Capacity and Capability


Capacity and Capability (CC) portfolio is responsible for coastal risk and safety, lifesaving operations, research, education, development, participation and surf sports.

The deliverables of CC include the:

  • Development of best practice policies to save lives
  • Improvement of drowning prevention initiatives and lifesaving operations
  • Management of member development programs
  • Development of consistent and relevant educational resources/practices
  • Enhancement of participation
  • Development of athletes, coaches and officials through national sport operations, events and community resources.


During the 2016/17 season surf lifesaving patrols and 24/7 emergency response services delivered crucial work across the Australian coastline. Significant achievements and initiatives have been delivered across the key pillars; lifesaving, drowning prevention and water safety education. The daily effort of surf lifesavers resulted in 10,879 rescues, 3,951,428 preventative actions and 108,044 first aid treatments. If not for these actions, the loss of life and number of injuries would be far greater.

The invaluable support of the Australian Government’s Department of Health provided additional support to states and clubs through the funding of two programs to assist the delivery of front line services and implement initiatives in key drowning locations around Australia. The Beach Safety Equipment Fund was delivered directly to clubs for the purchase of essential lifesaving equipment. The Beach Drowning Blackspot Reduction Program provided funds to states to deliver programs, services and initiatives in high priority areas to reduce incidents
in these locations.

Drowning Prevention

SLSA’s Total Service Plan continues to conduct evidence based and behavioural research programs including the collection of evidence from peak authorities to inform and further advance our understanding of behaviours and risk perception in aquatic locations. This research forms the foundation of SLSA’s National Coastal Safety Report and informs the strategic direction for SLSAs drowning and prevention programs.

In 2016 we continued our commitment as a leader and contributor to the Australian Water Safety Council, collaboratively working to reduce the number of lives lost in aquatic environments. Water Safety Forums were conducted across the year with agencies committing to a shared set of strategic outcomes in a united voice to government on drowning prevention.

Research partnerships have commenced to examine the impact of non-fatal drowning and bystander rescues. These partnerships are vital to enhance our understanding of the extent of aquatic related incidents occurring outside patrolled areas. This research provides critical data to inform and develop initiatives and programs that may reduce these incidents in future.

Rip Current Campaign

Coastal Safety research informed the development and launch of SLSA’s new rip current public awareness campaign launched in 2016-17. The campaign was developed after significant research into rip current-related drowning deaths, behaviour and perceptions around rip currents and the identification of key contributing factors.

The campaign focused on challenging people’s knowledge and beliefs, and to address the many misconceptions about rip currents.


Members safety remains a key priority. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) development continued over the past year. Level 25* lifejackets and helmets went through further evaluations to ensure they are fit for purpose. Processes are being developed to help key officials identify risks at events and communicate these risks to others and put mitigations strategies into place.

The Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) specification was endorsed in early 2017 after a significant consultative process, which will result in a standard class of craft. Other craft and equipment continues to be assessed to further assist surf lifesavers in their duties and operations.

*Level 25 refers to the buoyancy classification of a life jacket, of which there is level 275, 150, 100, 50, 50S, and level 25. Level 25 is designed for use by competent swimmers for specific specialist activities such as sporting and competitive situations.


Partnership, advocacy, collaboration and industry engagement responsibilities were fulfilled in several sectors across 2016-17. SLSA presented papers at key forums including the World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety, AFAC Conference, World Congress on Public Health and the National Search and Rescue Conference. Collaborative research partnerships remain crucial to drowning prevention work, including those with Australian Fire and Emergency Services Council, Macquarie University, the Bureau of Meteorology, Flinders University, University of New South Wales, OmniPoll, CSIRO and many more.


In 2016/17 learning and development released Spinal Management, Pain Management, Age Manager, Silver Medallion Advanced First Aid and Advanced Resuscitation Technique courses. In person delivery for each course was accompanied by online content for an enhanced learning experience.

A review of the Leadership program was initiated in May this year across the Leadership College and Masterclass programs, with changes to be implemented in 2018.

The review is focused on driving participation and engagement, developing a unique leadership experience that teaches participants to think strategically and embrace innovation and the need for change.

SLSA received $10 million in funding over three years from the Federal Government to upgrade its volunteer training in line with our whole of movement digital strategy, the majority of which will be distributed to the states/NT. This will greatly improve the quality of existing training and enhance opportunities for current educators. It will also relieve the administrative burden on volunteers, freeing them up to deliver front line services.


