Surf Life Saving Australia ranked in top three most trusted Australian charities


14 April 2022

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) has been ranked the third most trusted Australian charity in the 2021 Charity RepTrak reputation index, achieving the organisation's highest reputation score since the index’s inception and the greatest improvement of any of the benchmark 40 charities measured in 2021.

Surf Life Saving exists to save lives, build better communities and create great Australians with Surf Life Saving President John Baker ESM saying that these are the reasons that Australians trust Surf Life Saving Australia.

“Australians value what volunteer surf lifesavers contribute to the community every day, and I think our fantastic reputation ranking reflects the public’s sentiment around our organisation,” said John Baker ESM.

In the past year, SLSA achieved its largest year on year reputation increase since the tracker’s inception in 2011, with a score of 92.9 in 2021. In 2019, SLSA was ranked number nine, seeing it rise significantly during that period.

Volunteer surf lifesavers patrol beaches around the country, saving thousands of lives each year. During 2020/21, surf lifesavers performed 8,064 rescues, provided 53,446 first aid treatments, conducted more than 1.75 million preventative actions and collectively contributed over 1.3 million volunteer hours on patrol.

As more than just a beach patrol service, volunteer surf lifesavers have also played a vital role in an emergency service capacity, most recently responding to the Queensland and New South Wales flood crises in February and March 2022. Volunteer surf lifesavers conducted countless evacuations, rescues, food drops and welfare checks, which highlighted that the specialised skills and equipment are a crucial community asset in times of natural disasters.

Providing such large-scale and tangible support to communities across the country has no doubt assisted in SLSA achieving third place in the Charity RepTrak ranking.

“We’re extremely proud of the work our volunteer surf lifesavers do; not just to keep people safe on our beaches across Australia but also beyond the coastline, as we’ve seen recently in the Queensland and New South Wales flood rescue and recovery efforts,” Mr Baker said.

Public opinion of Surf Life Saving Australia from RepTrak survey participants was overwhelmingly positive, including that it is a ‘much needed service’, that ‘they always help and educate’ and ‘they save lives and make our beaches safe’.

Chair of the Surf Life Saving Foundation (SLSF) – Darrin Bragg said that creating a connection to the cause amongst the community is extremely important to SLSA.

“We want all Australians to understand the incredible service volunteer surf lifesavers provide for the community, and in turn, inspire others to support the cause – whether that’s through volunteering their time, donating money, or simply sharing our water safety messages with friends and family. Everyone can support Surf Life Saving in their own way,” said Mr Bragg.

Oliver Freedman, Managing Director of RepTrak which conducts the Reputation Index said, “SLSA’s 2021 report provides an exciting set of reputation results both in comparison to the charity’s benchmark set, but also in its uplift and position among the Benchmark 40 organisations in Australia at large,” Freedman said.

“The biggest driver of a charity’s reputation remains the impact it has on the community, followed by perceptions of the quality of its services and then its overall integrity and conduct. SLSA has done well to champion the ‘lifesaving’ service it offers as well as showing how its offerings benefit Australians’ physical and mental wellbeing.”

RepTrak founded the annual Australian Charity Reputation Index in 2011. It is a global data and insights company which measures and ranks Australia’s largest 40 charities (based on revenue, familiarity levels and reputation) as well as Australia’s largest corporates.

Surf Life Saving Australia is predominantly a community-funded movement that relies on the generosity of Australians to continue to equip and train its more than 187,000 volunteer members in CPR, first aid and many in emergency response.


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