Surfing Medicine International brings an unique event ,  World Conference on Surfing Medicine to Torquay the Surfing capital of Australia for a three-day programme of inspiring lectures including workshops, and outdoor activities, featuring leading specialists and inspirational speakers in Surfers’ Health & Injury Prevention, Training & Performance, and the Ocean Environment.

Now entering its’ seventh year, the World Conference Surfing Medicine (WCSM) is a state-of-the-art conference delivering premium academic content in an engaging and interactive format, providing a scientific, evidence-based, platform for key stakeholders in modern surfing sports. To date, over fifty, high-impact factor, peer-reviewed journal published, leading academics have delivered a total of 70 lectures, 25 masterclasses, and 15 outdoor workshops, to in excess of 600 delegates drawn from across the globe.

Dates:   Wed 10th  Sat 13th April 2019
Location:  RACV Resort Torquay, 1 Great Ocean Rd,
Torquay, Victoria 3228, Australia.



  • Surfers
  • Health Care Professionals
  • Lifeguards & Water Patrol
  • Environmental & Sport Scientists
  • Students


The Melbourne Convention Bureau is official partner of the World Conference on Surfing Medicine – MCB is providing assistance to Surfing Medicine International to bring this unique event to Australia, Victoria Region.

Surfrider Foundation Australia

Surfrider Foundation Australia is a registered not for profit sea-roots organisation dedicated to the protection of Australia’s waves and beaches through Conservation, Activism, Research and Education C.A.R.E.

Waves of Wellness

Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation is an Australian mental health surf therapy charity, committed to changing lives by delivering innovative support programs for people experiencing mental health challenges.

Life Saving Victoria

Life Saving Victoria (est. 2002) is an initiative of the Royal Life Saving Society Australia Victoria Branch (est. 1904) and Surf Life Saving Victoria (est. 1947). Life Saving Victoria’s mission is to prevent aquatic related death and injury in all Victorian communities and has the vision that all Victorians will learn water safety, swimming and resuscitation and be provided with safe aquatic environments and venues.

The Plastic Soup Foundation

The Plastic Soup Foundation is one of the leading advocacy groups to tackle plastic pollution, it stimulates all possible (innovative) solutions which help tackle the causes of plastic soup at source. Measures which prevent plastic entering the environment, water and possibly ending up in the sea have the greatest impact in our opinion. This includes reducing the amount of single-use consumer plastics, the development of a plastic footprint for companies as well as smart devices which collect plastic in waterways.

Surfing Victoria

Surfing Victoria is recognized by the State Government of Victoria and surf industry as the organizing body for surfing in Victoria. Surfing Victoria conducts a range of age and discipline events, also, educational programs to coaches, instructors, recreational surfers and competitors.

Surf Coast Shire

Surf Coast Shire has been recognized as one of Victoria’s fastest growing municipalities for more than a decade. Council’s Purpose is to help our community and environment to thrive. Our Organisation Direction is to be:  An innovative and flexible leader, and a constructive partner, that values the strengths of others; a place where people can do their best and be proud of their achievements.


A team of professional product designers, engineers and dedicated surfers with more than 25 years on the water. SurfEars’ team has extensive experience from designing, developing and manufacturing high tech consumer electronics and sports equipment.


Each daily programme at WCSM 2019 will be dedicated to a theme reflecting the needs of the modern day surfer. SMI will provide a platform for Surfers, Students, Scientists, Water Safety Experts/Lifeguards and Health care professionals.

Day 1 – Health & Injury Prevention

On day 1 we focus on Surfers’ Health and Injury Prevention with special focus on drowning, remote environment first-response, injury prevention, UV-protection, and mental health. Against the backdrop of a changing surfing landscape (i.e. arrival, and assimilation, of artificial wave venues, imminent Olympic sport status, etc.).

Day 2 – Training Performance

Day Two will explore evolving Training and Performance approaches in elite surfing, considering aspects such as positive psychology, emotional regulation and stress management, high performance training – Youth Academy to Elite, and sports nutrition amongst others.

Day 3 – Ocean Environment

Cognisant of arguably the greatest threat to continued human existence of this planet, our final day programme will look in-depth at the Ocean Environment. Scientific consensus acknowledges the detrimental effect of increasing global ambient and water temperatures, the latter especially on marine environments. Furthermore, established human behaviour and consumption patterns in westernized (‘developed’) economies jars with meaningful suggestions towards sustainability. What can the ordinary surfer do? On Day Three, you will hear from people on the frontline in microplastics, effects on human health,  ocean cleanup, water quality improvement, and how they are effecting positive change in their communities and beyond.

