Life guards at public beaches are generally paid by the local government here in the U.S. In Australian, through surf life saving clubs Aussie "surf life savers provide the community with voluntary service rescuing swimmers in distress at surf beaches." Young nippers form "the junior stage of surf life saving, open to children from the age of 5 through to 13 years old." As befits Aussie's love of sport and the public display of community spirit, the young nippers' training involves long traditions and pageantry.
WSJ's Geoffrey Rogow reports from Manly Beach (north Sydney) that these being eroded: