Bulli Surf Life Saving Club

About Us






 Surf Life Saving Illawarra Club of the Year 2005, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2015, 2017 & 2018  

Surf Life Saving Illawarra Surf Sports Club of the Year 2007 - 2018 

Surf Life Saving NSW Club of the Year finalist 2008, 2011, 2017 & 2018

Bulli Surf Life Saving Club is located approximately 80kms south of Sydney and 15 kms north of Wollongong. We are one of 17 clubs which make up the Illawarra Branch. Bulli Surf Life Saving has in excess of 600 combined Senior & Junior members. We patrol the beach Saturday's (Xmas Holiday period) & Sundays throughout the summer months (October to April). Bulli Surf Life Saving Club is very active in competition and competes at Local, State, Interstate, National & World Life Saving Championships.


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor and help us fund our lifesaving equipment, assist in the development & education of our members, plus have them engaged in a healthy lifestyle with surf sports equipment, please contact our Club President Keith Caldwell mkcaldwell@bigpond.com or bullisurfclub@gmail.com for any further details and a current Sponsorship Package can be sent to you. 

Australians already recognise Surf Life Saving as an iconic organisation that is the nation’s major beach and coastal water safety authority.

The benefits of Surf Life Saving far outweigh the costs, further proving its unique and significant value to the Australian community and economy.

Australia’s beaches remain the country’s largest playground with more than 100 million visitations every year. With rising coastal populations and international visitor numbers, keeping people safe in the water is an increasingly difficult challenge. It is a tribute to the dedication and skill of our volunteers that they are able to save so many lives, prevent so many injuries and make such an important contribution to the nation.

Report Snapshot: What is the Economic contribution of Surf Life Saving in Australia

- Surf Life Saving’s water safety efforts are estimated to be worth $3.6 billion to Australia each year.

- In the absence of Surf Life Saving’s water safety activities last year it is estimated almost 600 extra people would have lost their lives on our beaches.

- Over 70% of SLSA members volunteer more than 3 hours a week during the summer. 50% patrol between 3 and 10 hours a week. Almost 25% donate in excess of 10 hours.

- For every $1 invested by government, sponsors and the community into Surf Life Saving’s drowning and injury prevention services, the benefits are equal to approximately $29.

Surf Life Saving Australia –

Key Facts

Who are we?

Surf Life Saving Australia is Australia’s major beach safety and lifesaving authority and the largest volunteer water safety organisation in the world.

- Australia’s first volunteer Surf Life Saving Clubs appeared on Sydney’s ocean beaches in 1907. SLSA has evolved into an organisation that today has:

- 311 clubs throughout Australia

- Around 70 support services (jet boats, offshore boats, and rescue water craft)

- 158,806 members

- 9 Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Services

- 55 professional lifeguard / contract services

Why we exist?

- To save lives, create great Australians and build better communities.

What we do?

- Perform around 14,000 rescues, administer 67,500 first aid treatments and undertake 734,000 preventative actions every year.

- Conduct public safety campaigns targeting areas known for rip currents and rock fishing to try to ensure that those who use our beaches know how to stay out of danger.

- Since our establishment just over a century ago and the central collection of statistical records, it is estimated we have saved more than 600,000 lives on Australian beaches and coastal areas to date.

- Encourage and support volunteerism in the community

Who we protect?

- An estimated 100 million beach visitors per year

- 80 per cent of Australians who go to the beach at least once a year

- 10 per cent of Australians who visit a beach weekly or more frequently

- 20 per cent of Australians who get into difficulty at the beach.

Club Objectives

As a voluntary organisation, to provide, advance and control the work of Surf Life Saving, the resuscitation of the drowned, and application of first aid, in order to provide all residents and visitors to our beaches protection from the potential dangers of coastal waters, and make our beach a safe and enjoyable environment. We also encourage a professional, competitive and social environment that ensures the overall safety of our members and the public.

Education/Member Development

Our Education and Life Saving team make sure that all of our members receive the best possible training in all aspects of surf life saving and meet national proficiency qualifications.

Some of the awards our members can attain include;

* Surf Rescue Certificate

* Bronze Medallion/Cert II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue)

* Advanced Resuscitation Techniques Certificate (ARTC)

* IRB Crewman Certificate & IRB Drivers Award

* Spinal Management

* Apply Senior First Aid

* Silver Medallion Basic Beach Management 

If you wish to make enquiries about any lifesaving courses for this season please contact Jamie Caldwell our Chief Instructor (Director of Education) jamie.caldwell7@bigpond.com      

In Surf Sports, our coaching programs cater for all members junior or senior, whether novice or elite.

Bulli's surf sports training program consists of a variety of disciplines involving all aspects of Surf Life Saving (surf boats, surf swimming, beach, board & ski) as well as cross training activities such as running, gym/weights work.

