Share, Protect, Preserve.

We stand for kindness, equality and connection.

National Surfing Reserves was formed in 2005 with the vision of a collaborative approach to recognise the natural beauty and cultural significance of surfing sites.

Since then, we have established a network of 25 National Surfing Reserves that we are proud of, and currently facilitating the establishment of Regional Surfing Reserves in Australia. We understand the ebb and flow of coastal issues, community action and policy concerns and work with the grassroots and work with a diversity of people, communities and institutions in our vision of protecting, preserving and sharing surfing sites.

We have become a valued advocate of coastal issues, and a term of reference for similar ‘surfing reserve’ models and freely share our experience and knowledge.

Contact us

We are a voluntary collaboration of dedicated people and communities.

Meet Our Team

Brad Farmer AM
Brad Farmer AMFounder and Patron
Brad Farmer is well recognised as a pioneer advocate for the conservation of oceans, waves and beaches and the salty communities who share them. His activism spans almost 40years and was once imprisoned by the KGB in the Soviet Arctic in 1990. He is founder of many organisations, including Surfrider Foundation Australia, and has instigated National and World Surfing Reserves and Ocean care day. He is a recognised author and speaker and his hard-hitting reports on coastal issues over the years have resulted in new policy thinking around coastal resources and community capacity. After many years leading National Surfing Reserves, he continues to provide his service as our dearest Patron.
Professor Andrew Short OAM
Professor Andrew Short OAMCo-founder of NSR & Board member
Andrew Short is a surfer and marine scientist, specialising in coastal processes and beach dynamics, who lives on the New South Wales South Coast. He has degrees from the University of Sydney, University of Hawaii and Louisiana State University, and has worked on the coasts of North and South America, including north Alaska and Hawaii, Europe, New Zealand, and the entire Australian coast. He has investigated all 10,685 Australian mainland beaches (including Tasmania) plus another 1500 on 30 major islands. This information is available online and as an iPhone app, and has been written up in eight books, one for each State and Territory. His more recent books include “The Coast of Australia” (2009), “101 Best Australian Beaches” (2012) with Brad Farmer, “Brazilian Beach Systems” (2016) with Antonio Klein, and “Australian Coastal Systems – beaches, barriers and sediment compartments” (2020).
Susan Tracey
Susan TraceyBoard member
Susan got involved with NSR in 2007 while working for State Government. She drove community engagement to help bring the NSR model to life from the first gazettal in NSW legislation at Angourie, followed by many other NSRs along the NSW coastline. She also sat on the Merewether Beach NSR Committee helping it receive recognition and protection in 2009. Susan is currently undertaking a PhD in placemaking with UNSW Sydney and has completed public art projects to raise awareness of mental health issues showcasing the healing properties of the coastal environment. Susan has worked on many government initiatives over the years to help improve its management and protection. She’s currently a senior manager at Transport delivering community engagement and place outcomes in Sydney’s CBD and east. Susan is descended from a salt-water Maori tribe with the hammerhead shark as her family totem, so the ocean runs through her veins.
Mayor Chris Homer
Mayor Chris HomerDeputy Chair
Chris Homer was born and raised in Shellharbour surrounded by world class surf breaks. He attended Shellharbour Primary School and then Warilla High School, the first school in Australia to introduce surfing as a sport by Jim Bradley. As a competitive and free surfer, Chris gained an appreciation for the stunning local coastline and natural environment, leading to key involvement in the successful ‘Save Killalea State Park & National Surfing Reserve’ environmental campaign. Through this successful campaign and his many other talents, Chris ran for local government and was successfully elected as the Mayor of Shellharbour City Council. Chris is also Deputy Chair of National Surfing Reserves and holds a board position on Surfrider Foundation Australia.
Brad Whittaker
Brad WhittakerBoard Chair
An accomplished surfer with extensive experience in beach management, local government, education and training, Brad brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to the NSR Board. Having been part of the team that proposed the Cronulla Beaches NSR, he has key insights into NSRs from a local perspective and has also dedicated over 14 years of ongoing volunteer service to NSRs. Brad has been involved in numerous capacities on a variety of global and Australian surfing projects and initiatives, that further demonstrate his commitment and service to the sport of surfing. Brad is also an avid ocean photographer and was appointed as Board Chair in 2022.
Chris Tola
Chris TolaBoard member
Born in Terrigal on the New South Wales Central Coast, and now residing in Newcastle with his wife and three magical daughters. Chris has travelled extensively and has been learning to surf most of his life. His passion for surfing and the environment has always kept him involved in everything from University Surfing, Coastcare, Keep Australia Beautiful, Coastalwatch, Surfrider Foundation Australia, and Take 3. Chris has a long and valued association with NSR.
Naomi Edwards
Naomi EdwardsContributor
Naomi Edwards is from North Queensland and lives in the Gold Coast Hinterland with her two dogs and partner. Naomi is well known coastal community advocate. She has studied science, community development and communications, and currently completing a PhD about the Australian Coastal Professional. Naomi holds memberships with many non-for-profit organisations, was awarded the National Young Landcare Champion award in 2016 and is a current Director of Landcare Australia. As for her day job, Naomi manages a regional community-based fisheries management information campaign in the Pacific through the Pacific-European Union Management Partnerships programme at cChange International.
Vale Graham Harding
Vale Graham HardingContributor
The late Graham Harding was a respected Board Member from 2007. Graham was an east coast surfer and as Manager of NSW Crown Lands and he used his expertise to achieve surfing reserve legislation under the Crown Lands Act (1989) for NSW iconic surfing sites. Graham believed in the vision of National Surfing Reserves and his outstanding contribution lives on across all Australian surfing reserves. When attending the many dedications, he would always say that developing and declaring National Surfing Reserves was one of his most satisfying pursuits in his long and distinguished career in public life. He is sadly missed and we are proud that his legacy lives on.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Surfing Reserves acknowledges Australia’s First Nations People; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have been taking care of coastal and marine ecologies for more than more than 60,000 years. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging across Australia, and value the importance of our First People in the protection, preservation and sharing of surfing sites.