Next to the lecture programme, the World Conference on Surfing Medicine  will provide an unique learning environment for the participants to interact with experts, get hands on skills in outdoor and real test setting.
1) Master class session small lecture environment
2) Testing & Learning  (Training & Performance)
3) Skill Stations : Drowning Resuscitation, Surf First Aid, Lifeguarding / Water Safety
4) Abstract and community project presentations


  • Prof. Marc in het Panhuis: Developer of 3D printed surfboard fins, Professor at the University of Wollongong.
  • Jennifer Straatman,MD: Surgical Registrar The Netherlands, Board Member SMI, Female Leadership.
  • A/Prof. David Kennedy: Director, Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne.
  • Sacha Guggenheimer: Marine Biologist, Photographer and filmmaker on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.
  • Adam Robertson: Surfing Victoria CEO, former professional surfer.
  • Richard Wallace: Practice Principal and Partner at Kieser Training Geelong.
  • Anne Schmidt, MD: Emergency Medicine Specialist, wellbeing and performance, combining family & career, Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Susie Crick: National Chairwoman of the Surfrider Foundation, Plastic Pollution Director and South Coast Branch President
  • Allan Mackillop,MD:  Medical Director, World Surf League, Chief Medical Officer Aeromedical Services LifeFlight, Anaesthetic and Retrieval Specialist
  • Dr Oliver Farley: Lead of Strength and Conditioning Coach for Surfing New Zealand.
  • Natalie Hood, MD: Medical Director for Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA), Paediatric Emergency Physician, Drowning Resuscitation.
  • Mischa Goettinger, MD: Driving force behind the Surf Life Support Courses, SMI app developer, sports physician.
  • Richy Bennett: First psychologist to work globally on the WSL, author of The Surfer’s Mind, Jan Juc Victoria, Australia.
  • Brandon Lindberg, MD: Fellowship trained foot and ankle surgeon, specializes in sports medicine, trauma and advanced deformity correction of the lower extremity.
  • Wendy Henderson, MD: Emergency Physician, Geelong, WSL Tour Physician Experience, Surfing Medicine and female leadership
  • Ogi Markovic, MD: Vision and Performance, High Performance Surf Coach Postgraduate, Uni. Lisbon. Specialist in Ophthalmology, Optometry, Occupational & Preventive Medicine, Medical consultant to the Plastic Soup Foundation, Co-founder of Surfing Medicine International, CSO
  • Anne Creaton, MD: Emergency Medicine Specialist, Global Health, Disaster and retrieval medicine, building capacity in Emergency Care in pacific region
  • Donna Masing: Sports and Performance Therapist, resident therapist at Surfing Australia’s High Performance Centre.
  • Konrad Slavinskis: Physiotherapist Surfing Victoria, from acute injury to rehabilitation, Torquay
  • Prof Miguel Moreira: Human Kinetics/Sports Scientist, major focuses of attention are Surf sport performance and sport expertise.
  • Drew Slimmon: Sports Physician Surfing Victoria, provider of Sports Medicine Services during Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Surf Event.
  • Amy Peden: Research Manager Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) Australia, Risk factors Drowning.
  • Joel Pilgrim: Founder and CEO of mental health charity, the Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation.
  • Dion van de Schoot, MD: Emergency Medicine Doctor, Co-founder of Surfing Medicine International, Advanced Surf Life Support Instructor.
  • Justin Scarr: CEO Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) Australia, Drowning Prevention, Global Policy, Impact on global health.
  • Andrew Schmidt, MD: Academic Expert on Drowning, founder of Lifeguard without borders.
  • Maria Westerbos: Founder and Director of Plastic Soup Foundation, one of the leading advocacy groups to tackle plastic pollution.
  • Dr. Bernadette Matthews: Principal Research Associate, Aquatic Risk and Research, Life Saving Victoria.
  • Rebecca Dowse: Strength and Conditioning Scholar, PhD Candidate at Edith Cowan University in collaboration with Surfing Australia and Surfing Western Australia
  • Clive Rodell: Strength and Conditioning Coach, Senior Lecture on Training & Performance, a life long of Surf Coaching, NSW, Australia
  • James Furness: Sport Scientist, Bond University Water Based Research Unit, Sydney, Australia
  • Aimee Morabito: sports Dietician, Special interest in Nutrition & Surfing, Torquay Victoria.
  • Ingvar Berg, MD: CEO Surfing Medicine International, Emergency Medicine Specialist, Bystander Rescue by Surfers, The Netherlands.

