Lesson 1 – 40 minutes

Learning outcomes

  • Develop an understanding of surf life saving in Australia
  • Identify the surf club as a welcoming place
  • Identify times when they might feel unsafe and can ask for help
  • Identify adults at their surf club who can help them
  • Identify and demonstrate the SunSmart guidelines
  • Understand the consequences of skin damage caused by sunburn


  • Ensure the club is accessible for the club tour.
  • Worksheet: Personal Safety Networks.
    • Collect a range of (ideally specific) posters and flyers from outside organizations i.e., Cancer Council.
    • Whiteboard and markers (optional).


  • If you are not confident discussing the personal safety topics in this lesson, identify and bring in somebody who can help, i.e., a teacher, club captain, club president, police officer, etc.


  • Welcome all the participants and parents to the junior program and surf club.
  • Introduce (from those available) the main people involved in running the junior program or the club.
  • Discuss some of the history of surf life saving in Australia and in particular, the history of your club – include any interesting facts you might know

Activity 1

  • Take your group of participants and parents on a tour of the surf club and surrounding environment.
  • Point out areas of interest and importance at your surf club e.g. showers/toilets, club hall, equipment shed, patrol room, IRB room, first aid room etc.
  • Finish the tour by setting the boundaries for junior activities around the surf club and beach.


  • Ask the participants if they have any questions about the history of surf life saving, the junior program or the surf club and do your best to answer them.
  • Find a quiet place in the surf club and arrange the participants into a semi-circle before you.
  • Ask each participant to introduce themselves and their nickname if they have one.
  • Using the following conversation starters generate a discussion on feelings:
    • Can you think of a time when you felt unsafe at the beach?
    • When/why?
    • Why is it important to always feel safe?
  • Using the following conversation starters, generate a discussion on why it is important to have adults you can trust around you all the time (i.e. a Personal Safety Network):
  • Who are the people that keep us safe?
    • At home (parents, older brothers and sisters, caregivers etc.)
    • At the beach (lifesavers, parents etc.).
    • During the junior program (Water Safety Personnel, Age Managers etc.).
  • When might you need help during the junior program, and who would you talk to about it?
    • When they feel scared about an activity (Age Manager).
    • If they get caught in a rip (Water Safety Personnel).
    • If someone is bullying them (Age Manager, people in their personal safety network). Provide the participants with words they can use when they talk to others, e.g. “I am feeling a little scared about….” “Can I talk to you about something…

Activity 2

  • Finish the lesson by having the participants complete the Personal Safety Network worksheet in their workbook or have them complete it at home with their parents.


  • Ask the participants to recall the SunSmart guidelines (or state specific slogan)
    • Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap, Seek.

Activity 3

Using butchers paper or a whiteboard write one of the SunSmart guidelines in the middle in large letters:
1. ‘Slip’ = Ask the group to brainstorm all the things they need to think about with this guideline:
2. ‘Slip’ = Long sleeve shirt, best if has an SPF rating etc.
3. ‘Slop’ = need to re-apply sunscreen every two hours, use waterproof sunscreen if going in water, etc.
4. ‘Slap’ = wide-brimmed, any hat better than none, protect ears etc.
5. ‘Wrap’ = UV rated, large enough to cover eyes etc.
6. ‘Seek’ = best ways to get out of sun, trees, inside etc.
7. ‘Sunshine’ = hottest between 11-3, play indoors during this time etc.
When the group has exhausted all options repeat the brainstorm for each of the other individual SunSmart guidelines.


  • Encourage the participants to talk about times they have been sunburnt – what happened when they were burnt (i.e. can be painful, peeling and irritation etc.).
  • Discuss with the participants how the worst consequence of sunburn is skin cancer (melanoma).
    • A dangerous form of cancer.
    • Shows up in deformed moles on your skin.
    • Won’t necessarily get it where you have been burnt (i.e. could get it between toes) .
    • Getting burnt when you are young could mean getting melanoma when you are old.
  • Discuss ways in which you can monitor skin cancer:
    • Have your moles checked when you visit the doctor.
    • Getting a mole map (where pictures are taken of your moles and are used to assess and create a mole history).
    • But the best form of monitoring skin cancer is prevention!


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