Who are Surf Life Saving Australia?
Surf Life Saving Australia are “Australia’s peak coastal water safety, drowning prevention and rescue authority.” They exist to save lives and reduce the coastal drowning toll.
Surf Life Saving Australia is the parent company for:
- 311 clubs
- 17 branches
- 83 support operation groups
- 69 Australian Lifeguard Service operations
- 491 SLSA entities/groups.
Note: The Australian Lifeguard Service, the country’s largest lifeguard service, is operated through State and Territory Centres. This is an evaluation of Surf Life Saving Australia only. The results may or may not be consistent with Surf Life Saving Australia’s State and Territory Centres.
Why do they exist?
Surf Life Saving Australia state: “Australia has over 11,500 beaches dispersed along 36,000km of coastline and receives an estimated 100 million visitations annually. Despite significant advancements in technology, techniques and knowledge, people still drown on the coast in unacceptable numbers."
What do they do?
Surf Life Saving Australia build the capacity and capability of Surf Life Saving members through the following activities:
- development of best practice policies to save lives;
- improvement of drowning prevention initiatives and lifesaving operations;
- management of member development programs;
- development of consistent and relevant educational resources/practices;
- enhancement of participation; and
- development of athletes, coaches and officials through national sport operations, events and community resources.
The Surf Life Saving movement undertakes the following operations:
- 24/7 emergency response groups;
- rescue helicopter services;
- jet rescue boats, offshore rescue boats, rescue water craft;
- surveillance systems;
- radio control and coordination centres; and
- volunteer lifesaving services.
How do they earn their money?
How do they spend their money?
Should I donate to them?
Surf Life Saving Australia are a legally registered charity with deductible gift recipient status. They describe in depth how they are governed, and by whom. They also present some indicators of effectiveness. They present a clear strategy that outlines goals, strategies and success factors. They are clear about their achievements and show how these have changed over time.
However, we need to see more information to be confident in their trustworthiness and effectiveness. They do not describe the executive team, who makes up the team, or what positions they hold. They also do not disclose how they distribute funds across the States. Finally, it is not clear if they are evaluating their programs, consulting with the beneficiaries of their services, or if they have an evaluation framework in place that allows them to systematically learn and improve the quality of their services.
After assessing both their strengths and weaknesses, our recommendation for Surf Life Saving Australia is neutral. They demonstrate only basic indicators that they are trustworthy and effective. In order to improve my recommendation for Surf Life Saving Australia, we need to see:
- who makes up the executive team;
- how funds are distributed across the states; and
- program/service evaluations.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
We have investigated the finances, operations and results of Surf Life Saving Australia and present our evaluation in a report that you can download now. This evaluation shows you how your donation is spent, who is running the organisation and whether there are any potential conflicts of interest. It also examines whether the charity can demonstrate that they are delivering meaningful results. Finally, it contains our recommendations for potential donors and the reasoning behind them.
Download our complete evaluation of Surf Life Saving Australia below to find out if they're the charity for you.
Find out whether Surf Life Saving Australia is the charity for you. In this evaluation we describe what this charity does and why, what you should know about them, how your money is spent, who is running the organisation and whether they deliver results. Last of all, we recommend whether you should donate to them based on the findings of our analysis.