Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Beach to Bush program started in 1998 and has been running for over 20 years. This year the program was held over three days and travelled to six regions across Queensland, visiting 49 schools and talking to over 8,000 students, providing information sessions on beach and water safety flags, safety hazards, rip currents and marine stingers.
“It was just amazing going out there and spreading the message of beach and water safety to those rural students,” Rhiannon said.
The program is designed to increase awareness of the risks associated with the surf and waterways and show children how to minimise these risks to ensure they remain safe in all aquatic environments.
“The knowledge that they receive from the program they can take if they go on holidays on Queensland beaches, or, they can use it in their waterways,” Rhiannon explains.
“They come out with a smile on their faces all the time. It’s just amazing to see what we as surf lifesavers can do for those people out there that don’t experience that too often.”
Alongside teaching critical beach and water safety skills, the volunteer surf lifesavers involved in the Beach to Bush program experienced some interesting adventures while travelling across the state.
“We drove past a barrel farm and I said to the guys let’s pull over to get a photo,” Rhiannon said.
“All of a sudden we see this car coming towards us and they said ‘hey we saw you guys from our house and we saw these bright red and yellow uniforms and we didn’t know what was going on’. And I said ‘we’re here on Beach to Bush and we’re here to spread the message on beach and water safety’.
“They said ‘how good, well let’s push these barrels together’, so they pushed the barrels together, we got on top and they helped us get one of the most iconic photos of the Beach to Bush trip.
“Every single surf lifesaver that went on that program came back with good feedback, they absolutely loved it. It’s the most amazing experience and as per myself, that trip was one of the best experiences of my life.”
The Beach to Buch program has been so successful that it is set to be even bigger and better next year.
“We have made the decision that next year we will be doing it over two programs, and we’ll be visiting Beach to Bush twice. We are definitely really excited to visit more students and deliver that message,” Rhiannon highlights.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email firstname.lastname@example.org