CLUB HISTORY

CLUB HISTORY

Venus Bay Surf Life Saving Club was formed in 1961 and is a proud member of Life Saving Victoria and Surf Life Saving Australia.  

Back in the late 1950’s the land of Anderson’s Peninsula was being developed as a holiday resort by the Roet family, with the proceeds from the sale of blocks of land going to the building of the Neurological Institute by the Van Cleef Foundation, on the grounds of the Alfred Hospital. 

It was decided that to assist in the development of the community of Venus Bay a Surf Lifesaving Club would be needed to ensure new residents and visitors would have a safe swimming environment. 

The club was formed as a result of two meetings, with the first being a meeting to gauge interest an interest meeting held at Tarwin Lower Memorial Hall.  On the 24th September 1961 the inaugural meeting was held at the Tarwin Lower Hotel and from there Venus Bay SLSC was officially formed.

In those early days the clubhouse consisted of a ramshackle shed on the beach with basic lifesaving equipment and patrolling members ferried from Melbourne.

Since then Venus Bay SLSC has had three club houses and has grown to over 750 members.  The original clubhouse was built in 1962, 100 meters from beach-head at Surf Drive, Venus Bay, with the assistance of a donation from the Van Cleef Foundation.  In 1970 a new clubhouse overlooking the beach at Surf Drive was opened.  This clubhouse remained until 1999 when a new clubhouse was erected, this time funded through the Victorian Government 21st Century Lifesaving Fund and moneys raised by club members. 

The new club house was built further back due to new regulations from Parks Victoria and predictions of sand dune erosion in future years.  The clubhouse is now situated at the top of Surf Drive and provides equipment storage and maintenance, first aid facilities, bunk house facilities, training area/function room (200 people seated), change rooms and showers, radio room, kitchen, kiosk, administration office and a radio room with communication links to Life Saving Victoria and Police Marine Rescue.

Rescues

Since 1961 the club has performed over 1,200 rescues, 25,000 preventative actions and over 125,000 volunteer patrol hours.

Successful rescues by reel and line were recorded in 1964/65, and 23 rescues took place in 1967/68.  A large number of rescues were recorded in 2001/2002 where a single patrol rescued 29 individuals in one day.

Members of the club have received meritorious commendations for bravery in  2009-2010, 2015-16 and 2018

First Bronze Medallion Squad

On the 1st of April 1962, Len Sutherland, Brian Bridgeman, Ian Inglis, Louis Kirby, John Cantwell and Basil DeBondt became the first bronze medallion holders for the club.

It wasn’t until 19 years later that women were introduced to the club as patrolling members. Wendy Duell (7/3/81) and Simonetta Danielis (21/3/81) were the first two female bronze medallion holders for Venus Bay

Club of the Year

Venus Bay SLSC was awarded the Victorian Lifesaving Club of the Year in 2016, 2017 & 2019 and won the prestigious National Lifesaving Club of the Year in 2017.