Extension to Working With Children Check Clearances, 2 April 2020 4:45pm

The NSW Office of Children’s Guardian has been granted authority to extend WWCC clearances due in the next six months. SLSNSW will be working with SLSA and the IT team to update the WWCC expiry dates in member records. 

More information about the extension can be found on the NSW Government Office of the Children's Guardian website.

Westpac COVID-19 Customer Help Package, 1 April 2020 6:00pm

Westpac are focusing on ensuring their customers and community can continue to fulfil their banking needs during this period. To do this, they have release a COVID-19 Customer Help Package.

More information about the Package can be found online HERE.

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - CESSATION OF PATROLS, 27 MARCH 2020 10:00AM

The SLSNSW Board convened on Thursday 26 March 2020 to discuss the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the stricter restrictions announced by Government and in return reconsider the position SLSNSW would maintain for the remainder of the 2019/20 patrolling season.

Effective immediately, all patrols by volunteer surf lifesavers on NSW beaches will be cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

This unprecedented decision has been made to protect the safety and welfare of volunteer surf lifesavers from potential infection by the COVID-19 virus and to support the Government’s position in discouraging large gatherings of people on beaches across NSW.

SLSNSW will attempt to maintain adequate lifesaving response capability along the NSW coastline through;

  • Emergency Club Call Out Teams that are to be rescue ready for any emergency response and taskings;
  • Enhanced Support Operations (inclusive of Duty Officers and Rescue Watercraft) that will provide a roving visible presence ready to respond to emergency incidents;
  • Continued Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone surveillance operations, with UAV pilots monitoring beach conditions, marine creature activity and assisting with search and rescue operations. SLSNSW UAV operators can work alone, adhering to social distancing guidelines, while providing very effective beach and coastline surveillance; and
  • The SLSNSW State Operations Centre (SurfCom) will continue to operate and coordinate all emergency responses through the SLSNSW Emergency Response System. SurfCom will also continue to provide radio and incident support to both Branch Support Operations and UAV surveillance operations.

In summary, these arrangements will be maintained until the cessation of the 2019/20 season, commencing this Saturday 28th March 2020:

  • Clubs are strongly encouraged to restrict surf club access to their members, other than Emergency Club Callout Teams, Branch Support Operations personnel who require access to clubs where equipment is stored, lifeguard services and UAV operators whom also operate from the club.
  • Clubs are also requested to consult with their Branches to ensure that any Support Operation equipment housed within their clubhouse is easily accessible.

The SLSNSW Board would like to thank all Branches, Clubs and members for your continued patience and professionalism during these difficult and unprecedented times.

More information regarding this decision and what it means for clubs, branches and members can be found here - Memo: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Cessation of Volunteer Patrolling Services


Annual General Meeting Advice for Club Management Teams, 26 March 2020

Advice for Club Management Teams on how to hold their upcoming AGM's is available HERE on our website. For any questions or further support, including support with video conferencing, please contact your local development officer or email development@surflifesaving.com.au


JLT/Marsh Insurance Advice, 26 March 2020

Surf Life Saving insurers JLT/Marsh Insurers have released a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist surf clubs. The document can be accessed online HERE. Contact Marsh Insurers for further information surflifesaving@jlta.com.au


Stimulus Incentives For Not-for-profits, 26 March 2020

The Federal Government is supporting the charity and not-for-profit sector by providing a COVID-19 stimulus package. This is a summary of the package. Clubs should check the ATO website for more information or speak with your accountant to determine eligibility.


SLSA Free Online COVID-19 Course

SLSA eLearning provider etrainu has created a COVID-19: What It Is, How to Prevent Spread online learning awareness course. It is now available for free on the SLSA learning management system for all members. To access the course through eLearning, please login to the SLSA Members Area or CLICK HERE.

It will take about 5-7 minutes to complete, is interactive and suitable for ages 10+. There is no award issued following completion of the course, and no assessment involved in the course, but for awareness only.