Keep this page on refresh, as more and more speakers will be added to the list!


We aim to host an inclusive event by providing scholarships for the World Conference on Surfing Medicine. Our team is committed to make the event accessible for participants from resource limited regions, to provide a true global platform and presentation of community.

The Scholarship Programme is accessible for everyone who is a medical student or professional origin from non High-Income Country, with a passion for Surfing and Medicine.

The Scholarship provides a waive of conference fee  to help people who would otherwise be unable to attend the event.

Selection is depending on the following criteria:

  • Origin from Non-High Income Country as per World Bank Classification
  • Candidates who can provide evidence of activity in relevant sciences / community projects
  • Candidates which can transfer skills and knowledge acquired at the conference to local community / academia

A non biased review committee will score and review the scholarship applications.

To apply for a scholarship send us an application to including

  • CV
  • Cover Letter / Motivation including your proposal / involvement in the event


The SMI would like to invite all participants to send their abstracts for short presentations to us at We challenge you to present your research or case report on Surfing Medicine and to win a fantastic prize for the best academic contribution to Surfing Medicine!

This year our science team will select out the best and most innovative research and invite them to take centre stage on the podium to share their work with the conference! So get your abstracts in to be in for the chance. The deadline for submissions is March 20th 2019. Find out more about our previous winners over here.



The “World Conference of Surfing Medicine 2019” activity has been endorsed by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) and have been approved for up to 14 CME credits for the General Practice Educational Programme (GPEP) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes.

We are also pleased to announce that the World Conference on Surfing Medicine, Torquay (10/4/2019) is also accredited by The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine , ACRRM ID: 15853.


Torquay is in proximity of Melbourne, there are multiple transport options – please click here for more information

Ensure you start in time investigating if you require a visa, please allow sufficient time for the procedure.


The Venue of the World Conference on Surfing Medicine will be the 5-star RACV Torquay Resort, located on the gateway to Victoria’s Surf Coast and world-renowned Great Ocean Road. The Venue has special rates for the attendees of the event, please provide conference ticket for bookings.

Other accomodation:

Bed & Breakfasts:

Annetz B&B

Bombora B&B

Ocean Manor B&B

South Beach Haven

The View on Grossmans

Whites Beach Guesthouse

Holiday Parks:

Torquay Holiday Park

Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park


Bells Beach Backpackers

Airbnb also has up to 300 rooms available in Torquay.


Peppers The Sands Resort

Wyndham Resort Torquay


Torquay Tropicana Motel

Torquay Hotel Motel

Surf City Motel



Home to world famous Bells Beach and the birth place of iconic surf brands, Torquay is the surfing capital of Australia.

Located 95km south west of Melbourne, it is the official start of the Great Ocean Road.

Torquay has it all. A Relaxing Interlude or An Adrenaline Pumping Adventure!

Seek the ultimate ride on world famous waves, lace up your boots for the Surf Coast Walk or stroll barefoot along sweeping beaches as the sand drifts in the sea breeze. Throw in a line, build castles in the sand, dine with the locals and drink their brew. Begin the journey on the spectacular Great Ocean Road… where coast and hinterland meet in a chorus of oohs and aahs.

Immerse yourself in the Australia surf culture, with the biggest surf brands retailing in the Surf City shopping precinct or visit some of the oldest surf clubs in Victoria, or get your toes wet and learn to surf. If you’re visiting during Easter, you will see the world’s best surfers compete at the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro – a world class event held in the birthplace of the global surf industry.

If you prefer to keep your toes dry, the Surf World Museum is a must-do, it’s a celebrating of the Australia surfing culture and home to the National Surfing Hall of Fame. With epic pictures and hands-on displays there’s something to amaze every age.

For more information:

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach 17 – 27th April 2019

Formerly the Bells Beach Surf Classic, The Rip Curl Pro is a World Surf League (WSL) World Tour surfing competition held in and around Torquay, Victoria, Australia and is held annually at Easter time. The event at Bells Beach is the longest consecutive running surf event on the competitive circuit and in Australia, with the competition being continuously held since 1961 and was declared a professional competition in 1973.

Bells is the perfect arena for competition. Not only does it capitalise on the best swell that the Southern Ocean has to offer but the headlands that surround the beach form a perfect natural amphitheatre. It’s the ideal setup for thousands to come and watch the best in the world go head-to-head, which they do, every year. The winner of the Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro is awarded the prestigious ‘Bell’ trophy, a unique trophy symbolic to the beach.

For more information:

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