July 1 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of women’s involvement in active surf lifesaving duties.

40 Years of Women in Surf

In the modern era, we are lucky to have a membership full of courageous, strong, hard-working and all-round wonderful women who fill a number of roles on the beach, at their clubs and as employees of Surf Life Saving WA. They are patrolling lifesavers, athletes, coaches, administrators, presidents, Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter aircrew and more.

But that wasn’t always the case.

It wasn’t until 1 July, 1980 that women were admitted as full members of the Surf Life Saving Association of Australia.

Four decades on from being made full members, we want to pay homage to the incredible, trailblazing women of the movement by sharing their stories, photos and videos.


Join us for WISE 2020

On the Thursday night prior to the SunSmart WA Surf Life Saving Championships this year, there will be a Women in Surf Event to bring together women from across the movement in celebration of 40 years of full female membership.

To keep up to date with the event, as well as other discussions surrounding the 40-year celebrations, join the WISE 2020 Facebook group.

How to share your stories and connect with others

  • Use the form to upload your photos, videos and stories to us.
  • Email us your stories and anecdotes about your time in the movement, or tell us about your mother, aunty or grandmother who was a trailblazer!
  • Drop into Surf House (7 Delawney Street, Balcatta WA 6021) to drop off USB’s, newspaper articles, photos or film.*
  • Join the Women in Surf Event (WISE) Facebook group.
  • Contact Christine Cougan from Sorrento SLSC for other options

*Any hardcopy items delivered to Surf House will be digitised and returned to their owner. 

Swanbourne Nedlands SLSC Women in Surf Life Saving

The attached document on Women in Surf Life Saving

Begins with extracts from the Surf Life Saving Australia 1979-80 73rd Annual Report and Financial Statement. Interesting to see how the different officials refer to (or don’t) the decision to allow women to gain their Bronze Medallion / participate in surf lifesaving.

Extracts from both Striving To Serve Part 1 and Part 1 ½, the Club History.

Analysis of Bronze Medallions by women at Swanbourne-Nedlands SLSC, WA and listing of all 436 women who have gained their Bronze Medallion at the Club to date.

List of female Office Bearers at Swanbourne-Nedlands SLSC and Annual Trophies won by women at Swanbourne-Nedlands SLSC.

List of service awards for women at Swanbourne-Nedlands SLSC.

Analysis of Competition by women at Swanbourne-Nedlands SLSC – In Open Competition the Club has won 103 Medals, of which 53 (51.5%) have been by women (individual or teams) and 16 (15.5%) have been by mixed teams (Overall 69 (67.0%)).

List of female State and Australian Medallists. Also overall Medal Tally showing women starting to rise to the top.

List of date of introduction of female Events at Australian Championships and some fun facts.