Member Training Activities, 20 March 2020

Training programs, including Bronze Medallion courses etc, can continue at club/branch discretion. The authorities have issued guidelines on social distancing measures that should now be in place in all CPR training environments to reduce the risk of the COVID 19 being spread through close contact. Rigorous and additional hygiene standards should be maintained in relation to participants and the use of equipment. 

The First Aid industry is currently considering any additional adjustments to or restrictions on first aid training procedures if required. We will update you when we receive advice in this regard.


Advice on Venue Hire and Functions Bookings - Cancellation and Refund Policies, 20 March 2020

If clubs wish to continue to engage in the hire of venues or facilities, they should observe an increased level of hygiene and sanitation is observed in common areas to ensure the safety of club members and visitors.

We are urging clubs to revisit or review their venue hire cancellation policies. Bans on gatherings of people have impacted events and functions throughout NSW. Irrespective of the reason for a cancellation of venue hire or functions, the current extraordinary circumstances which are affecting us all needs to be considered. We are asking that all surf clubs, like most other organisations and businesses, treat hirers fairly and with compassion, by offering postponements or credit notes to hirers, or reviewing cancellation policies in light of the current situation.


Protecting our Most Vulnerable Members - Social Distancing - 20 March 2020

Advice from NSW Heath is that those most at risk from the Coronavirus are the elderly and people with existing health issues. SLSNSW strongly encourages all clubs and branches to implement risk management strategies to limit the potential impact on our older members and members with current health issues by implementing social distancing and isolation practices as advised by NSW Health. This is a time for lifesavers to support our at-risk members.


Public Liability Coverage for Surf Clubs - Duty of Care - 20 March 2020

Surf Life Saving insurers JLT/Marsh Insurers have issued some general advice regarding insurance provisions that may relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a brief summary, however any questions concerning insurance coverage should be directed to JLT/Marsh. Contact Marsh Insurers for further information surflifesaving@jlta.com.au

Public Liability

Clubs will likely have a minimal liability for any claims if they follow the advice of government and health authorities. Clubs should, at all times exercise and demonstrate a Duty of Care regarding their members and the public.

Association Liability / Office Bearers Liability

An issue may arise if any SLS entity is unable to fulfil the requirements of an existing contract, however most contracts will/should include a Force Majeure clause that would cover the COVID-19 pandemic as an ‘unforeseeable circumstance’.  

A club enforcing an isolation direction on a member may be exposed to a minimal risk if that member places a claim against the club for restriction of access to facilities, for example.

Personal Accident

Under policies with JLT/Marsh, members are not covered for illness due to disease or infection. Coverage is limited to injury from accidents only.

Property and Business Interuption

Clubs are not covered under the policy for loss of business caused by interruption from the COVID-19 vius. That means that no claims will be processed for loss of business income as a result of cancellation of events, inability to hold functions etc.

General Advice to Clubs from JLT/Marsh Insurers

  • In general, business insurance policies will not respond to claims related to a pandemic
  • Clubs should follow all advice provided by the government and health experts
  • Engage early with your stakeholders in regards to contracts and inability to fulfil these contracts

Contact Marsh Insurers for further information surflifesaving@jlta.com.au

Quicklinks

Protecting our Most Vulnerable Members - Social Distancing, Updated 20 March 2020, 4:30pm

Advice from NSW Heath is that those most at risk from the Coronavirus are the elderly and people with existing health issues. SLSNSW strongly encourages all clubs and branches to implement risk management strategies to limit the potential impact on our older members and members with current health issues by implementing social distancing and isolation practices as advised by NSW Health. This is a time for lifesavers to support our at-risk members.


Patrol Operations and Callout Response Readiness

The SLSNSW Board convened on Thursday 26 March 2020 to discuss the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the stricter restrictions announced by Government and in return reconsider the position SLSNSW would maintain for the remainder of the 2019/20 patrolling season.

Effective immediately, all patrols by volunteer surf lifesavers on NSW beaches will be cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

This unprecedented decision has been made to protect the safety and welfare of volunteer surf lifesavers from potential infection by the COVID-19 virus and to support the Government’s position in discouraging large gatherings of people on beaches across NSW.

