Surf Life Saving Queensland partners with Pride in Sport

July 3, 2024

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) has become the newest member of the Australian Pride in Sport program, committing to further develop and enhance the inclusion of LGBTQ people. 

ACON Health’s Pride in Sport program is Australia’s largest sporting inclusion program specifically designed to assist sporting organisations with the inclusion of employees, athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and spectators with diverse genders and sexualities.

Being a Pride in Sport member means changing practices and working towards a more inclusive, safe, and healthy sporting environment for people with diverse sexualities and genders.

Dave Whimpey, CEO SLSQ is excited about the opportunity that Pride in Sport will play when helping promote positive messages and examples around LGBTQ inclusion for sport and recreation programs at SLSQ.

“SLSQ is pleased to have partnered with Pride in Sport. We aim to further our inclusive practices so that everyone feels welcome”, Whimpey said.

Data from the 2023 PSI National Survey showed that LGBTQ respondents reported lower productivity (8.9%), belonging (7.4%), engagement (5%) and mental wellness (4.1%). Outcomes are 10.6% to 33.9% lower for participants who are not ‘out’ or ‘open’ about their diverse gender or sexuality.

Data from the Out on the Fields study showed that 80% of people have either witnessed or experienced homophobia in sport, with 75% believing that an openly gay person would not be safe as a spectator at a sporting event.

Data from the LGBTIQ+ Health Australia showing that LGBTQ young people aged 16 to 27 are five times more likely to attempt suicide compared to the general population, with transgender people aged 18 and over nearly eleven times more likely.

Beau Newell, National Program Manager of Pride in Sport Australia, said actual and perceived social exclusion is a leading cause of preventable death in Australia, and creating a much healthier and safer sporting culture for LGBTQ people has never been more important.

“By joining Pride in Sport and working with ACON, the Surf Life Saving Queensland is showing the community that they care about the health and wellbeing of their athletes, and members across state.” Newell said.

“Congratulations to Surf Life Saving Queensland for leading the way in changing Australia’s sporting culture, to be more inclusive.”

Pride in Sport is Australia’s oldest and largest sexuality and gender diverse sporting inclusion program for the Australian sporting sector.




Pride in Sport is a national not-for-profit program that assists sporting organisations and clubs with the inclusion of LGBTQ employees, athletes, coaches, volunteers, officials and spectators. It is part of ACON’s Pride Inclusion Programs, which provides a range of services to employers, sporting organisations and service providers with support in all aspects of LGBTQ inclusion. All funds generated through membership and ticketed events go back into the work of Pride in Sport, actively working alongside sporting organisations, clubs and participants to make Australian sport inclusive of LGBTQ communities. For more information, visit the Pride Inclusion Programs website here.



The Pride in Sport Index (PSI) is an independently administered benchmarking system that provides the opportunity for all national and state sporting organisations to have their LGBTQ related initiatives, programs and policies reviewed, measured and monitored. An initiative of the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Sports Commission and a legacy of the Bingham Cup Sydney 2014 (the world cup of gay rugby), it was developed alongside an advisory group that includes representatives from the National Rugby League (NRL), the Australian Football League (AFL), the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), Football Federation Australia (FFA), Cricket Australia, Swimming Australia, Water Polo Australia, Basketball Australia and Golf Australia. For more information, visit the Pride in Sport website here.



ACON / Pride in Sport Media Contact:

David Alexander, ACON Media and Communications


T: (02) 9206 2044

M: 0428 477 042