The 2012 Country Seminars were held in Kulin and Pinjarra on consecutive Wednesdays in mid - October and were well attended and very successful events.  The trip to Kulin, the meal and overnight stay in the Kulin Hotel will be long remembered by the Board Members who attended.

17th October Kulin Recreation Centre

There would be very few regional centres the size of Kulin in Australia that would have the level of service and facilities that are provided to the Kulin community.  The seminar was conducted in the Freebairn Recreation Centre which is the clear focal point for the delivery of the town's recreation services and was a great venue for the event.  The day's proceedings were kicked of by LIWA Aquatics Vice President and the MC for the day Chris Blankley who welcomed the delegates on behalf of our President Jeff Fondacaro.

The seminar was then officially opened by the Shire President, Councillor Jim Sullivan who attended the event with this wife Margaret.  Jim spoke with great passion about the aquatic centre re-development, how it was funded and what it would mean to the community.  He also spoke of the financial legacy left to the Shire of Kulin by the Freebairn family, which has seen the development of the recreation centre, the slide pool and now the aquatic centre.


councillor kulin

Councillor Jim Sullivan

Before the site visit to the new pool Ryan Glass from Commercial Aquatics Australia whose company constructed the facility provided a very relevant presentation on how the pool was constructed.  The Shire was able to contribute to the project through the provision of site demolition and removal and the earth works for the new pool.  This saved considerable dollars in the overall cost of the project and ensured a quality facility was the end result.  The Shire chose a design and construct pathway, providing a performance specification in which they would choose the best value for money solution.

The scope of the project included:

  1. 25m x 6 lane pool, learn to swim, toddlers pool water feature and beach entry that was encompassed in one water body
  2. Pool filtration and hydraulics
  3. All pools built in double form and pour concrete/fully tiled
  4. New buildings, incorporating kiosk, first aid, store, change rooms, plant room and toilets
  5. Landscaping, shade and paving

The building time was just under 12 months and the approximate contact cost was $2.35 million plus GST.  It was then time to view the finished product which was just across the road from the Recreation Centre. After the site visit which showcased the new facility the delegates enjoyed morning tea and a chance to network and meet the other managers in attendance.

deep discussion kulin

Ed, Bill and John in deep discussion

The first session after morning tea was presented by LIWA Aquatics Life Member and the General Manager Planning for RLSSWA Peter Leaversuch.  Peter focused his presentation on three key areas:

  1. The Interim Australian Standard AS 3533.4 Amusement rides and devices. Specific requirements - Waterborne inflatables
  2. The Safety in Public Swimming Pools Incident Evaluation Report for 2011/12
  3. The 2011 Aquatic Industry Profile for Western Australia.

The presentation focused on ensuring there was an awareness of the new requirements for inflatables, there installation and operation.  There is a statement on distance from the pool edge, guidance on water depths and supervision issues that may need to be addressed.  The most important issue is the need to undertake a Risk Assessment of the device that is being used in your pool.  Peter provided delegates with a sample document that could be used as a template to complete the risk assessment.

The mid morning session was presented by LIWA Aquatics Board Member and senior Pool Lifeguard Trainer John East.  John introduced the delegates to "Pool Super Vision" a new LIWA Aquatics program that is being developed close consultation with Gary Johnson and Tamworth Regional Council.  The program will look at the ways in which Lifeguards and Managers supervise water bodies, the barriers to effective supervision and how to improve supervision.  The program will be a wonderful adjunct to Watch Around Water and LIWA Aquatics will work with RLSSWA to align the training to the Unit of Competence ".

kulin slide

The Kulin Slide

John was able to present some of the great ideas that have been developed by Gary around "Dead Water" and his acronym GLRDDD and with the use of some great imagery highlighted some of inhibitors in providing effective supervision in the aquatic environment.  John left the group with three very salient points:

  1. Pool Super Vision
  2. Better Lifeguards
  3. Safer Facilities

After lunch I presented a session on the new Faecal Contamination Responses developed by the WA Health Department and LIWA Aquatics.  This was an opportunity to update delegates on our new procedures for dealing with contamination and vomit in our pools.  Each delegate was given a copy of the procedure and there was some good discussion surrounding the application of the guideline.

