Beach To Bush A Stunning Success

Australia’s most popular primary aged surf education program has closed the books on another successful season with 12,000 country students getting a lesson on surf safety from our volunteer lifesavers.

Goulbourn to Grafton were on the 2015 itinerary as over 60 schools were visited by 17 Surf Lifesavers from surf clubs all around the state.

Throughout the 120 presentations delivered, there were plenty of light hearted moments as students posed in the iconic red and yellow shirts and put on zinc cream while also getting some safety tips from the Smurfs. The lessons however, are driven by a serious concern.

Statistics revealed that almost half of drownings in NSW waters involved a victim who lived over 50 kilometres from the beach, and with many country kids not getting the same access to surf education safety it was thought that the best way to help keep these kids safe at the beach was to take the teaching to them.

“It’s very appealing to take our message of safety on the road and reach more people,” said rookie Beach to Bush Presenter and Scarborough-Wombarra President Bindi Adams.

“The kids have been incredibly receptive to the message – that anybody dressed in the red and yellow is there to help you.”

Samantha Law has been involved in lifesaving since she was four years old, and decided that she wanted to help spread the message of surf safety to those who haven't grown up near the beach.

“It’s my first one and it was a great week. More than fifty kilometres from the coast is where the stats say lots of drownings occur so it’s so important that kids hear these messages and know what to do if they get in trouble.

"It’s important for kids to learn these messages about surf safety. Indeed any person coming to Australia and the east coast in particular needs to learn how to recognise rips and the dangers at the beach,” Ms Law said.

Surf Life Saving NSW Community Education Officer Stacey Pidgeon paid tribute to the dedicated volunteers who presented the Beach to Bush program.

“It really is a unique program in its delivery and the way we can educate so many children at the one time. I would really like to thank the presenters who gave up their valuable time to help deliver these vital safety messages.

“By all reports they had a fantastic time out on the road and the kids really gained something out of it as well,” Ms Pidgeon said.

The Beach to Bush Program, supported by ClubsNSW and the NSW Cancer Institute, is the largest and most innovative surf safety education program in Australia, having reached more than 270,000 primary school students since it began in 1994.

2015 Beach To Bush Tour Locations:

Group 1: Inverell – Glen Innes – Grafton
Group 2: Armidale – Guyra – Dorrigo
Group 3: Walcha - Bendemeer – Manilla – Bingara – Uralla
Group 4: Quirindi – Gunnedah – Narrabri
Group 5: Lithgow – Bathurst Region
Group 6: Goulburn Region
Group 7: Wagga Wagga Region Group 8: Narrandera – Griffith – Leeton – Coolamon

Photograph - Bindi Adams and Samantha Law deliver a presentation during the 2015 Beach to Bush Program on Monday 23 November 2015

Mon 30 Nov 2015