As we reflect on the 2016/17 season, we continue to see areas of improved performance across the key pillars of sport: high performance, national sporting events, and sport education.

Surf sports has seen a challenging and transformative year as we commenced implementation of the strategic initiatives from the 2015-16 National Sport and Recreation Review.

Our strategic focus continues to be removing barriers to entry, the improvement of operational delivery and optimisation of our use of technology to maximise efficiency and meet the needs of our membership.

Whilst extremely challenging conditions were experienced throughout the 2017 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships, several highlights were delivered across sport this year including live telecast of the 2017 Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Finals Series. Sports education has continued to maintain growth with a notable increase in participation in the new National Coaching Accreditation Scheme this year.

Key Highlights:

SLSA continues to progress its broadcast reach by taking the newly formatted Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Finals Series from a delayed telecast to a live broadcast on Fox Sports.

‘Whole of Sport’ philosophy was developed focusing on key business units across sport education, high performance, and national sporting events. This will drive participation initiatives and provide a platform for peak performance across many Australian teams.

The implementation of new Sport and Recreation initiatives remains a priority; a review into sport competitions recommended relaxed eligibility requirements to allow more members to access our sporting products. Design concepts for the new modified surf sport products are currently being validated.

SLSA delivered on all key participation and high-performance indicators with the Australian Sports Commission and maintained a strong relationship with Olympic Sports Canoeing and Swimming.

2016 saw 13 Surf Life Saving members represent Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympics. Ski paddler Lachlan Tame and three-time Olympian Ken Wallace teamed up to claim bronze in the K-2 100m Canoe/Kayak event.

Greg Meagher

Greg Meagher
General Manager, Capacity and Capability

Sport Results

National Inflatable Rescue Boat Championships (IRB) 2016
Mollymook, NSW, 22-24 July 2016

Interstate ChampionshipsQLD51NSW39SA32
National ChampionshipsNorth Burleigh SLSC35Kiama Downs SLSC21Point Lookout SLSC16
Caves Beach SLSC16

National Pool Rescue Championships 2016
Gold Coast, QLD, 5-7 August 2016

EventFirst PointscoreSecondPointscoreThird Pointscore
Interstate ChampionshipsQLD474NSW370WA362
National ChampionshipsCurrumbin Beach Vikings SLSC466Maroochydore SLSC307BMD Northcliffe SLSC225

