Australia's Surf Life Savers not only help and assist all beachgoers, but they also represent all of us through their diversity of members.
Australian Life Saving is an iconic Australian brand that has grown over the years to include women, nippers, cultural diversity, indigenous representation and the LGBTIQ community. So what you see in the red and yellow caps is a reflection of everyone else down on the beach.
Lifesavers with Pride works with the national and state offices of lifesaving as well as surf clubs to ensure that we are making lifesaving a progressive, inclusive and welcoming organisation for our LGBT members any potential LGBT recruits.
So why should you join your surf club, and how will your club provide a safe and secure environment? The ocean doesn’t discriminate, so why should we?
Surf Life Saving Australia’s values include equity, social responsibility and volunteerism. Furthermore an environment is created that values safety and support, caring and camaraderie, trust and teamwork, and respect and responsibility.
Nationally, lifesaving has a Member Protection Policy which all clubs operate under. The policy aims to "create a safe fair and inclusive environment for everyone associated with SLS." It also ensures that everyone "is treated with respect and dignity and protected from discrimination, harassment and abuse." The policy informs everyone of "the standards of behaviour expected." And it stresses the commitment "to the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone involved in SLS."
Each surf club has a range of policies to ensure that all members are treated with respect and dignity. Check that your club has a non-discrimination policy which includes sexual orientation to support the SLSA Member Protection Policy. Also check that they have an anti-bullying policy that includes sexual orientation. And ask about your club’s grievance procedures should actions occur against existing policies.
All our staff, coaches, officials and administrators, are given clear guidance on anti-bullying policies, and non-discrimination frameworks which ensure all members are treated equally and respected
We want you to feel your local club is somewhere you are comfortable as yourself, and not feel the need to remain silent about your sexuality. Somewhere you are valued for being yourself, not someone else you think you should be.
Our clubs see themselves as providing strong leadership as an example to others. They welcome people of all genders, ethnicities and sexual orientation, and provide full support to members who chose to identify as LGBT. Clubs will demonstrate their support at functions and events, such as through usage of inclusive language, and challenging any homophobic instances. They will ensure that competitors, trainers, officials and administrators not only represent their club, but their inclusive policies and position
When competing, our club has a robust position on spectator behaviour restricting anti-LGBT name calling or anti-LGBT chants. We want everyone participating to feel included and part of the team, so using LGBT phrases or slurs as an insult or derogatory comment is off limits.
We want to both retain all our current members and grow with new recruits. Using inclusive actions, commentary and events are the best way to show that everyone is welcome, now and always.