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In February this year, Surf Life Saving New South Wales had the opportunity to take part in one of Sydney’s largest public events. 

As the official charity partner of the 2019 Lunar New Year Festival, volunteer lifesavers celebrated the Year of the Pig through the creation of a ‘City Beach’ in Circular Quay; the purpose being to interact with the public and spread important surf-safety messages.

With an expected 1.3 million visitors to the festival coming from an array of cultural backgrounds, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and other Asian communities, lifesavers were able to interact with and educate children, parents and adults across the 10 days of the festival. The event hails as the largest celebration of its kind in the world outside of Asia.

Whilst the focus of the activation was on awareness and education, there was plenty of fun to be had, with a wide range of games and activities for beach-goers. From giant-jenga and connect four, to the big red and yellow blow up obstacle course/ ball pit, the fun never stopped. Giveaways and prizes included Surf Life Saving branded piggy banks, temporary tattoos featuring a pig in a lifesaving cap, and loads of first-aid and surf-safety material.

Outside of the SLSNSW City Beach, the Lunar New Festival included the popular Lunar Lanterns exhibition, performances by a range of Sydney’s Asian communities, Chinatown celebrations, dragon boat races and a Guinness World Record attempt for the most people eating dumplings in one location at the same time.

SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce described the opportunity as unlike anything that the surf movement had ever been involved in.

“The Lunar New Year Festival is such an iconic event, not only in the Asian community but across the whole of Sydney. For Surf Life Saving NSW to be showcased on such a grand scale, and to have the Red and Yellow on show across the city was such an irresistible opportunity.”

When talking to the ultimate objective of the event, Steven continued that “the ability to reinforce our core surf-safety messaging to such a diverse crowd at a critical time of the patrol season was a fantastic opportunity, and for that we thank our volunteer surf lifesavers who took part as well as the City of Sydney.”

Surf Life Saving New South Wales would like to thank the City of Sydney for the opportunity to take part in such a unique and well-known event. SLSNSW would also like to recognise the NSW Government who contributed to the project through the ‘Celebrating Diversity’ grant opportunity.


Wednesday 27 February 2019