40 Years of Swim and Survive

1982 - 2022

Join us in celebrating Swim and Survive’s impact over 40 years teaching children swimming and water safety skills!


For 40 years, Royal Life Saving’s Swim and Survive program has been instrumental in providing children in Australia with the skills and knowledge to be safer when in, on and around water.

The Swim and Survive program was developed in 1982 by a group of subject matter experts in swimming and water safety education to provide a comprehensive program of swimming, water safety and survival skills for all who wish to prepare for activity in or near the water. At the time it was considered that children old enough to start formal education have matured sufficiently to commence their swimming and water safety education, hence it was especially suitable for primary school aged children.

The growth of aquatic recreation due to greater mobility, affluence, choice of recreational activities and urbanisation, along with an analysis of the drowning fatalities at the time, including poor swimming and survival techniques, influenced the development of Swim and Survive.

Over the years the Swim and Survive program has been reviewed numerous times to ensure it reflects best practice and is supported by the most current research available. The look and the feel of the brand has evolved several times but the essence of the original Swim and Survive program has never changed. The original focus to teach participants a wide range of swimming, water safety, lifesaving and survival skills, provide an opportunity to apply the skills learned for a range of aquatic environments and conditions, and include knowledge, awareness and assessment elements continues to underpin the program today.

Our Impact

Over the past 40 years swimming and water safety education programs such as Swim and Survive have made a significant impact on decreasing the drowning deaths of children aged 5-14 years and increased participation in swimming lessons. On average, over 340,000 children participate in the Swim and Survive program annually.

40th Birthday Competitions
Take part in our 40th Birthday Competitions for a chance to win one of 20 Speedo prize packs each worth $175.
What's in the Speedo Prize Pack?


This competition is perfect for children aged 5 to 12 years. Colour in our Little Wonder characters who are celebrating Swim and Survive’s 40th Birthday at their local swimming pool.

You can use any mixed media for colour such as pens, pencils, crayons, texta markers and paint .

Competition closes on Friday 20th May at 11.59pm AEST


This competition is great for children aged 8 to 14 years.
Enter this competition by writing a persuasive text on the topic ‘Why learning to Swim and Survive is important.’

Quick tips for writing persuasive text is on the entry form but in essence you need to convince readers why you believe that it is important to learn swimming and water safety skills and knowledge.

Competition closes on Friday 20th May at 11.59pm AEST