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Introduction The origins of Surf Life Saving can be traced back to the actions of Mr William Gocher at Manly Beach in September 1902 He defied the laws by bathing during the prohibited time daylight hours and forced the laws to be changed - thus the now very popular recreational and sporting pastime surfing began to grow into what it is today - part of the Australian way of life As surf bathing grew rapidly in popularity its dangers just as rapidly became apparent Therefore small groups of experienced and regular surfers who were concerned with the rising incident of drownings in the surf began to form themselves into Life Saving bodies to assist those who required to be rescued from an unfamiliar environment SLSQ 2001-02 Annual Report p32 According to the annual report there are in Australia at present 262 Clubs with over 80000 members who protect the bathing public around the Australian coastline In Queensland there are 58 clubs with in excess of 22000 members From its earliest days SLSAs motto has not changed - Vigilance and Service The Associations objectives deal primarily with Surf Safety and the public need ie to watch over and care for the people who use the ocean beaches To this end the records speak for themselves - a total of over 350000 lives have been saved SLSQ 2001-02 Annual Report p22 It has not been until recent times that the commodification of the surf lifesaving movement by the media has had an impact This impact can be seen from your superstar Ironman right down to your grass roots volunteer who patrols our beaches wearing clothes adorned with numerous sponsors names and logos The defining point of the commodification came with the making of the successful movie Coolongatta Gold in 1982 It is the story of the ultimate endurance ironman race The film clearly demonstrated that surf lifesaving was a marketable commodity In
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