SLSNSW will attempt to maintain adequate lifesaving response capability along the NSW coastline through;

  • Emergency Club Call Out Teams that are to be rescue ready for any emergency response and taskings;
  • Enhanced Support Operations (inclusive of Duty Officers and Rescue Watercraft) that will provide a roving visible presence ready to respond to emergency incidents;
  • Continued Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone surveillance operations, with UAV pilots monitoring beach conditions, marine creature activity and assisting with search and rescue operations. SLSNSW UAV operators can work alone, adhering to social distancing guidelines, while providing very effective beach and coastline surveillance; and
  • The SLSNSW State Operations Centre (SurfCom) will continue to operate and coordinate all emergency responses through the SLSNSW Emergency Response System. SurfCom will also continue to provide radio and incident support to both Branch Support Operations and UAV surveillance operations.

In summary, these arrangements will be maintained until the cessation of the 2019/20 season, commencing this Saturday 28th March 2020:

  • Clubs are strongly encouraged to restrict surf club access to their members, other than Emergency Club Callout Teams, Branch Support Operations personnel who require access to clubs where equipment is stored, lifeguard services and UAV operators whom also operate from the club.
  • Clubs are also requested to consult with their Branches to ensure that any Support Operation equipment housed within their clubhouse is easily accessible.

The SLSNSW Board would like to thank all Branches, Clubs and members for your continued patience and professionalism during these difficult and unprecedented times.

More information regarding this decision and what it means for clubs, branches and members can be found here - Memo: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Cessation of Volunteer Patrolling Services


Recommended actions for Patrol Captains dealing with suspected cases of Coronavirus
  • Use issued PPE as per existing protocols with all patients
  • If a patient exhibits flu like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing) and/or if it is established that the patient has a high temperature over 38 degrees, withdraw from activities immediately and notify your Patrol Captain
  • Patrol Captains should notify SurfCom on 02 9471 8092 and follow instructions for patient and patrol members. DO NOT broadcast information regarding suspected cases of people with Coronavirus over the radio network
  • DO NOT treat suspected persons with Coronavirus in Surf Club First Aid rooms or other areas of the Club, unless there is a dedicated room and the surf lifesaver is wearing appropriate PPE.
  • Patrolling Members who have been directly exposed to confirmed Coronavirus cases should thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water and follow existing SOPs, then self-isolate and seek medical attention. Refer to the definition of Close Contact.

General message

  • Pay attention to hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating, and avoid touching your face
  • Practice cough etiquette by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or using a tissue. Dispose of the tissue into a bin and then wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as touching, shaking hands, hugging and kissing
  • Regularly wipe down surfaces
  • Face masks are not recommended for use by members of the public, although anyone who wants to be cautious can of course choose to wear one
  • If you feel unwell and develop a fever or shortness of breath, a cough, sore throat or respiratory illness do not come to work, surf club or events and contact your doctor.

Club and Branch Events

The NSW Government has now ordered the cancellation of outdoor events with more than 500 people, and indoor events of more than 100 people.

Club/branch events, such as sports carnivals where large numbers of people will be present should be postponed or cancelled. This includes ocean swims and other community-based events.

Club/branch presentation and awards functions and large club social events should be postponed.

Individuals who fail to comply could face up to six months in prison or a fine of up to $11,000 or both, plus additional penalties for each day the offence continues. Corporations face even harsher fines.

For those clubs where particular events may not attract in excess of the 500+ participants, we still strongly recommend you consider postponing these events until advised otherwise.


SLSNSW Sport and Member Events

A full list of SLSNSW events that have been cancelled or postponed is available on the SLSNSW website. Larger national events will also be impacted by the Government’s Coronavirus order.


Member Training Activities

Training programs, including Bronze Medallion courses etc, can continue at club/branch discretion. The authorities have issued guidelines on social distancing measures that should now be in place in all CPR training environments to reduce the risk of the COVID 19 being spread through close contact. Rigorous and additional hygiene standards should be maintained in relation to participants and the use of equipment. 