Bulli also offers specific coaching in Pool Rescue Events plus Patrol & First Aid Competition.

Our members have won medals in every surf life saving sports discipline at major championship level during this time, including team and individual events. They have competed in surf boat, board, ski, surf, pool rescue, taplin relay, beach sprint & relays, board riding display, beach flags, rescue & resuscitation, patrol championships, first aid, champion lifesaver, iron-man/iron-woman events. 

Bulli SLSC has a proud history in surf sports competition. Over the past 15  seasons club members have won Illawarra (*578 senior gold medals only), New South Wales (400), Australian (200) & World Championship (35) medals. 

Four members have represented Australia at the Olympic Games;

  • Tim McLaren (whilst a Bulli SLSC member) – competitor/coach in Rowing
  • Brian Morton (whilst a Stanwell Park SLSC member) – competitor in Kayaking
  • Rhett Ayliffe (former member) – coach in Rowing
  • Troy Sachs (former member) - competitor in wheelchair basketball

We have also had members (athletes, coaches, management, lifesaving & education officers) in Illawarra, New South Wales & Australian representative teams. 

Our members can also become recognised as Surf Sports Coaches & Surf Sport Officials. Coaches being Foundation, Development & High Performance level with Officials Level 1 through to Level 3 status.   

As mentioned we train our members in Pool Rescue competition with pool events now included at State & National level, plus the World Championships.

Bulli SLSC has competed at nmuerous World Life Saving Championships, including the very first in Bali 1980, Rescue 2000 (AUSTRALIA -MANLY) Rescue 2002 (USA) Rescue 2004 (ITALY) Rescue 2006 (AUSTRALIA - VICTORIA)), Rescue 2008 (GERMANY), Rescue 2010 (EGYPT) Rescue 2012 (AUSTRALIA -SOUTH AUSTRALIA)  RESCUE 2014 (FRANCE) & RESCUE 2018 (AUSTRALIA - SOUTH AUSTRALIA) which include surf/beach/boat & pool rescue events. The club is looking at the 2020 World Championships with an eye to having a Youth, Open, Masters surf/pool teams along with boat crews, this will be in ITALY.

Any enquiries about surf sports please contact Keith Caldwell (President) bullisurfclub@gmail.com or Michael Locke (Director of Surf Sports) 

Membership Categories

Bulli S.L.S.C. has a number of membership categories for people as young as 5 years old. Some categories require the member to attain lifesaving awards and others have prerequisites. The categories will cater to a variety of people, skills and experiences. Whether you are looking to be part of lifesaving patrols, surf sports competitions, training and education or be involved in a great family activity, there’s a membership category to suit you!

Listed below are the primary membership categories available for members. 

Nippers (junior activities) 

For participants aged 5-13 years.
Junior activities, better known as ‘Nippers’, is an activity-based program designed to educate young children about surf safety and awareness. The Nipper program offers participants the opportunity to meet new friends whilst taking part in activities to develop skills in lifesaving, surf safety, surf sports, personal development and leadership. This usually happens on Sunday mornings. 

Cadets (13-15 years)

You can join Surf Life Saving as a Cadet and have a great time mixing with other teenagers. You can begin by gaining your Surf Rescue Certificate, which enables you to work as a member of a team of lifesavers. As well as being able to spend time on the beach, you will have the opportunity to make new friends that will stay with you for life.

Junior Active (15-18 years)

For participants aged 15-18 years & patrolling members.
As an Active member, you can be involved in all areas of Surf Life Saving, including patrol duties. Once you are a member, you will gain your Bronze Medallion and be taught skills that will enable you to become a patrolling lifesaver on the beach. Remember, further qualifications and training opportunities are always available for those who wish to expand their skill set.

Senior Active (18+ years)
For participants aged 18+ years, who want to be patrolling life savers.
You can come through the junior ranks to become an active surf lifesaver, or you can join as an adult of any age. Active members are given the opportunity to gain qualifications and skills such as the Bronze Medallion, Advanced Resuscitation Certificate and many more. Once qualified with the Bronze Medallion, you will have the skills and experience to patrol at the beach. Further qualifications and training opportunities are always available for those who wish to expand their skill set.

Award Member
For participants who want to be involved in the surf club in a qualified or position holding capacity. 
Award Members play a vital role in keeping surf life saving operating smoothly at a club level. Many of our Award Members are people who have chosen to work in important support roles, such as radio operators, first aid officer and resuscitation officer.

Associate Member
For participants who want to be involved in the surf club but not necessarily patrol on the beach.
As an Associate Member you will meet adults who are happy to help out when they have the time, and others who have specific skills they wish to contribute. As an Associate Member, you’re not required to hold a surf life saving qualification- so if you prefer to be out of the surf rather than in it, this is a great way for you to be involved.



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