provide first aid, resuscitation and emergency care that will aid an injured person until emergency services arrive;
Rescue Techniques: Using a variety of methods and surf craft to assist a person in trouble;
Education and Member Development: Members are encouraged and supported to continue their training and education which is facilitated at both Club and Branch level. There are also a number of programs available for those wishing to undertake personal development and leadership training.
And of course, Surf Life Savers save lives!
Be an Out-Of-The-Water Lifesaver as an Award Member
You don’t need to have a bronze medallion to contribute to patrols in your Club.
Award members have a vital function and help keep the club operating smoothly. Just some of the opportunities available include support roles such as radio operations, UAV operators, first aid and resuscitation.
Support the Team as an Associate Member
Being part of your local surf club doesn’t just mean being on the beach or in the water.
For those who want to become part of the fabric of Surf Life Saving but are unable to patrol due to health issues or work commitments, this type of membership allows you to become involved in other valuable ways. These members form the backbone of the Club. Perhaps you’d like to be a part of the Club Management Committee, assist in fundraising or working bees, help with the Club BBQ on Sunday’s or one of the myriad of others functions to keep the Club running smoothly behind the scenes.
The 2023/24 season begins in September 2023 and runs through till April 2024.
Interested in when your club is holding their Registration Day? Click on the calendar to find out all the details.