The First Aid industry is currently considering any additional adjustments to or restrictions on first aid training procedures if required. We will update you when we receive advice in this regard.


Fundraising

Fundraising activities should be reviewed where the activity could expose members to increased risk of exposure to the Coronavirus. Activities such as doorknocks and fundraising BBQs in high-traffic shopping centre environments should be postponed.


Nippers

The NSW Government has ordered the cancellation of outdoor events of more than 500 people, and indoor events of more than 100 people. SLSNSW strongly recommends that clubs and branches consider cancelling Nippers events where large numbers of children and adults will be present – even if there will be fewer than 500 people in attendance.


Gym, Bathroom and Kitchen Areas

Infection control for SLSA members is an integral part of WHS. However, extra vigilance in cleaning practices is required at this time.

The Safer Club Guidelines on infectious disease provide relevant information. Section 3.12 on club gyms and 3.14 on infection control are particularly relevant to preventing the spread of Coronavirus.


Advice on Venue Hire and Functions Bookings - Cancellation and Refund Policies

If clubs wish to continue to engage in the hire of venues or facilities, they should observe an increased level of hygiene and sanitation is observed in common areas to ensure the safety of club members and visitors.

We are urging clubs to revisit or review their venue hire cancellation policies. Bans on gatherings of people have impacted events and functions throughout NSW. Irrespective of the reason for a cancellation of venue hire or functions, the current extraordinary circumstances which are affecting us all needs to be considered. We are asking that all surf clubs, like most other organisations and businesses, treat hirers fairly and with compassion, by offering postponements or credit notes to hirers, or reviewing cancellation policies in light of the current situation.


Annual General Meeting Advice for Club Management Teams

Advice for Club Management Teams on how to hold their upcoming AGM's is available HERE on our website. For any questions or further support, including support with video conferencing, please contact your local development officer or email development@surflifesaving.com.au


Public Liability Coverage for Surf Clubs - Duty of Care, Updated 26 March 2020, 1:30pm

Surf Life Saving insurers JLT/Marsh Insurers have issued some general advice regarding insurance provisions that may relate to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a brief summary, however any questions concerning insurance coverage should be directed to JLT/Marsh. 

They have also released a Frequently Asked Questions document to assist surf clubs which can be accessed online HERE. Contact Marsh Insurers for further information surflifesaving@jlta.com.au

Public Liability

Clubs will likely have a minimal liability for any claims if they follow the advice of government and health authorities. Clubs should, at all times exercise and demonstrate a Duty of Care regarding their members and the public.

Association Liability / Office Bearers Liability

An issue may arise if any SLS entity is unable to fulfil the requirements of an existing contract, however most contracts will/should include a Force Majeure clause that would cover the COVID-19 pandemic as an ‘unforeseeable circumstance’.  

A club enforcing an isolation direction on a member may be exposed to a minimal risk if that member places a claim against the club for restriction of access to facilities, for example.

Personal Accident

Under policies with JLT/Marsh, members are not covered for illness due to disease or infection. Coverage is limited to injury from accidents only.

Property and Business Interuption

Clubs are not covered under the policy for loss of business caused by interruption from the COVID-19 vius. That means that no claims will be processed for loss of business income as a result of cancellation of events, inability to hold functions etc.

General Advice to Clubs from JLT/Marsh Insurers

  • In general, business insurance policies will not respond to claims related to a pandemic
  • Clubs should follow all advice provided by the government and health experts
  • Engage early with your stakeholders in regards to contracts and inability to fulfil these contracts

Contact Marsh Insurers for further information surflifesaving@jlta.com.au

Extension to Working With Children Check Clearances

The NSW Office of Children’s Guardian has been granted authority to extend WWCC clearances due in the next six months. SLSNSW will be working with SLSA and the IT team to update the WWCC expiry dates in member records. 

More information about the extension can be found on the NSW Government Office of the Children's Guardian website.

