Accessible Summer Initiative (Gold Coast)

Volunteering Gold Coast

Volunteer Gold Coast have partnered with Surf Life Saving Queensland to allow ALL of the community to have beach access via the roll-out of Access Mats and the use of Beach Wheelchairs. You can help! This project suits student volunteering, Occupational Therapy and Social Welfare and students enrolled in the following units; HTL10595, COM30001.

Working on this project you will make a difference in Key Impact Area: Health & Ability; Sustainable Development Goal: Good Health & Well-being (SDG 3).


Availability: Approved

Time required: 4 hours per week

Duration: 20 weeks

2074 Gold Coast Highway

Requires face to face contact: Yes



Volunteering Gold Coast (VGC) and Surf Life Saving Queensland are working together to ensure the beaches along the Gold Coast are accessible for everyone. Our mission is simple – we want to help build local communities that are inclusive, purposeful and connected. You can be a part of achieving this as together we identify and address the environmental and social barriers that inhibit the full inclusion and participation of people enjoying the Gold Coast beaches, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

This project aims to establish an inclusive and participatory pathway for people living with disabilities to access the mainstream beach area in Neptune, Tallebudgera Creek, Surfers Paradise and Main Beach during the patrol season (generally the end of September until the beginning of May). This will be achieved through the utilisation of access mats and beach wheelchairs currently available at our participating clubs.


Gold Coast beaches will be available for everyone to use not just those that are able to walk on the sand. We expect to roll this project out across many GC beaches in the very near future.

We want to identify and address the environmental and social barriers which inhibit the full inclusion and participation of all citizens to enjoy the GC beaches, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

Needs to be addressed

Driving social inclusion and addressing inclusion issues for disadvantaged individuals and seeking to enhance wellbeing and sense of community belonging.

Benefits to students

The art of giving and providing support and assistance to vulnerable or disadvantaged people in our local community and to support their sense of belonging. To gain an understanding of the systemic influences that impact on lived experiences such as infrastructural or attitudinal barriers.
Students benefit from online training modules and onsite practical training intermittently throughout the season. There is also the added benefit of gaining practical experience working in the field of health and disability, community development and social justice and advocacy. Students are also asked to participate in qualitative data collection.


Southern Cross University

The opportunity to present this project to the students and show them via photos and videos the process on the beach. Student should have a positive attitude, wanting to give, the ability to swim in the ocean and commitment to the project. As a team leader you would be required to attend regular shifts of at least 4 hours. Physical energy is also required for setting up the equipment first thing in the morning and also for pulling it down at the end of the day.
The Team Leader will assist and direct the volunteers to roll out the mats and have chairs available for use, support participants and their family/carers to access the equipment. Liaise with the Surf Patrol Captain in regards to weather conditions both in the lead up to and on the day. Online and onsite training is provided. It is also your responsibility to ensure all relevant paperwork is signed and the participants are aware of the risks and responsibilities of using the equipment. Additionally, you are to ensure that you and all volunteers follow the guidelines for behaviour in terms of code of conduct and project guidelines.
As a team leader you would be required to attend regular shifts of at least 4 hours. Ideally we would like you to attend on a weekly basis but fortnightly availability will also be considered.
• Neptune- Tallebudgera Creek- We require 4 volunteers per shift each Saturday; morning shift (8am – 12pm) afternoon shift (12pm – 4pm).
• Surfers Paradise- Main Beach- We require 8 volunteers per shift each Sunday; morning shift (8am – 12pm) afternoon shift (12pm – 4pm).


Support for students include treating them as staff for VGC and providing insurance for them. We will also train them on the equipment used for the project and the roles and responsibilities associated with the project. The Surf Club will provide one meal per shift. Free car parking is also given to the students on the day plus a uniform, a cap, sunscreen and water.

VGC will process a blue and yellow card application for every volunteer on this project – student will need to provide VGC proof of identity to accompany the application (e.g. drivers licence, medicare card).