This beautifully designed and sculpted one dollar coin aptly depicts the type of work typically carried out by Surf Life
Saving Australia. It is a
coin that was issued by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate a centenary of volunteer work by the Australian lifesavers.
They provide an invaluable service, on which Australia has come to depend with their love of surfing and beach and water
activities. This coin pays tribute to those men and women whose services are not taken for granted.
Surf Life Saving Australia is known as SLSA for short and is the authority that is spread throughout Australia providing
water safety, drowning prevention and rescue services on the beaches. It is a volunteer organisation that is made up of 311
surf life-saving clubs and has over 165,000 members. The majority are volunteers who patrol the coats whilst the organisation
also contracts a lifeguard service to government and land owners. The work done by SLSA is integral to Australian lifestyle
and has helped to shape the nation and its prominent surfing and watersport culture. Before 1902 is had been illegal for
anyone to enter the ocean but as the law began to be increasingly challenged, it ended up being over turned. As more and
more people entered the waters, so too were there more and more drowning incidence due to inexperience in the water and unusual
rip currents. As a result, volunteers began patrolling the beaches and by 1906 the Bondi Beach Surf Bathing Association had
Following the first club in Sydney, affiliated clubs began to pop up all over the country. The name changed in 1922 to
Surf Life Saving Association and then again in 1991 the existing name of Surf Life Saving Australia. As well as the adult
volunteer members the association also has junior programs for members called Nippers. This provides the opportunity to learn
about beach safety and awareness in the water from a young age. Lifesaver volunteers have certificates ensuring their proficiency
in swimming, first aid and rescue techniques. The exam which involves both theoretical and practical aspects can be taken
from the age of 15. Over 6 million people have been rescued by the SLSA since 1907 with over 10,000 rescues and 30,000 cases
of first aid on average every year.
This one dollar Year of the Lifesaver
coin was featured in the 2007 Six coin Year sets that are issued annually by the Royal Australian Mint. 2007 marked 100
years since the formation of Surf Life Saving Australia and therefore a centenary since volunteers began to patrol the beaches
and assist those who got into difficulty. The sets were issued in three different types;
and Gold proof. They all make great collector's pieces but the silver is fairly rare with a limited
of just 3,475 and the gold
set even more so at just 300. As well as this coin, the 20 cent coin included in the set features a special design specifically
to pay tribute to the Year of the Lifesaver.
The reverse of the coin, designed by Vladimir Gottwald depicts a group
of lifesavers carrying a person out of the water who has obviously got into difficulties in some way. There are three people
carrying the person out of the water at shoulder height whilst the waves splash around their ankles. The
that starts at the top of the coin and curves down the right hand side reads Year of the SURF LIFESAVER. At the bottom
on top of the waves in the denomination 1 DOLLAR. The obverse of the
coin features the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of the Queen and the
surrounding the image reads ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2007.
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