Beach to Bush Program 2021 Kicks off Next Week!

Australia’s most popular primary aged surf education program kicks off next week (Monday 11th October) and this year is set to be a record breaking one, as the target is to visit 100 schools. Just over 5,000 Tasmanian Grades 1 and 2 primary school students have already signed up to be getting a lesson on surf safety from Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s volunteer Lifesavers.

Clarendon Vale Primary School on Hobart’s Eastern Shore is the first stop for the Beach to Bush Teams. Before this Summer hits us, Surf Life Saving Tasmania aim to visit 100 primary schools in the hope of achieving the goal of every Tasmanian Primary School having received a Beach to Bush Session within the next 3 years. Beach to Bush targets the states youngest at-risk group as it has been determined that the best way to help keep children safe at the beach was to take the lessons to them. A growing team Surf Lifesavers from surf clubs all around the state will share their knowledge and years of expertise and experience with their communities through Surf Life Saving Tasmania’s (SLST) various Community Education Programs and Lifeguard Services between now and Easter. Last year, SLST reached over 50,000 people through such programs, 18,000 being youth. To this day the program remains one of the largest and most innovative community awareness initiatives in Australia, having directly reached more nearly 300,000 school children since its inception over 25 years ago.

Throughout the Beach to Bush program, students will be getting some safety tips from our lifesavers before they hit the beach with their families this summer. Although there will be some light-hearted moments during the day, it’s important not to forget that lessons are also driven by a serious side. Staying safe in and around the water this summer. As COVID-19 has meant more Tasmanian’s will be holidaying at home, we are prepared for more to be taking to our shores and enjoying the wonderful waterways that our amazing state has to offer.

SLST Training and Community Programs Manager Leanne Johannesen said; “It’s exciting to be launching our Beach to Bush program for another year and to be able to take our messages about beach safety on the road and reach more people than ever before. Beach to Bush is a really unique program in its delivery and the way we can educate so many children at the one time. In Tasmania, with over 1,200 assessable beaches there to be enjoyed, it’s our role as Surf Life Saving to equipped our youngsters and families with some basic skills, information and knowledge to protect themselves and others with in the water. It’s no secret that Tasmanians love the water be it rivers, lakes, dams and creeks. Surf Life Saving Tasmania aims to break down the perceptions that water is unsafe, and instead educate all Tasmanians of its benefits and how to stay safe and have fun in all aquatic environments this Summer.”

 “Surf Life Saving Tasmania continues to work towards our goal of safer Tasmanian waters and zero preventable drowning with a focus on prevention through providing lifesaving services and education programs”.  

For Media Opportunities and further information, please contact:

Leanne Johannesen | Training & Community Programs Manager

M: 6216 7800 Option 1 

E: ljohannesen@slst.asn.au

AUSTRALIAN DROWNING DEATHS SPIKE, NEW REPORT FROM WATER SAFETY EXPERTS REVEALS

Joint media release with Surf Life Saving Australia and Royal Life Saving Australia | 8th September 2021

New research by Australia’s leading water safety authorities Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (RLSSA) and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has revealed a spike in drowning deaths in the past 12 months, with unfamiliar locations, exhaustion, and interruptions to regular swimming during the COVID-19 pandemic considered key factors.

In the Royal Life Saving National Drowning Report 2021 and Surf Life Saving National Coastal Safety Report 2021 released today, there were 294 drowning deaths in the past 12 months across Australia’s coastline, inland waterways and pools, which is 20% higher than last year (245).

Two key trends emerged – spikes in drowning deaths immediately following large-scale lockdowns: and more Australians holidaying domestically and swimming in unfamiliar (and often unpatrolled) locations. Alarmingly men were once again overrepresented in the drowning statistics, accounting for 80%, with alcohol and drugs, risk taking behaviour and over-estimating their ability considered key factors.

View full media release here.

View National Coastal Safety Report here.

