Surf Life Saving Club

Bulli Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) has been serving the community of Bulli and surrounding regions for over one hundred years. Located eighty kilometres south of Sydney and fifteen kilometres north of Wollongong, Bulli SLSC is one of seventeen clubs which make up the Illawarra SLSC branch. With over six hundred combined senior and junior members and a proud history of “no lives lost”, this iconic organisation has been raising generations of little nippers that continue to serve and build better communities across Australia.

Like most clubs across Australia, Bulli have many activities and events in and out of the water. From local to national and world lifesaving competitions, swim carnivals, club meetings, course certificates such as surf rescue and resuscitation techniques, corporate events and more; Bulli SLSC must manage who has access in and out of their club, as well as store precious life saving equipment for the busy warmer months.

Paul Hennessy, Director of Administration and lifelong member, along with the other members of the Bulli SLSC management team had to consider traffic of each door use with access requirements of each type of user. In addition, Bulli has a diverse locking system ranging from a restricted key system, padlocks, C4 domestic system, and mortice locks, all working with different locking functions based on the volume of door use. Furthermore, with the uncertainty of who has a duplicate key, constant loss of keys, no audit data, no timed access for certain members, and having to incorporate council access to certain doors; it became very clear that Bulli needed an access control system that was accommodating to many different types of users yet offer the security and flexibility that was required to run a surf club.


After a thorough analysis of Bulli SLSC current locking system, EVVA proposed the revolutionary AirKey, a simple and smart access control system that gives Bulli SLSC the freedom and control of securing their doors and assets. With AirKey online administrator the Bulli team can manage who has access to their premises, track entry and exit times, and even remotely send temporary access to visitors and contractors.

“The AirKey system from a lay person’s perspective is very impressive. The AirKey cylinder is simple to use and discreet, in no way impacting on building aesthetics. The AirKey lock itself appears it is handling exposure to the ocean environment and adverse weather conditions well. There is little to no indication of rust or other staining on any of the EVVA parts. The EVVA cylinders are still in pristine condition and none appear to be in anyway faulty due to their exposure to these tough conditions. The same can’t be said about exterior door frames and handles. AirKey has proven to be a great asset for us at Bulli Surf Club”, says Paul.

EVVA installed fifteen AirKey cylinders across Bulli SLSC to replace (and complement) their current locking system. The transition time to the new EVVA AirKey system was within two working days, with each door taking approximately five minutes without needing to run any wiring or electrical power to the AirKey cylinders.

Bulli SLSC also being a council site, AirKey had to incorporate the council’s key system on three doors. This was performed by using a dual cylinder mortice lock which allows the AirKey cylinder to operate the lock in conjunction with the council restricted key, thus allowing two separate systems to work independently on the same door.

Thanks to the import function on the AirKey online administrator, Bulli’s user list was transferred with just one click. This simplified issuing people access as their name and contact information is uploaded to the AirKey system. There are currently forty-nine smart phones and twenty-one key FOBs registered for use at Bulli. Waterproof key FOBs were deployed for some members who did not have a smart phone or were training and required a water proof option.

Moreover, each door and lock were grouped in to specific areas. Instead of granting a user access to each individual door, the Bulli team grant access to set areas such as “ALL surf club”. Paul adds,

“When we have our surf competitions, we turn on office mode on the main door which allows us to have it unlocked all day and then it automatically locks at specific time at the end of the day. As recently as last Friday, a women’s boat crew travelled from Tathra for a boat carnival at Bulli Beach and had arranged to spend that night in the Bulli club rooms. I was able to provide them with access to the club and the internal area where they were to sleep from the comfort of my home. Prior to AirKey, myself or one of my colleagues would have had to be at Bulli SLSC whenever they arrived to let them in. AirKey has given me, much more control of ‘who goes where’ in the club building than ever before.”

The AirKey system access for individual users has been programmed to automatically expire once a year to align with membership renewal. Once membership is renewed access can be simply reactivated. This simple process has driven timely membership renewal and vastly increased the security of the Bulli SLSC. Utilising the flexibility in AirKey has allowed Bulli SLSC to see complete audit logs of their premises especially for visitors accessing their club.

“We no longer have to worry about who may have access to our club, or even rekeying costs for lost keys. Our investment in EVVA lets us focus on what we do best – serving the Bulli community and developing the next generation of Aussie Lifesavers”, concludes Paul.
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