Surfing for Life

photography by: bernadette mcalinden

photography by: bernadette mcalinden


With eight Aussies attempting suicide every hour, and eight deaths by suicide occurring on our shores every single day, the Lifeline Classic is returning in April in a bid to reduce these sobering statistics through suicide prevention. Bigger and more relevant than ever, they’ve got their sights set on the 100k fundraising mark… but they need your help.

In September 2018, Lifeline ran the inaugural Lifeline High Schools Surf Challenge. Nine male teams and five female teams competed, with Narrabeen Sports High School taking out the top spots in both divisions.

In the male division, NBSC Balgowlah came close in second place, with NBSC Freshwater snapping up third place and Pittwater House coming in fourth. For the girls, Pymble Ladies College was runner-up, and NBSC Freshwater winning third place, followed by Queenwood. 

The above high schools will compete once more at the Vissla Sydney Surf Pro on Sunday the 17th of March with the winners in each division progressing to the Lifeline Classic in Queensie on Sunday the 28th of April. 

“This presents a wonderful opportunity for peninsula youth to compete on the world stage in front of a crowd with mental health and suicide prevention at the forefront of their cause,” said David Thomas, CEO of Lifeline Northern Beaches.

“The Lifeline Classic is an important community rally cry for what has been a tough time on the peninsula
in light of recent tragic events. The event will bring together a number of like minded agencies all working towards the same cause - it’s just great to see cooperation and collaboration in this regard and I thank everyone for being involved.”

The Lifeline Classic is a tag team surfing event with a difference. Twenty teams, both community and corporate, are set to battle it out in fundraising in the event’s lead-up, and on the day, the teams will meet a line-up of guest pro surfers and celebrities. 

In 2017 & 2018, the event was held at Dee Why Beach with $53,000 raised last year. The move to Queenscliff in 2019 has seen an increase in participating teams and added interest in the event.

Manly Surf School are undefeated winning both the 2017 & 2018 Lifeline Classics, however this year they face stiff competition from a number of new participants. But competition aside, the day’s really about having fun with all abilities welcome, and sparking community discussion around mental health.

Visit to see all the participating teams and to make a donation.


Lifeline is involved in all aspects of suicide prevention across a spectrum of care including early intervention, continuing care and bereavement support. They provide access to a range of services - suicide prevention support, self-help resources and mental health information, as well as a variety of programs specific to the needs of local communities.