Lifeguard History Project

lifeguardThe Waverley Council Lifeguard service started in 1913 and has operated continuously for over a century. In 2001, realising that the history of the Lifeguard service had been largely undocumented, the then Local Studies Librarian and senior Lifeguard at Bondi Beach began conducting interviews with retired Lifeguards and their families.

It was obvious that these older Lifeguards had unique, irreplaceable memories and their stories of working on the beaches were in danger of being lost forever. It was imperative to capture these stories before it was too late.

This collection of oral histories is now a core part of the Lifeguard History Project, housed in the Local Studies collection, Waverley Library. As well as the interviews conducted by Waverley Council staff, the collection also includes an interview done by Diana Rich with one of the most famous Lifeguards to ever patrol Bondi’s golden sands, Aub Laidlaw.

Photo Gallery
Lifeguards Oral Histories

This oral history project is on-going and has expanded considerably to include collecting documents, photographs and objects related to the Lifeguard service. If you are a former Lifeguard (previously known as Beach Inspectors), or have a family member or friend who was, and you have material you would like to donate, or lend to us for copying we would love to hear from you. Please contact:

Local History Research & Engagement Officer
Phone: 9083 8744


Keep up with events, promotions and news from Waverley Library with our monthly eNewsletter Subscribe now