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Video clip synopsis – Early morning at an almost empty Bondi Beach. Rubbish is removed by local council workers and volunteer lifesavers check their gear, allocate safe surfing areas, and practise their lifesaving skills.
Year of production - 1965
Duration - 1min 33sec
Tags - icons, volunteers, see all tags


Life Savers on Bondi Beach

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 surf_pr.mp4 (11.4MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 surf_bb.mp4 (5.4MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

buy iconYou can buy this clip on a compilation DVD.

About the Video Clip


Life Savers on Bondi Beach is an excerpt from the film Surf Beach (18 mins), produced in 1965.

Surf Beach: A summer day on the beach in Sydney. Beginning and ending at Bondi, this film captures the essence of Australian beach life – the bodysurfers, boardriders, sunbakers, families, tourists and, of course, those iconic Aussie lifesavers.

Surf Beach is a National Film Board Production. Produced by the Commonwealth Film Unit.

Curriculum Focus


Outcomes of this module

Students explore the civic rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democratic society.

Students have the opportunity to explore values that support social cohesion and consider the ways in which this can be undermined or strengthened by individual or collective action.

Students investigate ways in which non-government organisations can contribute to communities and influence government decisions.

National Civics and Citizenship Curriculum Statements year 5

To access the complete Civics and Citizenship National Statements of Learning go to Year 5 Statements of Learning

Background Information


Bondi Beach in Sydney is one of Australia’s most famous beaches. The beach, roughly a kilometre long, is enclosed at the north and south by headlands. Every day of the year lifesavers patrol the beach between the yellow and red flags. They are volunteer workers.
In summer it is very crowded. The beach also attracts a lot of tourists. Sometimes tourists don’t understand the meaning of the flags. Nor do they realise there are dangerous currents and rips where the flags are not placed. Other swimmers may be aware that the beach has dangerous currents but they do not know how to read the sea and manage the situation if they get swept out suddenly by a rip. Bondi Beach needs its surf lifesaver patrol.

It is also a beach area where music, arts and sporting activities occur, especially in the summer months.

People are always seen jogging along the beach throughout the year. Bondi Beach is also the home of the Bondi Icebergs, an elderly group who swim in the sea pool every day including winter.

Classroom Activities

  1. View the video clip and then discuss and make a class list on the board of all the jobs and training lifesavers do.
  2. What jobs have you seen lifesavers doing on your local beach?
  3. What other jobs in Australian society are done by volunteers?
  4. Identify some local examples of voluntary activities. To research what these may be write to your local council and look up voluntary organisations using the telephone directory or Google.
    What volunteer work do you do or would like to do?
  5. Discuss why people volunteer. Who benefits from volunteers? What qualities do people who vounteer need to have? Reflect what might happen in our community if we did not have volunteers. To what extent can social cohesion be strengthened by individual and/or collective community action?

Further Resources


Surf Life Saving Australia

Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal

Go to Volunteering Australia for information on organisations that require volunteers.