St. Kilda Life Saving Club


Us And Our Organisation

As a not-for-profit organisation, St Kilda Life Saving Club’s committee has a wide range of lifesaving experiences, training and skill sets that is brought back to make our club better every season.
Relying on donations and sponsorship, this will enable our club to flourish and framework a better future for the community. We cannot be more thankful for the various of sponsorship opportunity that St Kilda Life Saving Club has.
Learn more about this brilliant club in the sections below.

Our Committee

Throughout every season, St Kilda Life Saving Club allows club members to be part of the committee. Below is the Committee for the 2019/2020 Season. You can also find out their prospective role and what each role entails.

Simon Gurr


The Role:
‣ Oversee all areas of the club as reported by the Director’s of the Committee
‣ Attends all key club events
— i.e. Presentation dinner, AGM, committee meetings
‣ Media spokesperson when comments are required on behalf of St Kilda Life Saving Club
‣ Attends the LSV Presidents Forum
‣ Ultimately, running the club!

Have a question? Click here to email them.

Michelle Crnkovic

Director of Administration 

The Role:
‣ Oversee all administrative functions of the club
— i.e. Including processing memberships, club communications to members and reporting to LSV
‣ Collates the Annual General Report
‣ Processing minutes of meetings

Have a question? Click here to email them.

Michael Powderly

Director of Lifesaving

The Role:
‣ Oversee the development of the patrol roster
‣ Scheduling of awards training and bronze courses
‣ Ensures patrol requirements are met
‣ Patrol equipment maintained and meets audit standards
‣ Supports patrol members

Have a question? Click here to email them.

Paolo Lavisci

Director of Finance/Treasurer

The Role:
‣ Oversee all financial functions of the club
— Including annual financial reporting, reporting on finances at committee meetings, BAS statements and sponsorship applications
‣ Managing financial systems that the club facilitates and uses
‣ Looks after sponsorships and fundraising

Have a question? Click here to email them.

Geoff Croker

Director of Facilities

The Role:
‣ Oversee the general running of the clubhouse
— Including maintenance, cleaning and hiring
‣ Conducts reviews on services provided to the club maintenance
‣ Reviews calendar with upcoming events both internal and external
‣ Supported by the Clubhouse manager to ensure appropriated scheduling of events and hall hires
‣ Maintains the IT Systems on premises

Have a question? Click here to email them.

Matt Culka

Director of Competition

The Role:
‣ Oversee all areas related to competition
— Including entries and competition related purchasing
‣ Also works in lieu with development and coaching
‣ Is a key contact for engaging members to compete
‣ Supported by the team manager, divisional coaches, captains and competitive gear stewart.
‣ Planning and organising teams for carnivals

Have a question? Click here to email them.

James Quine

Director of Activities

The Role:
‣ Oversee all social and junior activities undertaken by the St Kilda Life Saving Club
‣ Supported by the Social Activities Officer and Junior Activities Officer
‣ Liaises with Director of Competition with regard to key competition events and club milestones
— Including Australia Day Carnival – St Kilda, Club Championships and other arising events.

Have a question? Click here to email them.

Our Sponsors

Sponsorship is what keeps our club going

St Kilda Life Saving Club is a not for profit organisation.
To keep operating as a Life Saving Club, we rely on donations and sponsorship. The funds of the donations and sponsorship allow our club to expand and develop. This includes new gear, equipment, facility maintenance and required necessities.

We would like to thank our sponsors for the work that they do and collaborate with us. Below are some information about our partnerships with the organisations.

La Clinica for Skin & Body

LA CLINICA FOR SKIN & BODY is a cosmeceutical skin care line focused on results, high quality, safety, purity and certified organic ingredients.
Its luxurious, high performance products cater to all the different skin types and conditions, for everyone at any age.

Our History

Operating for over 100 years, St Kilda Life Saving Club has a had many milestones

March 19, 1914 – The Official Opening

Affiliating with the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), the St Kilda Life Saving Club was accepted to become a life saving club held at 227 Collins Street, Melbourne.

1914/15 Season – Going For Gold

Immediately, the St Kilda Life Saving Club Reel and Line team won their event at the St Kilda Shore Committee Surf Rescue Challenge Shield.

1925/28 – Back To Back Success

St Kilda Life Saving Club went on to win the Surf Rescue Championship for the Reel and Line at the RLSS Victorian Titles in 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1928.

