National Leadership College

What is the National Leadership College?

The National Leadership College (NLC) is an annual leadership and development program recognising young leaders in Surf Life Saving (SLS) aged between 20 and 30 years. Participants come from a variety of clubs, roles and SLS backgrounds. Ideally participants will have attended a state leadership program, however they may have attended similar leadership programs through work or study. The NLC is an essential step in the SLS Leadership Pathway.

The NLC provides an exciting opportunity for members within the movement to further develop their leadership skills and continue to positively contribute to the success of SLS. As well as learning new skills and creating opportunities for personal growth, NLC will open new networks with other likeminded passionate members across the country, who are also committed to making a difference within the movement. The NLC is designed to challenge participants intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically. The skills gained are designed to be taken back to clubs and into other areas of the participant’s daily life, with the aim of contributing to SLSA’s mission statement of saving lives, creating great Australians and building better communities.

Each day includes keynote speakers, elective sessions, activities and challenges relating to the leadership theme of the day. Each participant will be allocated a mentor and have ongoing opportunities for review and further development.

Participants also benefit from exposure to the larger national movement. Networking with members from clubs nationally is a highlight for participants as they share ideas and create new friendships and networks. Participants have the opportunity to see the big picture for SLS as they gain greater exposure to national goals and aspirations. Through the sharing of ideas, resources and future directions, NLC provides an opportunity to create an effective national movement.

What will participants get out of NLC?

  • Exposure to surf life saving at a national level
  • Hear from SLSA leaders
  • Opportunity to network with other likeminded members from around Australia
  • Growth in self-confidence and the self-power to make things happen
  • A perception of your own personal leadership qualities and competencies
  • Share opinions and workshop current issues
  • Be inspired by industry professional guest speakers
  • Become part of the Leadership Alumni


Who Can Apply?

Participants must meet the following requirements:

  • be a minimum of 20 years of age and a maximum of 30 years by course commencement.
  • be a current member of an SLSA affiliated surf life saving club
  • demonstrate previous leadership training/experience, preferably from within the SLS movement
  • • Possess a healthy desire to influence our organisation’s future direction.


Participant allocation:

There will be a rigorous screening process for applications, with a maximum of 30 participants selected from around Australia. Each club is encouraged to nominate one member only who has the greatest level of current engagement and potential. There is no state allocation, but members will be selected based on their suitability for the Program.

Participants need to be endorsed by their club, branch (where applicable) and state/territory centre, however please note that this endorsement does not guarantee acceptance to the Program.

What type of applicant are we looking for?

  • Courageous and innovative thinker
  • Enthusiastic with a strong capacity to learn
  • Individuals committed to SLS for the longer term
  • Emerging influencer in the club
  • Team orientated
  • Highly motivated and self-aware


NLC is predominately funded by SLSA as part of building the national leaders of the future fund.

The participant fee is $750 (including GST) if the individual is flying to Sydney and $400 (including GST) if you are using ground transport. Fees cover transport, meals, accommodation, activities and materials. Generally, the owning club or state will cover these costs, but please check as the participant is the one responsible for the cost. There are also four Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarships available from SLSA for those members who qualify (please see further information below and complete the separate application form).

All costs are covered for members who are successful in securing the Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarship.

What is the Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarship?

As part of Surf Life Saving Australia’s strategy to encourage diversity within the movement, we are offering four (4) fully funded Scholarship opportunities to members from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) backgrounds to take part in NLC 2020.

How does the Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarship help SLS?

The Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarship provides opportunities to emerging leaders within Indigenous and multicultural communities to gain skills, confidence, become future leaders within their communities and strengthen the links between all Australians.

In addition to helping students achieve their educational aspirations, the Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarship will help contribute to the development of a pool of positive role models and future leaders from Indigenous and Multicultural communities, to inspire other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and CALD students to become involved and engaged within SLS and illustrate the successes that can be achieved through education.

Multicultural and Indigenous Scholarship Applicants:

  • must be culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI)
  • be a minimum of 20 years of age and a maximum of 30 years on 1 February 2020
  • be a current member of an SLSA affiliated Surf Life Saving Club
  • demonstrate potential as a future leader within SLS, with a desire to influence the movements future direction and their
  • local Indigenous or CALD community.

What do previous participants have to say?

“The best week of not just my lifesaving life but of my life! Amazing personal growth as well as meeting and working with the most amazing people. Inspired!”


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