surf life saving NSW control room

Case Study New State Operations Centre for Surf Life Saving NSW

OVERVIEW of client

Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW) is one of the largest providers of volunteer lifesaving and professional lifeguard services in the Southern Hemisphere. Currently, the SLSNSW network provides direct support and communications to over 129 Surf Lifesaving Clubs, 15 local government authorities, resorts, national parks, Department of Primary Industries and support to the majority of Council lifeguards across the state.

Coordinated through the SLSNSW State Operations Centre on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the new facility will reduce response times, improve coordination between agencies and most importantly help keep everyone safe on the NSW coastline and associated waterways. Available 24 hours/365 days this network of dedicated volunteers and professionals has become an indispensable part of coastal safety with a key focus on developing a relationship with other emergency stakeholders.


As part of the relocation and upgrade of the new state operations centre for Surf Life Saving NSW, Thinking Space designed, built, and installed five, two person operator consoles. This $550,000 project aimed at providing greater coastal surveillance and improved asset coordination is part of a $16 million investment into Surf Life Saving NSW over four years.


Thinking Space worked with the client to understand their requirements in terms of monitoring and analysing data. Key working practices carried out by the different operator roles were identified, and each console type was custom designed to meet the current operational requirements whilst also having the flexibility to be adapted seamlessly to meet any future requirements.


Thinking Space manufactured four consoles each accommodating two operators. A further console for a supervisor and manager is behind the four operator consoles. All five consoles had to face the video wall which contains critical information for emergency response.

The Thinking Space free design service allowed the client to see how the room would pan out with 3D visuals provided. The clients’ logo was added to each end panel to promote their corporate identity. Once the design was approved, Thinking Space worked within the clients’ timescales to ensure the control room would be fully operational before September 2020.

On any given weekend in summer, the Operations Centre is a hive of activity, supporting beach patrols, monitoring marine creature activity, managing emergency situations and search and rescue operations across the NSW coastline. The Centre also coordinates multi-agency responses with other NSW emergency service organisations including NSW Police and ambulance, 365 days’ a year. Over the 2019 – 2020 season, it managed 438 calls for an ambulance and responded to 602 requests for assistance to coastal incidents and emergencies from police.

In addition to providing greater coastal surveillance capability, faster response times and improved asset coordination, the new State Operations Centre for Surf Life Saving NSW will double as a back-up emergency management centre for the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA) and the North West Metropolitan Region.

Download Case Study

From the original contact with Thinking Space, I found the team proactive and supportive of the project. Not only did they take on board our requirements, but they asked critical questions and led the project team through the desk design process and room orientation providing a number of alternatives.

A project such as this required a close working relationship with not only the team at SLSNSW but the Project Manager/ builder and the AV and IT contractors. Thinking Space were conscious of our budget limits and time restraints and achieved both.

Now that the Centre has been operational for a month, the team are finding the design, ergonomics and sight lines work perfectly for our needs and the extended time frames the room is required to remain on high alert.



Related Projects

Hampshire Police 999 Emergency Control Room

Case Study Hampshire police 999 emergency Control Room

Read more

Case Study Control Room Furniture for Bristol Operations Centre

Read more
height-adjustable-consoles for cleveland fire brigade

Case Study Cleveland Fire Brigade : new control room furniture

Read more