Surf Lifesaving has one of the most respected and iconic brands in Australia – because it is an amazing movement of legends. We must be careful who we lend our brand to, as some sponsors will use our iconic reputation to try to improve their (less iconic) reputation. If we lend our brand to fossil fuel companies or other companies that drive climate change, we are shooting ourselves in the foot: as they become more successful, our movement incurs greater risk of harm from climate change.
That is why we are taking a stand: companies which continue to advocate for fossil fuel project expansion should not benefit from the support of surf lifesavers.
This is not to say the people who work in those companies are bad people or that the companies must close down immediately: just that SLS should not be encouraging their endeavours as they threaten our long term success as a movement. Using our child members (Nippers) as billboards for fossil fuel companies is particularly hard to tolerate. Our Nippers will be the ones who have to fundraise to rebuild our clubrooms, face extreme weather and all the other challenges of climate change. The nippers do not get to choose the impact of climate change when they are adults – we are making those decisions for that generation now.
Perhaps our activity will help some of our fossil fuel focussed sponsors to re-evaluate their strategic activity and choose a sustainable future – one we would be proud to support.
If you are keen for SLSWA to be more careful in which sponsors they lend our iconic brand to – please consider giving them feedback via this petition