Contact: 

Boyd Griggs | Operations Manager, Surf Life Saving Tasmania | E: bgriggs@slst.asn.au | M: 0437 099 973

COVID-19 Vaccination Position Statement

From Surf Life Saving Australia | 3rd September 2021

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and its member organisations involve people from all states and territories, with the mission to save lives, create great Australians and build better communities.

We deliver a safe environment in Surf Life Saving and want to ensure that we continue to play our role in keeping lifesavers and the community safe during this pandemic.

Vaccinations save lives, and we strongly encourage all our members and employees who can get vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so for the benefit of each other, for those who visit our coastline, and for the wider community.

To check the eligibility and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au or contact the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738

For more information about how to protect yourself, your family and the community, information on vaccinations as well as the current COVID-19 status across the country, please click here and check your relevant state/territory health agencies for further advice.

Contacts

Tony Van Den Enden | CEO, Surf Life Saving Tasmania | P: 6216 7800 | E: tvandenenden@slst.as.na.u

Tasmanian Department of Health | W: www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Public Health Hotline | P: 1800 671 738

Vaccination Information | www.health.gov.au

 

SLSA URGES PUBLIC TO VOLUNTEER FOR INDIVIDUAL & COMMUNITY BENEFIT - “Our club, is your club” 

3rd September 2021 

 Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) exists to save lives, create great Australians and build better communities and as the 2021/22 patrolling and summer season approaches, SLSA is encouraging members of the public across the country to join their local surf club. 

SLSA, Australia’s largest volunteer movement with over 181,000 members across 315 clubs nationwide, is launching a recruitment drive ahead of the start of the new season highlighting the value and benefit of surf lifesaving clubs to the community, and also the individuals involved. 

“It has never been more important or easier to join your local surf club,” said SLSA President John Baker ESM. “Surf clubs around the country are more than just a building or a service, they’re a home, a family, and we are asking all Australians to join us and make it ‘your club’ too. There is a place for everyone at the surf club and everyone is welcome.” 

Whether it’s at the beach, through bushfires, floods or the COVID-19 pandemic, surf lifesavers and Surf Life Saving Clubs continue to be at the heart of communities offering emergency services, respite and support, all with a friendly sense of belonging and community spirit. 

The Deloitte Access Economics 2020 report on ‘The Social and Economic Value of Surf Life Saving Australia’ highlighted that 90% of Surf Life Saving Club members said that being a part of their club assists them to positively contribute to their community while over 80% of members said that Surf Life Saving gave them a sense of purpose and belonging in their life. 

Research conducted by Volunteering Australia from the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia (April 2020 to April 2021) found that those who were able to volunteer through the pandemic reported a significantly and substantially smaller decline in life satisfaction for those volunteers who did not stop volunteering, compared to those who stopped, or who never volunteered in the first place. 

For those who continued volunteering, levels of psychological distress were also substantially lower than those who stopped volunteering, and those who had never volunteered. 

“We know that volunteering gives people a purpose and it has been proven to increase physical and mental wellness in everyday life, especially through the challenges of the past 18 months due to COVID-19,” said Baker ESM. 

“In light of this we are actively encouraging new and returning members to join our clubs, to find that sense of purpose and belonging whilst at the same time helping the wider community ... our club is your club.” 

Surf Clubs around the country are at the heart of local communities and offer a variety of roles both on and away from the beach or they can simply be a place to gather, create new friendships and support individual and community wellbeing. 

For more information on how to join your local Surf Life Saving Club click here – www.sls.com.au/join 

To view the SLSA recruitment campaign video that was developed in conjunction with all states and territories please click here. 

- ENDS - 

Contact: 

Tony Van Den Enden | CEO, Surf Life Saving Tasmania | E: tvandenenden@slst.asn.au | M: 0417 338 706 

Contact 

All other media enquires, please contact our office on 03 6216 7800 or at slst@slst.asn.au

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