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Surf Life Saving (SLS) is focused on exploring statistical and analytical data to support development of education, technology, communications and operations to reduce coastal drowning deaths in Australia.

Although SLS has been conducting research for many years, 2010 was the birth of a dedicated and thorough research program. The SLS Research Scheme was introduced to adopt rigour into research project design and provide funding for targeted and priority research projects.

Over the past few years, SLS has been working on two main research projects focused on rip current safety issues, and has just embarked on a new project, “Attributing the Social Contribution of Surf Life Saving Australia: Valuing the Social Capital of an Iconic Institution”. Details on these projects can be found in the Research Projects section in the menu below. For more information about research at Surf Life Saving Australia, please contact Dr Shauna Sherker at

Research Advisory Committee

The Research Advisory Committee consists of a number of esteemed researchers from a range of research disciplines in each State, and the engagement of the SLS National Research Manager and Research Assistant. This committee will facilitate the expansion and coordination of SLSA research activities, to underpin SLSA’s philosophy of evidence-based practice and innovation. The committee is:

Norm Farmer ESM (Chair) Surf Life Saving Australia
Professor Ann Williamson University of NSW
Dr Bernadette Matthews Life Saving Victoria
Professor Andrew Short OAM University of Sydney
Dr Sophie Pointer Flinders University
Dr Melissa Edwards University of Technology Sydney
Belinda Fleay Surf Life Saving Western Australia
Wade Sinclair James Cook University
Dr. Dean Dudley Charles Sturt University
Dr Shauna Sherker Surf Life Saving Australia
Barbara Brighton Surf Life Saving Australia


For more information about research at Surf Life Saving Australia, please contact Dr Shauna Sherker on