Albatross Nippers, Nobbys Beach SLSC, QLD
Albatross Nippers is a program designed for children with special needs that runs within the standard Nipper program at Nobbys Beach SLSC. Club management recognised that children with special needs were otherwise being excluded from the many benefits a Nippers program can offer. The children are guided through each session with a volunteer surf lifesaver as well as a young peer. They stay together as a team as they rotate through modified Nippers activities, and gain the benefit of support and socialisation within the Nipper environment. The program started at Nobbys Beach, but due to its success has now extended to Southport SLSC and Tallebudgera SLSC.
Canberra/Broulee Nippers, Broulee Surfers SLSC, NSW
Broulee Surfers SLSC recognised the need to educate and provide a service for the nation’s largest inland city. The club aimed to provide junior surf lifesaving activities accessible to Canberra residents. The club set about training and educating both Nippers and their parents in water skills and age manager skills. The program took place at the Canberra Olympic pool, where there is also a large sand area perfect for sprints and beach flags. Families would then travel to Broulee beach every third or fourth weekend for activities on the beach, and pool rescue events were also organised at the Canberra Olympic pool to challenge the older 7 to 13-year-old age group. The club regularly seeks feedback from the age managers to ensure continuous improvement. The program opened the joy of surf lifesaving to a large inland community.
Suneden Specialist School & Seacliff SLSC, SA
Seacliff SLSC worked with Suneden Specialist School to initiate a nine-week program for students to participate in beach and water activities. The Seacliff SLSC volunteers set the beach up every week for the young participants, transporting them to and from the school and assisting them in enjoying the beach. The program was a valuable extension of the ‘Beach for All’ project, utilising the roll-out mat, wheelchair and 4WD the club currently owns. The program was heralded as a huge success for the students who otherwise would not get such opportunities at the beach.
Innovation of the Year
Honouring our First Female Lifesavers Event, Terrigal SLSC, NSW
In 2017, Terrigal SLSC undertook the task of recognising the female surf lifesavers who patrolled the Central Coast beaches during World War 2. Between 1942 and 1945, seventy-two of the seventy-six male members in the club were enlisted in the armed forces. Despite the fact that SLSA policy did not recognise female surf lifesavers, a group of trained women took it upon themselves to patrol the beaches, ensuring no lives were lost during this period. These women never received their Bronze Medallion qualification. The First Female Lifesavers event sought to honour and acknowledge these women, some now in their 90’s, by awarding them or their families with Bronze Medallions. The event allowed the club to springboard into the ‘Inheritors Program’ for youth retention and engagement.