Mona Vale SLSC
Life on the Northern Beaches is characterised by a strong surf, beach and sporting culture with a deep affinity for the land and seascape.
The Mona Vale SLSC is an integral part of the local community and is intertwined in it’s physical surrounds. Our ‘home base’ provides a training ground for new lifesavers, monitors a large expanse of coastline patrolled by existing members, offers a social gathering space for all ages and is a focal point for many community projects in and out of the water.
With an ever-increasing population and bulging membership, the promise of a new state-of-the-art facility provides solace to the Mona Vale SLSC membership that we will be able to continue to offer the highest standards in surf lifesaving and stay true to our mantra.
Mona Vale SLSC
Inclusion | Respect | Community
Safety beyond just the water’s edge.
The first attempt to form a Surf Club at Mona Vale was in the 1913-14 season, but due to the intervention of World War I, with some attempts afterwards, the Club was not formed until the 1922-23 season, under the name “Mona Vale Surf Bathers’ Life Saving Club”. The “Bathers” was later dropped from the name.
When the Club was formed in September, 1922, Mona Vale was a smallish outpost of Sydney, with the hills mostly covered with farms and the occasional holiday house. The members in the earliest years were mostly locals, and the first Club president was Australia’s first Olympic Gold Medalist in the pool, Freddie Lane. The first Club house was built next to Darley Street, a wooden structure consisting of a large room and two smaller rooms. Unfortunately our ownership of the land was lost through being resumed by the State Government.
During 1930-31 the Club was virtually restarted from scratch by old G.P.S private school boys and thus the Club’s name was changed to “The Mona Vale Alumni Surf Life Saving Club”, with most of the Club members residing on the lower North Shore, commuting each weekend for patrols and social functions.
The second Club House was constructed by Warringah Shire Council in 1934 and was a two story brick structure located about 70m southeast of the present building, with a number of subsequent renovations over the years, but was well and truly past its prime when it was replaced by our current building which opened in 1969.
During World War II, the Club was carried on by members until Australia was under threat and barbed wire entanglements were placed on the beach by Defence Authorities with many members recruited for armed service. In 1942, the armed forces took command of our Club House and remained there for the duration of the war.
The 1970s patrols consisted of mandatory surf reel, line and belt - the normal rescue equipment, and a three sided patrol area. A lot more rescues were carried out for a number of reasons, including poor education and the absence of leg ropes. In 1973-74, the Club received its first IRB courtesy of the Lion’s Club, but it was nothing in comparison to the ones of today. The Club celebrated significant success in IRB competition in the 1990s, becoming Branch, State and National Champions.
In 1977-78, our first Marathon Ocean Swim from Warriewood was held with 20 swimmers and years later it continues as one of our biggest fund raisers, named after founder and life member Don “Doc” Jenkin. It was one of the first swims held in Australia, and has been replicated by many other clubs to assist with their own fund raising events. MVSLSC is also now holding the “Cold Water Classic” winter solstice swim as a popular additional fund raiser.
In 1979-80, women were admitted into the Club (which was a hotly debated topic!), and like other Clubs, MVSLSC initially struggled to adopt the cultural change, but soon learned of the benefit of greater patrol strengths and family direction.
A world-class but genuinely local design will redefine the concept of a traditional surf lifesaving club, providing a space for all beachgoers while engaging the wider community with new social spaces.
The building is designed to feel inclusive and accessible to a broad cross-section of the community. Facilities will be family-friendly with spaces and amenities catering to all generations of lifesavers. Particular consideration will be given to welcoming migrant communities, who are a principal target for water safety campaigns.
The new clubhouse will be open and active on all sides, with a cafe at ground level and sightlines through to the water, linking both park and beach. Materials including timber and textured raw concrete were chosen to reflect the natural environment and withstand exposure to the elements.
Elevated glass pavilions will house a restaurant, lounge bar and function room, angled to capture the spectacular views and outstanding natural beauty.
The functional space will be doubled almost within the footprint of the previous structure. New revenue streams will be established, including cafe and restaurant tenancies and flexible function spaces for private hire. Sustainable design elements serve to minimise water and energy use and long-term maintenance requirements.
We invisiage our new facility will exceed all expectations in its scope to boost membership revenue, secure the club’s future and create an enduring legacy for the community.
Some of the new features include large storage areas, workshop areas, cafe, restaurant, function rooms and Members’ bar and lounge.