In these challenging times, it is important to keep physically and mentally healthy and to stay connected to your fellow club members and your community.

Stay mindful – Do you best to remain calm, be mindful and remember that there are many ways look after your mental health. 

Stay active and rescue ready – Maintain routines where possible. It's important to stay physically active with some home workouts, eat nutritious food and keep healthy in preparation for next season. Look out for Surf Life Saving NSW social media support in the coming weeks. 

If you need help, raise your hand – Reach out to friends and family, as we can manage this much better together. Remember that COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate – it can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, nationality or ethnicity

Connect with your clubbies – Pick up the phone, send a text message or use social media to keep in touch with your Surf Life Saving friends and family #mysurflife

Explore new opportunities – This can be a great time to look at starting that hobby or project you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe you want to look at new opportunities in SLS, complete some eLearning or get your clubs history projects underway? 

Prepare for next season – Although this season is coming to an end, you can use this time to start planning for next season and get ahead! Take the time to finalise your paperwork, recognise members or get on top of your Surfguard process’

Take breaks from social media – Be mindful of your media consumption and ensure you are accessing good quality and accurate information. Take a break by putting your phone down, turning off the news and giving yourself a break.

Signal for support – It is extremely important to seek out help if you feel you need it. If you need support, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for further professional help.

Mental Health Support Websites

Fact Sheets - Assure

Stimulus Incentives for Not-for-profits

The Federal Government is supporting the charity and not-for-profit sector by providing a COVID-19 stimulus package. This is a summary of the package. Clubs should check the ATO website for more information or speak with your accountant to determine eligibility.

SLSA Free Online COVID-19 Course

SLSA eLearning provider etrainu has created a COVID-19: What It Is, How to Prevent Spread online learning awareness course. It is now available for free on the SLSA learning management system for all members. To access the course through eLearning, please login to the SLSA Members Area or CLICK HERE.

It will take about 5-7 minutes to complete, is interactive and suitable for ages 10+. There is no award issued following completion of the course, and no assessment involved in the course, but for awareness only.


Australian Government Department of Health Free Online COVID-19 Course

The Department of Health has partnered with Aspen Medical in developing a free e-learning course for COVID-19 infection control training.

The online course takes approx. 30 minutes and upon completion you will be issued with an Acknowledgment of Completion certificate.

REGISTER HERE FOR THE FREE ONLINE COURSE

Communication resources such as social media tiles, website banners and posters have been created by NSW Health and can all be downloaded from Dropbox.

DOWNLOAD RESOURCES

Due to the NSW Government’s Public Health Order to cancel all events and gatherings of 500 people or more, the following events have been cancelled or postponed.

Please refer to the Surf Life Saving NSW website for the most up-to-date event information.

IRB Championship Series

The IRB Series that was scheduled to commence on 2 May 2020 has been postponed. SLSNSW will be developing an alternate proposed schedule for these events to be run later in the year - dependent on advice provided by the authorities.

Pool Rescue Championships

This event was scheduled for July 2020. As these events attract over 500 participants, these events have been cancelled to comply with the NSW Government mass gathering directions. This will be reviewed later this year and decision made to whether to reinstate based on advice provided by the authorities.

SLSNSW Board Riding Championships

This event was scheduled to be held in August 2020. It has now been cancelled.

Junior Lifesaver of the Year (JLOTY) & Youth Opportunity Maker (YOM) Development Programs

These programs that were scheduled for April 2020 have been postponed with a decision to reinstate at a later time this year - if possible. This will be informed by advice provided by the authorities.

SLSNSW State Club Conference

This conference was scheduled to be held in July 2020. As this event attracts greater than 500 participants, a decision has been made to postpone this event to comply with the NSW government mass gathering directions. An alternate date will be set and communicated to all members once we ascertain the appropriate time to hold this.

SLSNSW Awards of Excellence

This event was scheduled to be held in August 2020. A decision has been made to postpone the awards function. Nominations will still continue to be called for and submitted to celebrate the incredible work and value surf lifesavers provide to the community. We will review when we may be able to hold this function later this year, but again this will be dependent on advice provided by the authorities.

