The beach and Surf Life Saving clubs are a way of life for many Australians who reside on the coastlines of our country. There is something quintessentially Australian about the sand and sea. It’s even mentioned in our national anthem!
Due to concerns about public decency and morality, it was actually illegal to swim during daylight hours in Australia. However, by 1902, public opinion had swayed against the outdated ruling. Perhaps due to the several protests that took place at local beaches by a few determined Sydneysiders.
Soon after, the people were permitted to swim and surf to their hearts’ content. That is, as long as they were modestly dressed. However, the surf came with some challenges of its own. Namely, strong currents and rips which caused a number of drownings. Volunteers began beach patrols to keep bathers safe. Ultimately, it is from these early beginnings the first surf lifesaving club was formed in Bondi Beach.
By 1907, the Surf Bathing Association of New South Wales was formed. There were nine inaugural clubs from local beaches in Sydney. The group’s name was changed to Surf Life Saving Association of Australia in 1922. Finally, the organisation changed it’s name to the current name of Surf Life Saving Australia in 1991. The group is estimated to have rescued over 615,000 swimmers from beaches all over the country since its inception.
Surf Life Saving Australia is thought to be the largest volunteer group in Australia. Their membership count was 166,923 in 2013. The majority of its services are delivered by these volunteers who provided 1.4 million hours of service in that year alone. As a non-for-profit organisation, Surf Life Saving Australia struggles to meet financial demands. Above all, they rely on community donations, fundraising, and corporate sponsorship to continue providing these essential services to Australians and visitors alike.
The Surf Life Saving Foundation is the fundraising arm of Surf Life Saving Australia. They rely on the generosity of community members to assist in keeping Australian beaches safe. Donations go towards four essential areas that require funding. These are rescue equipment and gear, training, first aid supplies, and surf safety community education programs.
It’s not all about charity though. One of the ways that the Surf Life Saving Foundation raises much need funds is through the sale of lottery tickets. Charity lotteries have an esteemed place in Australian culture as they contribute to community development, safety, education, and enrichment. The great thing about Surf Life Saving Lotteries is that your generosity can be rewarded! You can win fantastic prizes, including a brand new luxury prize home.
If you are happy in your current home, there’s still a good reason to enter a draw. The alternative first prize consists of gold bullion, cars, and gift vouchers. However, even if your ticket isn’t selected as one of the lottery winners, you are still making a difference. Take heart in the knowledge that you’ve contributed to the great Aussie institution that keeps our beaches safe. Take a moment next time you swim between the red and yellow flags. Remember that the lifeguards who are watching over you are there because of the generosity of ordinary Australians like you!
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