Who we are
Surf Life Saving Northern Territory (SLSNT) is a volunteer-based community service organisation regarded as the peak coastal safety body in the NT, which formed in 1983 and incorporated in 1991.
Whilst surf lifesaving activities have been embedded in the Australian way of life for more than 100 years, they have only been present in the NT since 1971 when our first club, Gove Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club opened its doors in Nhulunbuy.
Surf lifesavers have a very positive contribution to make, on and off the beach and as each year passes we continue to experience strong growth in all our activities. Today, SLSNT comprises of:
- An Administrative Centre in Nightcliff, Darwin.
- Australian Lifesaving Academy Northern Territory.
- Three affiliated clubs
- Darwin Surf Life Saving Club.
- Gove Peninsula Surf Life Saving Club.
- Mindil Beach Surf Life Saving Club.
- 24/7 Marine Search & Rescue Team.
- Australian Lifeguard Service Northern Territory, which provides lifeguard services at
- Darwin Wave Lagoon and Recreation Lagoon for the Darwin Waterfront Corporation.
- Mindil Beach for the Darwin City Council.
Professional services administered from SLSNT include lifesaving and first aid training, lifeguard services, aquatic risk assessment and advice and outdoor recreational programs. All services are customised and programmed to meet client needs.
Why we exist
To save lives.
We believe all Territorians should learn water safety skills and be provided with safe beaches, water environments and aquatic venues.
SLSNT works to achieve this by delivering lifesaving, development and sports programs for our members and the wider community. In addition, SLSNT manages and delivers accredited education and training services through our Academy and professional Lifeguard services through Australian Lifeguard Services NT.
Zero preventable deaths in NT coastal waters.
We save lives, create great Australians and build better communities.
- Extend lifesaving coverage to match community needs – using evidence to support decisions regarding community water safety needs, and having resources in place to support these decisions and needs.
- Develop our people – recruit and retain the best people through support and development of their skills and knowledge.
- Ensure a relevant & growing movement – to lead by example and develop a flexible and innovative organisation that can respond quickly in an ever-changing environment.
- Engage the community to participate and donate – Increase our public profile and encourage active participation by all community members.
History of Surf Life Saving
The origins of surf lifesaving can be traced back to the actions of Mr William Gocher who, in September 1902 at Manly Beach, defied the law by bathing during the prohibited daylight hours. His action and similar actions by other people forced authorities to confront the issue of daylight bathing and, when these laws were repealed, swimming at the beach began to grow rapidly into a national pastime.
As surf bathing became popular, its dangers just as rapidly became apparent. Small groups of experienced, regular swimmers and surfers began to form themselves into lifesaving bodies to voluntarily help people who needed rescuing from an unfamiliar environment.
As these clubs grew in size and number, an Association was needed to coordinate and regulate activities and share lifesaving knowledge and the first was the New South Wales Surf Bathing Association, formed on 18 October 1907.
Its rapid growth and development, and the emergence of Surf Life Saving in all other states, lead to the modern, progressive organisation we have today - Surf Life Saving Australia.
What do surf life savers do?
Lifesaving Services for our Community
Surf Lifesavers are highly trained volunteers and their prime responsibility is to prevent drowning and injury at the beach and the surrounding open waters where millions of people love to swim and enjoy various forms of aquatic recreation such as surfing, boating, fishing, wind surfing, kite surfing and water skiing. They fulfil this responsibility by supplying volunteer lifesaving services (Surf Rescue Patrols) at local beaches near their clubs as well as inter-club operations such as 24/7 Search & Rescue Teams.
We love our sport and we participate in lots of activities and competitions at club, Territory and national levels. Sport is very important to a Surf Lifesaver because it promotes fitness and a healthy lifestyle - vitally important characteristics for anyone placing themselves in a rescue situation. Our sports include beach events, board and ski paddling, swimming, surfboat rowing, the famous Ironman Race and much more. There are special lifesaving competitions for patrol teams and first aiders and of course there's always a place for more coaches and officials. A highlight of the end of each season is the NT Championships. After that our most talented athletes form into a High Performance Squad from which we pick the NT Interstate Team. In May 2009 we will host the International Lifesaving event of the 2009 Arafura Games in Darwin.
All active Surf Lifesavers, aged 15 years or more, must gain the Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue) before joining a Surf Rescue Patrol. For new members, including those with an existing lifesaving qualification (First Aid Certificate, Royal Life Saving Bronze Medallion) you'll find this qualification interesting, challenging and rewarding. There are many more qualifications you can do including the Certificate III in Beach Management and the Certificate IV in Training & Assessment. Our Trainers and Assessors dedicate a great deal of their time to help other members gain their qualifications and you can find detailed information on this website.
Junior Activities (Nippers)
Every year around 60,000 boys and girls learn essential lifesaving and self-survival skills at their local Surf Club and its no different in the NT. Membership is booming as hundreds of young members, aged 5-13, enjoy a wide range of lifesaving, sporting, environmental and social activities. Our Junior Activities (often called Nippers) are run by experienced Surf Lifesavers and qualified parents. Its not uncommon for the whole family to be involved!
Community Education and Events
Surf Lifesavers conduct training course in lifesaving, first aid and emergency care as well as conducting outdoor recreational activities for schools and community groups. Some of these activities are provided by our Lifesaving Academy while others ate provided directly by clubs.
Leadership & Development
Surf Life Saving has a strong program of leadership and development programs that provide opportunities for members at club, Territory and national levels. It starts with our juniors and continues through to an annual national Leadership Development Program and Leader's Conference.
Do yourself a favour - become a Surf Life Saver today!