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Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club Far Reaching Influence

Lachlan Pike, President of the Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club explains the group’s reach beyond the beach.

Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club nippers
Dee Why Nippers prepare to race

Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club Nippers

While many members of Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club grew up in the suburb and began their relationship with the club as Nippers, Lachlan Pike was actually a “Nipper dad” for his then-six-year-old before he underwent training at the club.

“I turned up just as a Nipper parent and then I saw all the fun that people were having in the water,” he recounts. “To get in the water and assist with Nippers’ safety, rather than stand on the beach, you need to have done the Bronze Medallion. So I thought, ‘why not?’”

That turned into a role as Head of Water Safety for Nippers, and then a stint helping to rewrite the club constitution. Fast forward a few years and the “Nipper dad” is now club President with three Nipper children. 

Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club prepare to patrol the beach
Dee Why SLSC

Forgivably, the ‘late bloomer’ hails from the North Shore rather than the Northern Beaches, but has made the role his own over the past year, dedicating a portion of every day to the volunteer role.

“The surf club interacts not just with our own members, but we are involved with many other different organisations such as the council, other volunteer organisations, other safety organisations, corporates [sponsors] in some way linked to the club. 

“Part of my role is making sure the logistics of all that work; doing things for the benefit of the club so we’re the best club we can be,” Pike explains. 

Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club History

Established in 1912, Dee Why SLSC has more than a century of surf lifesaving in its history. Located at one of the more accessible beaches in Sydney, it provides services well beyond the immediate suburbs, even extending to regional and rural NSW, where the club runs its beach safety awareness program. 

There is even, Pike notes, a Bush Nippers program. “If you were down here over the Australia Day weekend, it’s more than likely the people patrolling have driven all the way from Orange in Central West NSW.”

Patrolling may be one of the more pedestrian services offered by the club, but Pike says it’s his favourite activity. “I really like patrols. There's something about getting down to the beach early in the morning. You're one of the first people there. 

“You look out, have a look at the surf, have a look at what's going on. You set up the beach, get it all ready. The flags go up with assistance from the council lifeguards. It's just a fun way to get out and about and speak to people in the community.” 

Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club hold a meeting before patrolling the beach
Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club

And that’s how he sees the club, as the heart and hub of the northern beaches, with a membership “as diverse as Dee Why has become” both in age – from six to over 90 – and heritage. “We have members from all over NSW, also from all over the world: everywhere from the Americas to the Middle East, to Asia, to every continent bar Antarctica,” he says.

Dee Why SLSC boasts a membership base of nearly a thousand people, with about 180 of them patrolling the beach from September to April, 9 am to 7 pm, every weekend and holiday. 

There are also a handful who volunteer their skills to keep the club running, for which Pike is grateful. “When we need volunteers who have specific skills, we typically have that within our membership. It's usually someone in the club who has experience from pretty much every profession you can imagine. A big shout-out to our members, who should be well regarded as great members of the community.”

Pike also reminds people that they can support the club without becoming a patrolling member. “I welcome calls from people to discuss how they might look to be part of the club or help the club, or what the club can do for them or what they can do for the club. It's a win-win.”

Dee Why Surf Life Saving Club on Dee Why Beach has a range of courses and events throughout the summer and the off-season. Check out and its Facebook page for updates.

Local favourite

It’s no surprise that Lachlan Pike, Dee Why SLSC President, recommends Dee Why Beach as the place to go for visitors.

“It's a beautiful beach to walk on,” he says. “You do an amazing walk from Dee Why down to Long Reef and back. You can stop midway and see the lagoon, and you might be lucky enough to see the black swans that often are there. They’re part of our club logo.”

By Adeline Teoh


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