1928 – Pioneers Causing Controversy

In 1928 St Kilda Life Saving Club caused huge controversy within the ranks of the RLSS by applying for permission to be the first RLSS Club to compete in ‘Surf Life Saving’. The team was refused permission to compete at Manly in the Surf Life Saving Championships – but they went anyway!
The papers in Sydney of the day praised the St Kilda boys for their outstanding efforts in the surf and commented on the “resplendent attire of the team, with sky blue blazers, hot ties and faultless brushbacks”.
The RLSS however, was did not take the rebellion lightly, with the club remaining out of favour with the society for some time after the Manly tour.

1929 – Promoting Our Success

Several members of the team that won the 1929 Championships pose for a “bathing costume advertisement” for the Melford Knitting Company.

1929 – Ladies Holding Their Own

Whilst it was many decades later that women were finally accepted into the Surf Life Saving fraternity, the RLSS was open to women from very early on. The St Kilda West Life Saving Club team were the winners of the 1929 Ladies Surf Rescue Championship in a swim and wade event. The trophy related to this event is to this day an award for the Open Women’s belt race known as the Hazel Pierce Trophy. St Kilda West did not carry the same colours as St Kilda Life Saving Club dark and light blue, their cap colours were red, black and white.

1940’s – Service During War Time

St Kilda Life Saving Club stayed open during the war despite many young men and women leaving for war.

1950’s – Growing Prosperity

During this decade St Kilda Life Saving Club grew substantially, with carnivals attended by huge turn outs of club members and many successes achieved as a result, many of which are still hanging in the St Kilda Life Saving Club house today. Dances were held at the Clubhouse once a month, with the fireplace (one of the last indicators of the original clubhouse) the centre point accompanied by a 3 piece jazz band that would set up next to it.

1960’s – Decline And Fire

During the following decade the clubs former prosperity began to dwindle, further hampered by the 1967 fire which all but destroyed the clubhouse. At this time, the Esplanade Life Saving Club offered a merger – this was refused with the reason cited that St Kilda Life Saving Club had much better crockery. During this time, the Frost and Cox families were crucial to the clubs survival.

1970’s – Meandering Along

A less than eventful period for St Kilda Life Saving Club the club continued to provide lifesaving services despite another fire causing damage to the clubhouse. At this time the club was slightly expanded in the rebuild.

1986 – Falling On Hard Times

With volunteer participation at a low, the club dropped in membership and even closed its doors for a day. The Doncaster swimming club had joined the club and internal issues brought the club to the verge of collapse. At that time a group of remaining members and some South Melbourne, Elwood, Williamstown members came to assist. The club grew with further members joining and approximately 12 members from South Melbourne to assist including Don and Carol Kay, Daryl & Ian Maybourne, and John Matthews.

Early 1990’s – Revival Through IRBs

A new batch of young members joined the club and took the mantel from the South Melbourne members (with their blessing) who had saved the club. These new members were strong competitors winning numerous National medals in Royal Lifesaving Competition in both the mens and womens divisions. This supported recruitment and the club membership grew with a diverse range of members.

1998 – Beginning To Think About The Future

The City of Port Phillip conducted a review of Life Saving Club assets within the municipality.

2001 – The Decline Of IRB Competition

Whilst St Kilda Life Saving Club was at the peak of its IRB strength, Life Saving Australia made the national decision to suspend IRB competition, a decision supported shortly after by Royal Life Saving. This decision caused St Kilda Life Saving Club a loss of many members who were involved in the IRB area.

2001 – Dual Affiliation

St Kilda Life Saving Club lead the way as one of the few clubs to dual affiliate with both Surf Life Saving and the Royal Life Saving Society prior to their amalgamation and the formation of Life Saving Victoria.

2002 – Embracing A New Frontier – Surf Boats

A few hardy members from the IRB area turned their skills towards a new sporting challenge in the area of surfboats. St Kilda Life Saving Club were one of the first clubs on the bay to take on the surfboat challenge competing in their first surfboat race during this year.

2002 – Lobbying Begins

In the winter of 2002 Matthew Culka became president of St Kilda Life Saving Club and commenced a campaign for a new clubhouse by lobbying the City of Port Phillip.

2003 – First State Titles In Surf Boats

St Kilda Life Saving Club attend the State Titles in surfboats for the first time with a mens crew in Reserve Grade. Unfortunately, their 20 year old donated boat from Seaspray suffered damage in the warm up and they were unable to compete in the championships.

