• Club President and Financial Services Manager. This is Kaitlyn Akers lifesaving pathway.
  • Gary Ferriera is a Rescue Water Craft Operator and member of the Australian Defence Force.
  • Firefighter and Sports Official. This is Simon Johnstone's pathway.
  • Chief Training Officer & Helicopter Crewman. This is Andrew McNeilly.
Find YourPathway

FIND YOUR PATHWAY

There’s a role for everyone in Surf Life Saving, and the experiences and opportunities that you’ll face each day are never the same.

The skills you learn along the way will not only save lives and help the community, but potentially put you on the pathway to places you never thought possible.

You will also meet people from all walks of life, form lifelong friendships and have fun along the way.

We save lives, and we change lives.

Find your pathway.

About Pathways

 

ABOUT PATHWAYS

Have you ever thought about becoming a surf lifesaver? Or perhaps you’re already a member and would like to know what other opportunities are available to you within the movement?

Each and every year, thousands of men, women and young adults across the state line up to patrol Queensland’s coastline, providing a vital community service and saving thousands of lives in the process.

However, off the beach and behind the scenes, there are literally hundreds of other jobs and opportunities available to those who aren’t confident in the water or don’t want to get their feet wet. Whether it’s a surf sports coach, a club treasurer, a BBQ coordinator or a junior activities age manager, there’s a role for everyone in surf life saving.

Importantly, becoming a surf lifesaver also offers many opportunities both within and outside of the movement.

There is an almost endless scope of lifesaving-related careers available to members, the likes of taking up a medical profession or joining the Defence Force or other emergency services, and many of these doors are opened and supported by the skills learnt during your time as a surf lifesaver.

The Pathways project is all about showcasing the opportunities that lifesaving opens up to all, regardless of age, gender, shape or size. We’ve used real volunteers to share real stories about their involvement within the movement – how it’s shaped them personally, and benefited them professionally.

Whether you’re a new member, current member or a lifesaver returning after a few years’ break, we encourage you to look through the countless opportunities that are available for you to pursue, both on and off the beach. It might just put you on the pathway to a place you never imagined.

ARE YOU A LIFESAVER?

If you are already involved in surf lifesaving, find new pathways based on your current role.  If you are new to surf lifesaving, you can explore all the roles and opportunities available by choosing an area of interest.

I'm already involvedNew to Surf Lifesaving

WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?

Select an area of interest, such as patrol member, to find out more information. 

Entry roles
Nipper
Observer
Patrol Member – Bronze
Patrol Member – First Aid
Patrol Member – Radio Operator
Patrol Member – Resuscitation
Patrol Member – Surf Rescue Certificate
Junior Activities (Nippers) roles
Age Manager
Canteen and BBQ Coordinator
Chaperone
Club Photographer
Fundraising Coordinator
Gear Steward
Junior Activities Chairperson
Junior Registrar
Uniform Officer
Water Safety
Water Safety Supervisor
Operations Support (Jet ski, helicopters, rescue boats, etc.) roles
Duty Officer
Helicopter Crew
Offshore Rescue Boat
Peer Support Officer
Rescue Water Craft Operator
SurfCom Operator
Sports roles
Chaperone
Club Photographer
Development Coach
Event First Aid
Foundation Coach
High Performance Coach
Performance Coach
Sports Official
Sports Official – Level 2
Sports Official – Level 3
Surf Sport Athlete
Team Manager
Water Safety
Club Management roles
Chief Training Officer
Club Administrator
Club Captain
Club President
Club Secretary
Club Treasurer
Deputy President
Director of Lifesaving
Director of Surf Sports
Junior Club Captain
Youth & Membership Development Officer
Further Education roles
Assessor
Community Awareness Presenter
Inflatable Rescue Boat Crew
Inflatable Rescue Boat Driver
Lifeguard
Patrol Captain
Patrol Member – Advanced Resuscitation
Patrol Member – Pain Management
Trainer
Entry roles
Nipper
Observer
Patrol Member – Bronze
Patrol Member – First Aid
Patrol Member – Radio Operator
Patrol Member – Resuscitation
Patrol Member – Surf Rescue Certificate
Junior Activities (Nippers) roles
Age Manager
Canteen and BBQ Coordinator
Chaperone
Club Photographer
Fundraising Coordinator
Gear Steward
Junior Activities Chairperson
Junior Registrar
Uniform Officer
Water Safety
Water Safety Supervisor
Operations Support (Jet ski, helicopters, rescue boats, etc.) roles
Duty Officer
Helicopter Crew
Offshore Rescue Boat
Peer Support Officer
Rescue Water Craft Operator
SurfCom Operator
Sports roles
Chaperone
Club Photographer
Development Coach
Event First Aid
Foundation Coach
High Performance Coach
Performance Coach
Sports Official
Sports Official – Level 2
Sports Official – Level 3
Surf Sport Athlete
Team Manager
Water Safety
Club Management roles
Chief Training Officer
Club Administrator
Club Captain
Club President
Club Secretary
Club Treasurer
Deputy President
Director of Lifesaving
Director of Surf Sports
Junior Club Captain
Youth & Membership Development Officer
Further Education roles
Assessor
Community Awareness Presenter
Inflatable Rescue Boat Crew
Inflatable Rescue Boat Driver
Lifeguard
Patrol Captain
Patrol Member – Advanced Resuscitation
Patrol Member – Pain Management
Trainer

