The first Australian Branch was formed in New South Wales in 1894 and the movement soon spread to all States. In December 1924, a dual system of lifesaving was established with Surf Life Saving Australia being responsible for ocean beaches and the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia responsible for all other waterways and stillwater environments.
In subsequent years the Society focused its attention on water safety education and rescue training for inland areas, and particularly for school children. In the immediate pre and post Second World War era the Bronze Medallion was included in many secondary school physical education programs.
This period of change in Australia ultimately led to an important international change in 1959 with the establishment of the "Australian National Branch" and the RLSS Commonwealth Society. This time was followed by a period of relative stability, with the water safety and lifesaving programs being used in most Australian schools.
This program was so well structured and in demand from teachers, it resulted in over 1 million awards being taken in just 2 years. At the same time the organisation launched the first edition of "Swimming and Lifesaving - The Manual", a radical and modern looking educational text.
Over one million Australian's undertake a Royal Life Saving course or program every year. Over 5 million Australians have achieved their Bronze Medallion since its inception, and over 10 million have learnt their essential water safety skills through Swim and Survive.
The first Australian branch of the Royal Life Saving Society was formed in New South Wales
Establishment of lifesaving activities in Victoria
Royal Life Saving Queensland Branch established
Royal Life Saving South Australia Branch established
Royal Life Saving Tasmania Branch established
Royal Life Saving Western Australia Branch established
Dual system of lifesaving was established with Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) being responsible for ocean beaches and the Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) responsible for all other stillwater locations
Population 6.6 million people, 493 people drowned (407 male, 86 female)
Publication of the first Australian Lifesaving Manual
Establishment of the Australian National Branch and the Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth
Royal Life Saving Northern Territory Branch established
Royal Life Saving Australian Capital Territory Branch established
Swim and Survive National Water Safety Program launched
Population above 17 million, Drowning Deaths down to 300 a year
World Class Pool Lifeguard Program developed and delivered
Keep Watch Launched
Population above 20 million, 265 people drowned (220 male, 45 female)
Australian Water Safety Strategy 2008-11 launched to reduce drowning deaths by 50% by 2020
2011 Royal Life Saving Society - Australia hosts the World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Vietnam.
Population above 22 million, 284 people drowned (232 male, 52 female)
Australian Water Safety Strategy 2012-15 launched with the continued objective to reduce the Australian Drowning Death Toll by 50% by 2020.
Population above 24 million, 280 people drowned (231 male, 49 female)
Royal Life Saving Launched the Respect the River Program to promote safe aquatic recreation and prevent drowning in inland waterways.
Australian Water Safety Strategy 2016 -2020 launched to reduce the Drowning Death Toll by 50% by 2020