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The flags have been raised to start the Surf Life Saving Season

The red and yellow flags go up for the 100th Surf Life Saving season on the Hunter coast.

Thursday, 04 October, 2018.

The symbolic red and yellow beach flags were raised on Saturday 29 September, symbolising the start of the 2018/19 Surf Life Saving season. 

It was a particularly significant event for Hunter Surf Life Saving, with the branch celebrating its 100 year anniversary this season. 

Newcastle Permanent is a long-term partner of surf life saving covering all six branches, 60 clubs and more than 25,000 volunteers from the Central Coast to the Queensland border.

Through this community partnership we’ve contributed vital funding for training, equipment, and support to volunteer and junior surf life savers across the region.  

It is an enduring partnership built on a strong foundation of shared values and commitment to the community.  

As the current patrol season kicked off, Newcastle Permanent team members stood alongside volunteer surf life savers to take part in the ceremonial Raising of the Flags. 

Rhonda Scruton, CEO of the Hunter Surf Life Saving branch, explained the incredible growth and strength of the local branch.

A surf life saver holds a Newcastle Permanent flag on the beach
A surf life saver holding a Newcastle Permanent flag at Newcastle Beach.

"Hunter Surf Life Saving is proud to celebrate this amazing milestone of 100 years protecting the bathing public in the Hunter region," she said.

"With four clubs formed 110 years ago, we started as Northern Districts which spanned Lower North Coast, Hunter and Central Coast.

"In 1918, Newcastle branch was formed. We have grown to 13 clubs over our 100 years with 7,300 members. So many changes have happened over that time, with the introduction of Nippers in 1974 and then women in 1980. Now our membership is 62% male and 38% female."

Rhonda reiterated the key messages for beach-goers this season. 

"Swim between the flags, don’t swim alone or at an unpatrolled beach, don’t dive in shallow water, raise your arm if you need assistance, and learn some CPR techniques," she said.

"We owe so much to our past Lifesavers that set up an organisation that has the maturity to keep up with the times and best serve the community free of charge."

There’s still time to become a volunteer, simply contact your local SLS club or branch to find out how. 

Supporting Surf Life Saving is just one of the many ways we support the community, visit our community pages here for more information.

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