Coolangatta Gold
Gold Coast, QLD, 10-11 October 2015

CategoryFirst TimeSecondTimeThirdTime
Elite Male - Long CourseAli Day3:54:30Matt Bevilacqua4:05:08Alex Wright4:05:10
Elite Female - Long CourseCourtney Hancock4:29:08Allie Britton4:31:54Rebecca Creedy4:36:13
Open Male - Short CourseNick Pluimers3:19:36Ben Cochrane3:22:48Bobby Byrne3:23:50
Open Female - Short CourseNadi Canning3:33:16Phoebe Savage3:39:58Sally Watson3:52:31
U19 Male - Short CourseCampbell Guthrie3:16:12Grant Harris3:17:10Bailey Williams3:19:04
U19 Female - Short CourseGrace Kaihau3:30:20Abigail Pugh3:32:20Brielle Cooper3:36:21
19-29 Male - Long CourseMatthew Gilling4:46:35James Haigh5:19:57Thomas McMorrow5:23:09
19-29 Male - Short CourseBeau Bailey3:49:13
19-29 Female - Short CourseEmma Lockhart4:02:41Kelly Trim4:29:32
30-39 Male Long CourseChad Poland4:40:19Glen Coltman4:45:24Tim Jennett4:48:44
30-39 Male Short CourseAdam Jeffrey3:34:41Rick Laverty3:48:22Matt Mosey4:01:06
30-39 Female Long CourseTiarne Smith5:15:50Amanda Bowman6:00:32Lia Trebilcock6:29:45
30-39 Female Short CourseTriona McMenamin4:04:36Kristy Craft4:25:19Camile De Carmejane4:28:54
40-49 Male Long CourseMark Forrester4:42:34Andrew Keegan5:09:14Michael Jennett5:13:25
40-49 Male Short CourseMatthew Gibbs3:37:54John Clothier3:41:37Sean Harvie3:47:02
40-49 Female Short CourseHeli Murray3:56:54Tamiel Benjamin4:05:33Raelene Myers4:30:24
50+ Male Long CourseAndrew Buhk4:55:07Bruckner Chase5:38:42Scott Oxenford5:45:35
50+ Male Short CourseSteve Coulter3:35:12Craig Sly3:38:38Nick Carroll3:54:10
50+ Female Short CourseAlison Pegg4:01:15
Open Male Relay - Long CourseCentral Engineering Currumbin4:01:14Team Manly 24:07:31Team Manly 14:08:24
Open Male Relay - Short CourseCBV3:08:10The 07’s3:20:45Cronulla Young Guns3:27:38
Open Female Relay - Long CourseThe Pelicans5:08:50Leo Legends5:26:53
Open Female Relay - Short CourseWesties Chicks3:41:02Blue, Black and White3:53:01SPG’S4:05:41
Open Mixed Relay - Long CourseTeam Harambe4:13:19Team Jones4:53:55SBBR5:10:17
Open Mixed Relay - Short CourseStupid Sexy Flanders3:23:12Mordi3:41:06Chafing the Dream3:43:14
Masters Male 35+ Relay - Long CourseTerrigal Masters Team FY!4:26:35Mt Keira Podiatry4:36:15Mad Mackerels4:44:10
Masters Male 35+ Relay - Short CourseCronulla Masters Team Black3:31:05Masters of Cooly3:36:59The Orginal Poster Boys3:43:32
Masters Female 35+ Relay - Long CourseManly Gold Diggers5:09:59
Masters Female 35+ Relay - Short CourseNorth Bondi SLSC4:06:57Wauchope Bonny Hills - Victorious Secret4:07:38Gatta Girls4:41:31
Masters Mixed 35+ Relay - Long CourseWauchope Bonny Hills - Expressway Spares4:46:26
Mixed Masters 35+ Relay - Short CourseBrunswick Blasters3:41:16Wauchope Bonny Hills – Mackeral Munchers3:43:30Byron’s Sunbeam Mix Masters3:47:56
U19 Male Relay - Short CourseEngine Lads3:05:33Team Manly 13:08:34Black Swan Boys3:12:37
U19 Female Relay - Short CourseTeam Manly 23:24:18Swan Girls3:29:39YTC3:35:06

National Interstate Championships 2017
Alexandra Headland, QLD, 20 January 2017

First PointscoreSecondPointscoreThird Pointscore
Overall PointscoreQLD297NSW288WA230
Open PointscoreQLD151NSW142WA100
Youth PointscoreNSW146QLD146WA130

Australian Surf Boat Interstate Championships
Shellharbour NSW, 17 February, 2017

First PointscoreSecondPointscoreThird Pointscore
Overall PointscoreNSW91QLD84WA82

The Australian Surf Life Saving Championships 2017
North Kirra, QLD, 25 March – 2 April 2017

Opens PointscoreMasters PointscoreHandicap Pointscore
1. BMD Northcliffe SLSC2131. Bondi Surf Bathers LSC293Not Awarded
2. Currumbin SLSC1602. BMD Northcliffe SLSC234
3. Alexandra Headland SLSC1223. Alexandra Headland SLSC215
4. Newport SLSC1134. Noosa Heads SLSC202
5. Maroochydore SLSC885. North Burleigh SLSC182
6. North Cronulla SLSC736. North Bondi SLSC172
7. Wanda SLSC Inc707. Queenscliff SLSC171
8. Kurrawa SLSC668. Coogee SLSC (NSW)156
9. Manly LSC629. Kurrawa SLSC139
10. Cronulla SLSC5710. Byron Bay SLSC131

The Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Finals Series
North Cronulla, NSW, 24-26 February 2017

EventFirst PointscoreSecondPointscoreThird Pointscore
Round 1 - IronWomanLizzie Welborn100Maddy Dunn98Harriet Brown96
Round 2 - IronWomanGeorgia Miller100Amy Nurthen98Karlee Nurthen96
Round 3 - IronWomanNaomi Scott100Danielle McKenzie98Courtney Hancock96
Overall - IronWomanHarriet Brown284Courtney Hancock282Karlee Nurthen272
Round 1 - IronManAli Day100Kendrick Louis98Matt Poole96
Round 2 - IronManShannon Eckstein100Matt Poole98Luke Cuff96
Round 3 - IronManMatt Poole100Shannon Eckstein98Ali Day96
Overall - IronManMatt Poole294Shannon Eckstein292Kendrick Louis284