SLSA Statement | Aussies 2020 and COVID-19

Unfortunately, due to the escalating threat from COVID-19 in Australia, SLSA has announced that the 2020 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast in April will be cancelled.

The Board of SLSA met on 13 March 2020 and it was decided there was no other option, following the announcement by the Prime Minister that mass gatherings will be banned in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus.

SLSA will be making additional information available soon and has advised that all Championship entry fees already paid, will be refunded in full.

Surf Life Saving deeply regrets that the current circumstances have led to this decision, however the organisation is committed to the protection of its members and is obliged to follow the advice of the authorities in order to minimise risk to members and supporters.

Further information is available HERE on our website.

SLSA President Graham Ford Statement | Aussies 2020 and COVID-19

  • Head Office - From Monday 30 March 2020, staff at the SLSNSW Head Office will be moving to a work-from-home basis where possible. The Head Office will be closed for all visitors. This decision has been made based on advice issued by the Australian Government and to help protect our staff and members by minimising the risk of gaining or spreading the infection.
    Please note, SLSNSW staff will still be contactable via email and our main phone line, (02) 9471 8000, will continue to be answered and calls directed as normal. 
  • Surf Clubs - CESSATION OF PATROLS, 27 MARCH 2020The SLSNSW Board convened on Thursday 26 March 2020 to discuss the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the stricter restrictions announced by Government and in return reconsider the position SLSNSW would maintain for the remainder of the 2019/20 patrolling season. 
    Effective immediately, all patrols by volunteer surf lifesavers on NSW beaches will be cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
    This unprecedented decision has been made to protect the safety and welfare of volunteer surf lifesavers from potential infection by the COVID-19 virus and to support the Government’s position in discouraging large gatherings of people on beaches across NSW.
    More information regarding this decision and what it means for clubs, branches and the members can be found via Memo: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Cessation of Volunteer Patrolling Services
  • Emergency Response Teams - On standby as normal

Please contact your surf club for more information.

FOR ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT THE SLSNSW MEDIA TEAM, 0405 203 764 media@surflifesaving.com.au

Media Release - Volunteer Beach Patrol Season Ends Early, 27 March 2020

Surf Life Saving NSW has announced that it is bringing forward the end of the patrol season by four weeks.

The Board of Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) says that effective immediately, all patrols by volunteer surf lifesavers on NSW beaches will be cancelled for the remainder of the season. The unprecedented decision was made to protect the safety and welfare of volunteer surf lifesavers from potential infection by the COVID-19 virus and to discourage large gatherings of people on popular beaches.

Read the full release HERE.

Media Release - Lifesavers Remind Beachgoers to Social Distance, 22 March 2020

Volunteer surf lifesavers are reminding the public to heed the NSW Government’s order regarding social distancing while visiting NSW beaches this weekend.

With the increasing risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, many people are avoiding indoor spaces and instead heading to the beach to make the most of the warm conditions along the NSW coastline.

Read the full release HERE.

Media Release - Patrols Close at Major Beaches, 21 March 2020

In consultation with the Minister for Emergency Services and the NSW Police, Surf Life Saving NSW has advised that patrols will be withdrawn from beaches where crowds exceed 500 people.

Volunteer surf lifesavers and council lifeguards will be directed to withdraw patrols where there are large numbers of people present, in order to comply with the Government’s ban on mass gatherings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full release HERE.

Media Release - Beach Patrols Continue During Virus Crisis, 20 March 2020

Volunteer surf lifesavers and paid lifeguards remain out in force on beaches across NSW to ensure public safety and prevent drowning or injuries from occurring during the current COVID-19 crisis.

“This crisis has, and will continue, to affect us all and I want to thank our volunteers who are putting the safety of others above their own personal concerns and hardships. The community deeply appreciates and supports their commitment and service at this terrible time," said SLSNSW CEO Steven Pearce

Read the full release HERE.