Surf Life Saving Australia is part of a federated structure made up of 493 entities, including 315 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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John Baker ESM

SLSA President Elected Director

John was appointed as a Director on the SLSA Board in January 2012 and served as the Deputy President of SLSA for five years until he was elected as President of SLSA in 2021. John served as President of Surf Life Saving SA for 10 years and he has been a member of the Brighton SLSC in SA since 1977. He is a former State Director of Lifesaving and is a current Senior Aircrewman with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter. John is a Life Member at Club and State levels, and he was recently inducted in the Surf Life Saving SA Hall of Fame. John brings a wealth of experience with him to SLSA as a Partner/ Company Director with KWP Communications Group and his experience on the boards of the Advertising Council Australia (SA), Australian Red Cross (SA), the Virtual War Memorial Australia and the Smith Family.

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.

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 OAM

SLSNSW President Appointed Director

George was elected President of SLSNSW in May 2019. He brings with him 38 years of experience across a wide range of roles on the beach. George gained his Bronze Medallion in 1981 at North Bondi SLSC and has held a number of leadership and committee positions within his club and branch. George continues to be an active surf lifesaver in his capacity as a Duty Officer and Rescue Coordinator as part of the Surf Life Saving Sydney Support Operations Team.

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.

Stuart Paine

SLST President Appointed Director

Stuart was elected President of Surf Life Saving Tasmania in 2021, and was appointed as a Director of the SLSA Board in October 2021. Stuart has been involved within Surf Life Saving since 1981 and is currently an active Life Member of Burnie SLSC, of which he has held various Management Committee positions within 1993. On a professional level, Stuart currently holds a State Wide Operations Manager position and has a background in finance, compliance, human resources and management.

Paul James ASM

LSV President Appointed Director
Paul has been a member of Ambulance Victoria as a paramedic for the past 25 years. He is an Area Manager responsible for the provision of emergency ambulance operations across Central Gippsland. Paul has been involved with both Royal Life Saving and Surf Life Saving for over 40 years in both a professional and volunteer capacity. He is a qualified member of the Hampton Life Saving Club and held the position of Club President from 1988-1990 and again from 2013-2016.

Kevin Watkins

SLSSA President Appointed Director
Kevin has been an active Surf Life Saving member for 54 years, having gained his Bronze Medallion in 1967, and has immersed his life in the movement. He currently patrols at Brighton SLSC and is very active in Surf Boat competition. Kevin is also a successful business leader in the RTO world and was the founder & CEO of SA Health Education Centre, and is currently the State Manager SA and National VET Manager for Endeavour College of Natural Health.
Melanie Evans

Melanie Evans

Independent Director

Melanie 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.

Toni Bache

Independent Director

Toni has extensive leadership experience in business strategy and human resources roles. She has worked across healthcare, technology, hospitality, government, and fast-moving consumer goods in over 30 countries. She is currently the Vice President, Business Strategy, International for Stryker’s Trauma & Extremities division. Toni has been involved in Surf Life Saving for over 20 years within the Burleigh Heads, Mowbray Park SLSC. She obtained her Bronze Medallion in 1997, Silver Medallion in 2001, represented her club as Summer Surf Girl in 2003 and is an active patrolling member.

Darrin Bragg

Independent Director

Darrin has been part of the Surf Life Saving movement since he joined as a nipper more than 42 years ago. Having spent most of his life in North Queensland, the respected Townsville-based accountant has been a member of Townsville Picnic Bay SLSC for over 20 years and is now their President. Prior to that, he held positions as Treasurer and Club Captain with both Mackay and Townsville Picnic Bay SLSCs. Darrin is a Life Member of both Surf Life Saving Queensland and the North Barrier Surf Life Saving Branches. He has also previously served as a Board Member for Surf Life Saving Queensland.

Suzanne Storrie

Independent Director
Suzanne is the Crisis Director, COVID-19 Response Team at IAG and has extensive experience across financial services, aviation, technology, NFP and professional services. She is Chair of Surf Sports Australia, a member of SLSA’s Finance, Audit and Compliance Committee (FACC) and the Honours Panel. She obtained her Bronze (1992), Silver (1995) and Gold Medallions (1997) and was the Sydney Branch, NSW and Australian Surf Life Saver of the Year in 1996. She’s a member of and previously held positions of Chief Instructor, Club Captain (North Bondi SLSC) and Age Manager and Nipper President (Clovelly SLSC) and is currently Treasurer of Cronulla SLSC. Suzanne is a Life Member of Surf Life Saving Australia. She has B.Ec, M.Tax, M.Acc, and is a Fellow CPA, GAICD.
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.