In 2001, a community petition of some 150 persons interested in the establishment of a surf lifesaving club at Coogee, was developed at the Coogee Beach Party and was submitted to the City of Cockburn. On 30th January 2002, following consultation with Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA), a series of community meetings were held and the Coogee Beach SLSC Steering Committee was formed on 21st February 2002. These initial members of the Steering committee were: Daryll Smith, Ken Hodgkinson, John Bate, Scott and Michelle McKee, and Sandra Winter, and they became the Founding Members of the Club. The Club was incorporated as an Association on 2nd May 2002, with the adoption of the Club Constitution, and election of the inaugural Board of Directors at the first Annual General meeting of the Club on 14th May 2002.
Training commenced in July 2002 with Instructors Daryll Smith and John Bate, and the Club’s first Bronze Medallions were awarded in November 2002, with the first beach patrol being conducted at Coogee Beach on 10 November 2002.
The Club was given two years by SLSWA to satisfy a stringent list of financial, governance and local government approvals and support. Qualified members and essential patrol and training equipment criteria were required to achieve full affiliation with SLSWA. These criteria were rapidly achieved and full affiliation with SLSWA was granted by SLSWA State Council on 11th January 2003, the quickest progress to full affiliation by any new club in Western Australia. Community support for the new Club was outstanding with some 230 members in the first year, double initial estimates, with strong membership growth in subsequent years.
The rapid Club growth generated a need for a long-term vision and business plan which resulted, after a lot of hard work by Club members, in the development of the state of the art Integrated Community Facility at Poore Grove, Coogee as a home for the Club. This Facility is now widely recognised as the best planned operational Surf Life Saving Facility in Australia.
Since our inception in 2002, our Club has grown from 230 to over 1200 members. We have a proud history as a patrolling club and also boasts a growing successful record in Surf Sports. We encourage all members to work towards obtaining their Surf Rescue Certificate and Bronze Medallion qualifications so that they can patrol on our beautiful beach.
Our next generation of beach guardians is being trained in our club Nippers programme. With this rapid growth comes a demand for the Club to keep pace and deliver quality programmes and resources. Unlike other clubs, Coogee Beach has junior members becoming involved from age 5 and we have programmes that develops young people up 14 years; which is when they move on to qualify as Active lifesavers. This unbroken chain of development is a unique feature of Surf Life Saving.