We value the contribution made to the movement by our members. There are a range of awards that are available for clubs to use to recognise their members. These have been consolidated into a member recognition framework, to make it easier for clubs to apply for the appropriate awards for their members.

Life Membership

Members of Surf Life Saving may be recommended for election to Life Membership at club, branch, state or national level. Members eligible to apply must have rendered distinguished voluntary service to SLS over a period of at least twenty years.

To apply, complete the Life Membership Nomination Form. For a list of past and current Life Members, download the SLSNSW Life Member Registry.

Meritorious awards

Meritorious Awards can be awarded to affiliated clubs and/or their members and/or the public for outstanding deeds of bravery performed in the sphere of operations, including lifesaving both in and outside of designated patrol hours.

Awards are established in two sections, each divided into three grades, as follows:

Individual Award

  • Silver Medallion
  • Bronze Medallion
  • Certificate of Merit

Group or Club Award

  • Certificate of Merit with Silver Medallion inset
  • Certificate of Merit with Bronze Medallion inset
  • Certificate of Merit


Commendations recognise outstanding team work, rescue skills, rescue management, individual displays of initiative and resourcefulness, and well conducted rescue activity (e.g. first aid, resuscitation, IRB rescues, board and tube rescues etc) by members of Surf Life Saving.

To apply download the Application for Meritorious Award Group or Application for Meritorious Award Individual.

Surf Life Saving Australia Honours

Surf Life Saving Australia’s (SLSA) Honours System recognises those individual members who have committed years of service to the organisation. This recognition system is designed to follow a similar structure to the Australian Honours Framework.

The SLSA Honours System consists of three awards:

  • SLSA Life Membership
  • SLSA President’s Medal
  • SLSA Sustained Service Certificate

Download the SLSA Honours nomination form