High Performance Results

World Lifesaving Championship 2016
Eindhoven & Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 6-11 September 2016

FirstNew Zealand
Name Club
Tim Schofield (C)Terrigal SLSC
Samuel BellMaroochydore SLSC
Matthew DavisCurrumbin SLSC
Dane FarrellNewport SLSC SLSC
Jake LynchNewport SLSC SLSC
Bradley WoodwardShelley Beach SLSCC
Melissa Cracroft-WilsonKurrawa SLSC
Prue DaviesCurrumbin SLSC
Chelsea GillettMaroochydore SLSC
Pamela Hendry (C)Maroochydore SLSC
Jordan MercerNoosa Heads SLSC
Georgia MillerNewport SLSC SLSC
Danny ShortHead Coach - Maroochydore SLSC
Wade SinclairAssistant Coach - Picnic Bay SLSC
Garry MensforthTeam Manager - Umina SLSC
Kristy Ellis AMAssistant Team Manager - Alexandra Headlands SLSC
Nick MarshallPhysiotherapist - Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park SLSC
Martin LynchAssistant Coach - Newport SLSC SLSC

Youth World Lifesaving Championship 2016
Eindhoven & Noordwijk, The Netherlands, 6-11 September 2016

SecondNew Zealand
Name Club
Lizzie WelbornNorth Bondi SLSC
Callum Lowe Griffiths (C)Queenscliffe SLSC
Ethan GarlandNorth Cronulla SLSC SLSCSLSC
Charlie BrooksNewport SLSC SLSC
Jemma Smith (C)Umina SLSC
Issac SmithNewport SLSC SLSC
Rachel EddyKurrawa SLSC
Rachel WoodUmina SLSC
Samantha HowePoint Leo LSC
Nicole KayKurrawa SLSC
Toby WilsonNorthcliffe SLSC
Cody RychvalskyMaroochydoore SLSC
Brett DowkerHead Coach - Currumbin SLSC
Craig HoldenAssistant Coach - Ellis Beach SLSC
Melinda JacksonTeam Manager - Kurrawa SLSC
Troy EadyPhysiotherapist - Byron Bay SLSC
Martin LynchAssistant Coach - Newport SLSC

Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Test Series
Waihi Beach, New Zealand, 4 February 2017

SecondNew Zealand
Name Club
Duke BriertyAvoca Beach SLSC
Bradley MitchellAvoca Beach SLSC
John PatersonAvoca Beach SLSC
Daniel TamblynAvoca Beach SLSC
Richard Brierty - SweepAvoca Beach SLSC
Kelissa BrockettTallebudgera SLSC
Tara DreaverTallebudgera SLSC
Kirsty MorrisonTallebudgera SLSC
Lisa WebberTallebudgera SLSC
Gary Williams - SweepTallebudgera SLSC

Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Development Test
Waihi Beach, New Zealand, 4 February 2017

Name Club
Zac HughesNorth Cronulla SLSC
James BuddNorth Cronulla SLSC
Mitch BouzounisNorth Cronulla SLSC
Jack MenthaNorth Cronulla SLSC
Adam Purdie - Sweep North Cronulla SLSC
Zoe KingNewport SLSC
Celestine MayNewport SLSC
Piret MayNewport SLSC
Katy HultonNewport SLSC
Michael King - SweepNewport SLSC
Greg HeardTeam Manager - Development

2017 Sanyo Bussan Cup
Momochi Beach, Fukuoka, Japan, 24-25 June 2017

SecondJapan A
ThirdNew Zealand
Name Club
Joshua BrownCurrumbin SLSC
Daniel CollinsRedhead SLSC
Nikolas GreenNorthcliffe SLSC
Callum Lowe-GriffithsKurrawa SLSC
Jackson SymondsSorrento SLSC (WA)
Maddy DunnNorthcliffe SLSC
Elizabeth ForsythCurrumbin SLSC
Hannah MinogueNewport SLSC SLSC
Naomi ScottManly SLSC
Rachel WoodUmina SLSC
Craig HoldenCoach - Elliott Heads SLSC
Sam DickAssistant Coach - Currumbin SLSC

SLSA Operations – Capacity & Capability

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