The head of Surf Life Saving NSW embezzled more than $3 million before he resigned from his job in July.
The NSW Supreme Court has heard Matthew Hanks admitted to defrauding the organisation in his resignation letter on July 13.
A spokesman for Surf Life Saving NSW said an internal investigation has been launched. Photo: Jessica Hromas

Justice James Stevenson said Surf Life Saving NSW is still investigating how much Hanks stole.
But its current estimate exceeds $3 million.
Hanks was a human resources manager before rising to the position of general manager.
A freezing order was placed on his company which owns two properties worth around $1.4 million each in Newport on Sydney's northern beaches.
Hanks has offered to consent to a judgment in favour of the SLSA and applied for a variation on a freezing order on his assets to give him access to more money on his credit card.
This was to allow him to sell a boat for $490,000 which he would use to help pay off his liabilities.
He also wanted to increase the limit on withdrawals from his Mastercard from $600 to $2000 per month.
Former head of Surf Life Saving NSW, Matthew Hanks.
Former head of Surf Life Saving NSW, Matthew Hanks.
The court agreed to increase the limit to $1000 after Hanks said he could not afford to pay for unexpected expenses for his pregnant partner.
He said he was "terrified" she would be denied care or urgent tests as a result of his inability to pay for them.
"This is causing me significant stress and worry," he said.
"My partner works one day a week because of the impending birth of our child.
"It is not possible to survive only on her income, which is approximately $600 per week."
In response to the request, Justice Stevenson said he was not greatly troubled by any inconvenience Westpac Bank's limit on his withdrawals may cause.
"Some inconvenience is an inevitable consequence of the making of a freezing order and only Mr Hanks is responsible for the circumstances that have brought about the making of that order," he said.
However, Justice Stevenson agreed Hanks should have money available for unexpected urgent expenses. He rejected lifting the amount to $2000 a month saying $1000 a month, or $230 per week, "seems to be more in the range".
Hanks was permitted to sell his boat on the condition that the proceeds were used to pay off his debts.
A spokesman for Surf Life Saving NSW said an internal investigation has been launched following allegations of misconduct by a former employee.
"Surf Life Saving NSW immediately referred the matter to its external auditor to lead this inquiry, and notified all regulatory and law enforcement authorities regarding this matter," the spokesman said.
"As the investigation is ongoing and is now a legal matter, we are unable to provide additional comment."