Community Education

Australia has almost 11,500 beaches around our beautiful coastline and we all love heading to the beach during our long, hot summers. The beach can be a magnificent playground, but there are many hidden dangers we need to be aware of to make sure that our time at the beach is safe, as well as enjoyable.

Surf Life Saving NSW, along with its branches up and down the coast, support a number of education programs including:

  • Surf Awareness programs for community groups, schools, pre-schools, tertiary institutes, workplaces
  • Beach to Bush
  • Coastal Accommodation Safety Network
  • Surf Survival
  • Beach safe website and mobile app

Surf Awareness/Surf Safety programs

A range of fun and interactive surf safety programs are available for groups of all ages and backgrounds. These include on-site presentations, as well as on-beach practical workshops.

Key messages:

  • Sun safety
  • Swim between the flags
  • Swim with a friend (adult)
  • Role of a lifesaver
  • Signage
  • Rip currents and waves
  • Identification and treatment of Marine stingers
  • Eco-surf (environment)
  • Preparing for a beach trip

To find out more about these programs (including dates and pricing) or to make a booking, visit our Surf Awareness & Surf Safety Programs page.

Note: Funding and subsidies are available for certain groups/locations – be sure to let us know where your group is located and who the target audience is when you enquire so that we can make you aware of any relevant funding.

Beach to Bush

The Beach to Bush Program is the largest educational initiative undertaken by Surf Life Saving. The program began as research conducted by Surf Life Saving Australia highlighted that unfortunately 50% of people rescued from the surf lived more than 50km from the beach. Since 1994, Bush to Bush has reached over half a million rural primary school children across NSW. The 2016 NSW Beach to Bush Program celebrated its 23rd year of educating children from rural and regional areas on surf safety. The program visits different rural areas each year.

Coastal Accommodation Safety Network

Coastal accommodation providers are supplied with free surf safety information for their visitors and sent an e-newsletter on quarterly basis to coincide with the school holidays. The network includes 150+ caravan and camping parks, hostels, backpackers, hotels, holiday units and single dwellings.

If you are a provider of coastal accommodation on the NSW coastline, please visit the Coastal Accommodation page for more information and to find out how you can join the network

Surf Survival Course

The aim of the Surf Survival course is to provide students with the knowledge of basic surf awareness in order to be able to safely enjoy surf activities. The course provides an understanding of the surf environment and an introduction to rescue techniques and first aid. It is the minimum requirement in NSW for students who wish to do surfing as their school sport.

If you are a teacher and are interested in this course for your students, please contact us at for more information about the syllabus and about who can train it.

BeachSafe website and mobile app

To check information on beach conditions and to find your nearest patrolled beach, check out the BeachSafe website or download the free mobile app for iPhone and Android.

Many Branches and Clubs also offer tailored surf education programs to meet the needs of their local communities. If you are after something different to what is listed here, please contact us and we can point you in the right direction.