Surf Life Saving Australia is part of a federated structure made up of 491 entities, including 311 separately incorporated clubs.

Surf Life Saving Australia is the peak policy and decision making body for the Surf Life Saving movement. Under our constitution, our members are:

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Each year, prior to the commencement of the season, individual members sign an application for joint membership of SLSA, their State Centre and their club. For more information or a copy of our governance charter please contact us


SLSA has a Board Governance Charter that sets out the codes of conduct, accountability, independence, ethical standards and compliance obligations of the organisation as well as the roles and responsibilities of the board, committees, directors and management. SLSA complies with all relevant statutory and legislative requirements and has formal risk management and compliance reporting process in place.



Vision – Zero preventable deaths in Australian waters.
Mission – We save lives, create great Australians and build better communities.


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Graham Ford

Graham Ford AM

SLSA President Elected Director

Graham was elected as President of SLSA in 2010. He brings to this role a wealth of surf life saving knowledge, coupled with a strong business background. Graham is a life member of Bronte SLSC and President of the International Life Saving Federation and has held many senior roles at club, branch and national levels. In 2016 Graham was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to surf life saving. Graham is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Melissa King

Melissa King


Melissa was appointed as CEO July 1, 2015. Prior to this Melissa had been the GM for Communications and Business Development at SLSA, was the Group Manager of Corporate Partnerships at the Sydney Opera House, the Sponsorship and Business Relations Manager for the APEC 2007 Taskforce, was the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Chartered Secretaries Australia, and Sponsorship and Marketing Manager for Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Mark Fife OAM

SLSQ President Appointed Director

A Life Member of Broadbeach SLSC, South Coast Branch, SLSQ and SLSA, Mark received an OAM as part of the Governor-General’s Australia Day Honours List in 2013 and was inducted into the National Hall of Fame in 2015. Mark is a former Club and Branch President, and is the only person to have been awarded Australian Surf Life Saver of the Year and Volunteer of the Year.

David Murray Board Member for NSW

David Murray

SLSNSW President Appointed Director

David was elected as SLSNSW President in May 2016. He is a Life Member of Curl Curl SLSC and has held a number of roles with Surf Life Saving including Sydney Northern Beaches Branch President, State Councillor of SLSNSW and Sectional Judging Referee for The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. David has extensive business experience from working as a consultant for Australian Private Boards, as a Director of TNS Distribution and from having owned his own business for 35 years.

Grant Barnett SLSNT Board Member

Grant Barnett

SLSNT President Appointed Director

Grant has been active in the Surf Life Saving community for the past 14 years. He has held various positions including President of the North Queensland Branch and subsequently the State Councillor for Surf Life Saving QLD. After relocating to the Northern Territory for work Grant was appointed to the Surf Life Saving NT Board in 2013 and has since been elected the President of SLSNT.

John Baker ESM

SLSSA President Appointed Director

John, a Company Director, has been President of Surf Life Saving SA since June 2011, and was appointed as a Director on the SLSA Board in January 2012. A member of Brighton SLSC in SA, John received an ESM as part of the Governor-General’s Australia Day Honours List in 2017. John has been involved with Surf Life Saving since 1977.

Craig Smith-Gander

Craig Smith-Gander

SLSWA President Appointed Director

Craig was elected as President of Surf Life Saving WA in August 2014. Craig is a former president of North Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club and a life member of the Club. He is a past Chair of Surf Sports for Surf Life Saving Western Australia and past member of the Australian Surf Sports Advisory Board.

Stephen Godfrey

Stephen Godfrey

SLST President Appointed Director

Stephen, Acting General Manager of Corporate Services at PSMA Australia Ltd, has been President of Surf Life Saving Tasmania since September 2011, and was appointed as a Director on the SLSA Board in October 2011. Stephen is a life member of Carlton Park SLSC and has been involved with Surf Life Saving since 1967.

Tom Mollenkopf

Tom Mollenkopf

LSV President Appointed Director

Tom is a Senior Associate with Aither and holds a series of Board roles, including with the International Water Association, Dandenong Market  and Wyong Water in addition to being President of Life Saving Victoria. He was the CEO of the Australian Water Association from 2007 until 2013. He is qualified B.Juris, LL.B, MBA, FAICD and FGIA. Tom is a Life Member of Point Leo SLSC.

Lyn Barratt

Lyn Barratt

Independent Director

Lyn has worked extensively in Occupational Health & Safety and Risk Management for over 20 years in Tasmania, Victoria and NSW. She currently holds the position as the National Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Manager for an international dredging company specialising in the marine environment. Lyn has been involved in Surf Life Saving since 1985 as co-founder of the Port Sorell SLSC in Tasmania where she filled several roles over 12 years.

Melanie Evans

Melanie Evans

Independent Director

Melanie Evans, our newest independent director, is currently General Manager, Service Revolution & Transformation for the Westpac Group where she has worked for over 14 years. Having grown up in the surf club, Melanie has kept abreast of our organisation over many years and brings with her expertise and experience of Board and Committee corporate governance, financial management, risk management, strategic planning and compliance.

Christine Hopton

Christine Hopton OAM

Independent Director

Christine has an extensive media background having worked in the newspaper and television industries, public relations, marketing and communications for more than 30 years. Christine has been involved in Surf Life Saving for over 15 years, joining as a Nipper parent and holding positions on the Avalon Beach SLSC junior committee before gaining her Bronze Medallion in 2000. Christine received an OAM as part of the Governor-General’s Australia Day Honours List in 2017 and is currently in her eighth term as President of Avalon Beach SLSC.

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Independent Director

Martin Walsh is a member of Lorne SLSC and Life Member of LSV. Professionally, Martin is a Independent Company Director, Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Fellow of the Governance Institute and Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors. He is also the current chair of The Surf Life Saving Foundation and a previous Director of LSV.