2004 – First Open Women’s Surf Boat Crew

Won their first carnival at Mordialloc 2004/5 season with Stu Cassin sweeping. In addition, the men’s crew had improved and also wrapped up their first victory. Stu Cassin came across to St Kilda from Woolamai with sweeping knowledge that helped build the boat section in partnership with the clubs president Matthew Culka. At this time, Stu Cassin, Matt Culka and Barton Roberts set their minds to building the club to a point where it was strong and financially viable.

2004 – Working With Council

The 1998 Lifesaving Clubs Review report becomes the basis for discussion regarding the direction for future lifesaving clubs and the need for future facilities in the City of Port Phillip.

2005 – First Open State Gold

St Kilda wins Gold in the Open Male Champion Lifesaver Event (Matthew Culka) as well as its first masters medals in the 30+ male tube race, male surf race and the ironman.

2006 – Australian Surf Rowers Champions

St Kilda builds on its earlier success in the surf boat area by winning the national title at the Australian Surf Rowers League Open in the 160 Years Male surfboat race swept by Stuart Cassin.

2006 – A Focus An Active Patrolling Members

Review found the facility had a purpose, but did not meet the functional requirements for lifesaving services. At this time, St Kilda Life Saving Club chose not to offer nippers programs due to the constraints related to the facility. This was a bold decision to go against the broader thinking at the time that the way to rebuild a club was through nippers. Instead, St Kilda focused on a mature active patrolling membership recruiting through competition which has resulting in much success at a masters level.

2008 – Further Building Concerns

Asbestos review was conducted highlighting that the club was largely constructed from materials containing asbestos. Despite the facility concerns the club continued to grow during this period with the hope that a new facility might be in its future.

2010 – Future Feasibility Options

Coffey Feasibility studies were conducted that informed a concept design for the clubhouse that allowed the club to apply for State Government Funding through LSV.

2010 – Embracing Tradition

At some point in St Kilda’s past, the St Kilda Life Saving Club competition cap had evolved from an 8 (or 6) panel cap to a 4 panel design. It is not known when this change occurred, or why, but was likely due to reduced complexity of manufacture. In 2010, based on the oldest known record of the club cap registration (which was somewhat confused between drawing and text causing some discussion on the number of panels), St Kilda Life Saving Club reverted to the 8 panel design as per the registered drawing, a design that is unique to St Kilda and not used by any other club in the country.

2010 – First Open Women’s Win By A Bay Club

St Kilda Life Saving Club Open Women’s crew win the Victorian Surf Boat Rowers League Open, the first open state level event won by a surfboat club from the bay.

2011 – Council Commitment And Financial Stability

Council committed to match state government funding if it was provided to rebuilt the clubhouse. In addition, in this year St Kilda Life Saving Club achieved its aim to be financially stable and re-establish a strong active patrolling membership.

2011 – Professional Debut

St Kilda Open Women’s crew are the first St Kilda members to compete in professional competition in the Ocean Thunder Surf Boat Series.

2012 – Building Audits

LSV audit of lifesaving club buildings recognised large amounts of investment required to ensure the building would remain safe for use from OH&S perspective.

2013 – Nationals And World Masters

St Kilda Life Saving Club place 2nd overall in points at the World Lifesaving Championships in the Masters surfboat area and were the only Victorian club to win Masters Australian and World Titles Gold. In addition, the Open Women progressed further than any other Victorian surfboat crew at the National Titles.

2014 – Celebrating A New Era

On the 3rd May 2014, as St Kilda Life Saving Club celebrates its 100th Year with a Black Tie Ball event, the Minister for Emergency Services announces the confirmation of $1 million State Government funding for St Kilda Life Saving Club allocated by LSV for the redevelopment of the clubhouse. St Kilda continues to work with the City of Port Phillip with the planning underway, the appointment of the architect to design the new clubhouse redevelopment with the aim to commence construction in 2015.

2015 – Our New Home Being Built

The dream to re-develop the St Kilda Life Saving Club had only commenced, with plans, drafts and works underway for the new home to come!

3 December 2016 – Our New Home

After long waiting periods, the keys were handed over to St Kilda Life Saving Club to finally use! The fresh facility has attracted a lot of attention to innovate our lifesaving needs including membership base and to hold more functions.