Peter George







Chief Operating Officer, Surf Life Saving Australia


Lifesaving Experience

Employed by Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) – 9 years. Currently responsible for Information Technology, Learning and Development, Participation and Sport. Previous roles included responsibility for Coastal Safety (lifesaving), Finance, HR, Risk Management and Compliance.


Lifeguard experience: 48 years volunteer lifeguard.


ILS positions: President ILS Asia Pacific Region, Vice President ILS, Secretary ILS Medical Committee, ILS Financial Adviser, Business Commission member, Chair ILS Finance Committee. Previously Chair or Secretary ILS Rescue Commission (17 years)


Lifeguard awards: Club (Christies Beach SLSC in South Australia) – Life Member and Life Governor, Life member Surf Life Saving South Australia, Life Member Surf Life Saving Australia, Hall of Fame SLSSA, Hall of Fame SLSA, Knight in the order of lifesaving of ILS, International Swimming Hall of Fame, Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to lifesaving


Thoughts on the Role of the ILS Medical Committee

Peter’s personal interest in understanding the most effective method of treatment and recovery of the drowned person drove him to the committee. He is motivated by the passion, skill, and dedication of the members of the Medical Committee who comprise some the world experts in this area. Peter originally took on the secretarial role to assist the flow of information and the recording of debates between the members of the committee to facilitate debate so that position statements can be agreed.


Challenges facing the global lifesaving mission

Peter comes from a sophisticated first world country that has reasonable infrastructure and resources to implement drowning prevention programs through education and the provision of lifeguard services. As President of Asia Pacific where some of the highest per capital death by drowning occurs in third world countries, he understands that the systems in place in my country do not translate into these countries. The challenge in significantly reducing drowning in these countries lies in a different mindset. The challenge is how does he move out of our comfort zone to embrace different intervention strategies to reduce the incidence of death by drowning in these countries. Writing position statements for lifeguards in my country while important for lifeguards in Australia has little or no relevance to mothers whose children drown in while wells collecting water for the family.