Surf Life Saving Australia is part of a federated structure made up of 493 entities, including 314 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:

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 a wealth of surf lifesaving knowledge, coupled with a strong business background. Graham is a Life Member and Patron of Bronte SLSC and President of the International Life Saving Federation and he 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.

Adam Weir


Adam is a life-long member of Cronulla SLSC. He has been a successful competitor at all levels of surf sport competition, is a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal, and has held a variety of roles at both SLS State and National levels. He is also a member of the International Life Saving (ILS) Rescue Commission and chairs the ILS Rescue Operations Committee. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and was appointed to the role of CEO in June 2018.

John Baker ESM

SLSA Deputy President, SLSSA President Appointed Director

John, a Company Director, is the Deputy President of Surf Life Saving Australia, and has been President of Surf Life Saving SA since June 2011. He was appointed as a Director on the SLSA Board in January 2012. John has been a member of Brighton SLSC in SA since 1977. He is a former State Director of Lifesaving and is a current crewman with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter.

Mark Fife OAM

SLSQ President Appointed Director

Mark is a Life Member of Surf Life Saving Australia, a member of SLSA’s Hall of Fame and has been named as the Australian Surf Lifesaver of the Year in 1997 and the Australian Volunteer of the Year in 2007. Mark is also a Life Member of the Broadbeach Surf Life Saving Club, the South Coast Surf Life Saving Branch, and Surf Life Saving Queensland. In 2013, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia. Mark was appointed as a director of SLSA in August 2016.

George Shales

SLSNSW President Appointed Director

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 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.

Craig Smith-Gander

Craig Smith-Gander

SLSWA President Appointed Director

Craig has been in surf lifesaving all his life having had experience as a boat rower and sweep at North Cottesloe, where he is a former Captain and President and is a life member.  As President of SLSWA since 2014, he has held state and national roles in surf sports.  Craig has extensive business and commercial experience, is a company director and business owner.

Stephen Godfrey

Stephen Godfrey

SLST President Appointed Director

Stephen has worked extensively in the area of public administration and was formerly the Manager, Strategic Relations at PSMA Australia Ltd. He 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 has been involved with Surf Life Saving since 1967 and is a Life Member of Carlton Park SLSC and SLST.

Tom Mollenkopf

Tom Mollenkopf

LSV President Appointed Director

Tom is Chief Executive Officer of the Peter Cullen Trust 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. Lyn currently is the Health Safety & Environment Manager for Parks Victoria. She previously was 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, is currently Head of Retail Banking for ING Direct Australia. Previously she was at the Westpac Group where she had 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 is a former President of Avalon Beach SLSC.

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Independent Director

Martin Walsh is a member of Lorne SLSC and Life Member of Life Saving Victoria. Professionally, Martin is a Non-Executive Director and Consultant. Previously a Partner of Deloitte and Ernst & Young, he is a current Director of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He is also the current Chairman of the national Surf Life Saving Foundation and a previous Director of LSV.