Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communication and Arts
Prior to 1953 Surf Life Saving Australia, the governing body of the Australian surf lifesaving movement, had limited success in winning international support for its methods and competition. The breakthrough occurred when Allan Kennedy, a public servant working at Australia House in London, spent consecutive summer vacations successfully instructing a team of surf lifesavers at Bude, north Cornwall. An Australian-style surf lifesaving club was formed, followed by others elsewhere, and then in 1955 the Surf Life Saving Association of Great Britain was established. A man of great energy and vision, as well as being a dynamic instructor, Kennedy convincingly demonstrated the superiority of Australian methods in Great Britain, the Channel Islands and elsewhere. At the same time his success soon became the catalyst in 1956 for the first international surf lifesaving competition, and the creation of a world-wide governing body, the predecessor of today's International Life Saving Federation.