Helicopter Crew

Take your lifesaving skills to new heights as a crewmember of Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service.

SLSQ’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service is manned by both full-time and volunteer crewmembers. This structure ensures a rich blend of experience across the service, while also providing a clear pathway for volunteer surf lifesavers to upskill and transfer their patrol experience from the beach to the sky. Helicopter crewmembers are highly-trained, qualified and motivated members of the surf lifesaving movement. Helicopter crew can be both part-time or full-time, depending on the requirements of the service and the individual.

Crewmembers actively and regularly participate in helicopter patrols along South East Queensland’s coastline, monitoring for swimmers in distress and/or other incidents unfolding on the beach. All crewmembers are proficient in surf jump/static line and basic down-the-wire hoist operations. This ensures they play a key role in helicopter rescues, entering the water to directly assist swimmers in need.

"It’s not just joining a club, it’s joining a lifestyle. It can take you so many places."

ANDREW - HELI CREW

Requirements

Anyone applying for a casual crew position, as an aircrew person or rescue crew person with the helicopter service must:

  • Be a financial member of a Surf Life Saving Club
  • Be recommended by the club for duties on the helicopter
  • Hold a current SLSA Bronze Medallion (or higher)
  • Have completed a minimum of three (3) years patrol service or be approved by the Chief Pilot and helicopter advisor
  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age at the date of application
  • Have an acceptable body weight
  • Hold a current Senior First Aid certificate or equivalent
  • Hold a current Advanced Resuscitation Techniques certificate
  • Hold a current open driver’s licence
  • Hold an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Drivers Licence
  • Provide an initial medical certificate of fitness similar to the criteria of the certificate required by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority for a student pilot licence
  • Be able to pass the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service fitness test.

The crew fitness test applies to all helicopter crew personnel (except pilots and specialist crew where the role does not require them to enter the water).

Crew fitness testing requirements include:

  • Run 2.4 km in 12 minutes
  • Swim 500 meters in 11 minutes [wearing fins, wetsuit & harness]
  • Patient recovery swim, 300 meters in 10 minutes [wearing fins, wetsuit & harness]. This comprises a 50 meter swim, dive to bottom of pool, recover patient & return with patient 50 meters (must be completed 3 times)
  • Strength: 30 sit-ups, 20 push-ups, 10 second arm flex (hold weight with elbows bent to 90 degrees only. Knees raised to 90 degrees perpendicular to torso)
  • Survival: 12 minutes tread water in flight suit/overalls (initial applicants only)
  • Total time: the test must be completed in entirety within a 2 hour window.

Testing is undertaken on initial application and at least one test every six (6) months (individual crew members may be tested at any time) or after a serious illness or injury has occurred.

Training

Crew members undertake extensive training to prepare them for the rigours of the role. The aim of all training is to provide applicants with the skills and awareness to effectively perform their roles and responsibilities while operating in the capacity of a helicopter crew member.

Successful applicants will complete a Helicopter Crewperson Certificate.

This Course Covers

  • Air safety and crew protocols
  • Principles and physiology of flight
  • Familiarisation of aircraft and life support equipment
  • Emergency procedures
  • Aviation legislative framework
  • Pre and post flight procedures
  • Communication and hand signals
  • Aircraft marshalling signals
  • Search and rescue techniques

Nationally Recognised Units

Crew may have an opportunity to obtain thier Cert II and III in Aviation.

Further Opportunites

As a Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter crewmember you may wish to gain your SLSQ Helicopter Rescue Crewperson endorsement and your SLSQ Helicopter Air Crewperson certificate.

Career Pathways

Defence Force – Army, Navy, Airforce
Aviation roles