Chris Blankley then provided a presentation about the importance of developing good assessment management planning in-line with the facilities operations document.  He provided some great examples of things that had gone wrong in facilities and some of the associated capital costs associated in rectifying problems.  Chris provided templates to the delegates of one method of categorising assets in a facility to ensure all sections of the facility are considered in the overall asset management plan.

The final three presentations were from Lauren Nimmo, Sue Warner and Steve Good.

Lauren provided a great update of the status of Watch Around Water and the new initiatives planned for 2012/13 including the official launch of the program on Wednesday 12thof December at the new Cannington Leisureplex.  It was wonderful to hear that 102 facilities in Western Australia had the program in place last season but it is worrying that there are still a small minority of managers that feel they don't need the program.  It would be difficult for LIWA Aquatics or RLSSWA to support a facility that did not embrace WAW if a major incident were to occur.  It was also wonderful for Lauren to promote that there had not been a drowning death involving young children over the past 12 months.  A great deal of thanks is owed by LIWA Aquatics to Lauren who does an amazing job managing the program and its development on behalf of the industry.

Sue Warner from Austswim then took the opportunity to promote the MATE Program.  Making Aquatics a Terrific Experience is aimed at carers with family or friends with medical conditions or disabilities.  The program looks to up skill those individuals so they can better engage and understand both the barriers to participation and how to enhance the aquatic experience for individuals with a disability of medical condition.  For further information on this program contact Sue on this email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Steve Good our long standing LIWA Aquatics Finance and IT Consultant who has recently taken over the role at Royal Life Saving as the Coordinator of Pool Lifeguard and Pool Operations Training provided a brief overview of the year in review and what training was planned for 2013.

group shot kulin

Kulin 2012

October 24 Pinjarra Civic Centre

Fast forward one week and the travelling road show arrived in Pinjarra to give members from the South West the opportunity to attend and participate in professional development.  It was also great to see the metropolitan managers in attendance and joining with the regional delegates.  With all that is happening at Beatty Park we were very lucky to have our president Jeff Fondacaro and our Treasurer Dale Morrissy attend the morning session. Jeff welcomed the delegates and of course promoted Watch Around Water and wished everyone the best for the day.  The seminar was then officially opened by the Shire President Councillor Wally Barrett who welcomed the delegates to the Shire on behalf of Council.

One of the key outcomes of the day was to showcase another brand new aquatic facility that opened in early 2012.  The pool was built by Commercial Aquatics Australia and Ryan Glass was able to provide some great input into the development and the construction of the facility.  A highlight of the day was the site visit to the facility where Glen and his staff were able to display the facility and all its components to the delegates.

The facility and its surrounds will serve the community for many years and the hydrotherapy pool will be a great asset for learn to swim and remedial therapy for both young and old.  The day continued with the same program as the previous week and it was great to have some very positive comments as well as the documented feedback from the delegates.

The final session of both days is one that everyone enjoys participating in and provides an opportunity to discuss the past season and plans for the future with all the mangers in the room.  Chris completed the wrap up and thanked all the sponsors that attended or provided tangible support for the seminar.

These included:

  1. Royal Life Saving Society for its ongoing support of LIWA Aquatics
  2. Sigma Chemicals for a great show bag for the delegates
  3. The Department of Sport and Recreation for their funding and support of LIWA Aquatics
  4. Priority One for attending both seminars
  5. The Department of Sport and Recreation for its ongoing support of LIWA Aquatics
  6. Commercial Aquatics Australia
  7. The Shire of Kulin and Jane Adagh who provided the venue and made bringing the conference to Kulin very easy
  8. The Shire of Murray and Glen and Lyn from the aquatic centre for their assistance
  9. To John Shenton for attending the event
  10. Finally all the delegates that attended the 2012 Country Seminars

As with all events such as this they don't just happen and a great deal of thanks must go to Chris Blankley, Karin Kelly, Peter Leaversuch, Steve Good, Lauren Nimmo and John East for their continued involvement in this now institutional event.  From humble beginnings 16 years ago the seminar attracted 100 delegates and trade suppliers to this years events and shows that "Maintaining the Network" is of critical importance to our industry members.  We look forward to next year.

Tony Head

Executive Officer

LIWA Aquatics



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