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A review of drowning data over the past 5 years indicates there have been 50 drowning deaths in WA involving members of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Community, which represents 37% of all drowning deaths. Limited water safety awareness combined with alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs are contributing factors to this over-representation of CaLD community members in the WA Drowning Report.

Royal Life Saving Society WA CEO Peter Leaversuch says "Often swimming and water safety education is overlooked by new migrants due to barriers such as cost and availability, and for many migrant women the issue of cultural modesty is extremely important. We're working hard to address these barriers to participation so that swimming, lifesaving and community education programs are appropriate and accessible to all Australians." Royal Life Saving Society WA is providing strong leadership and collaborating with government and non-government organisations to enact change, and this year we have placed a strong focus on fast tracking engagement with Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian and African communities.

A taskforce was established in order to gather the collective knowledge of local agencies including Chung Wah, the Indian Society, settlement agencies, ISHAR, Communicare and the Office of Multicultural Interests to better understand the barriers, cultural understandings and adaptations needed for successful change in these communities. Royal Life Saving Society WA, in partnership with the Office of Multicultural Interests and the Department of Sport and Recreation has been conducting women's only swimming lessons since 2009. We now have 3 programs running across the metropolitan area at Merriwa, Balga and Cannington.

Mr Leaversuch says the program aims to enable women to feel comfortable taking part. "We wanted to address the concerns many CaLD women had expressed about swimming in an environment where men were present, as this poses a cultural problem for them. The classes are led by female instructors where the women can feel at ease. In some cases classes are even held behind closed doors." The lessons run for an 8 week period during school terms, with crèche and pool entry included. This term there are 58 participants taking part at Cannington, 30 at Balga and 16 at Merriwa.

Many of the women involved in these lessons have also been able to complete our Heart Beat Club program, which teaches basic first aid and CPR skills to assist them in caring for their children. One former participant in the program, Titisari Titisari, has even continued on to become a qualified swimming instructor, teaching Infant Aquatics classes at Cannington Leisureplex. Ms Titisari says the Women's Only lessons made it easy to learn to swim. "The lessons were great because they not only taught me how to swim safely and the correct stroke but it also provided me with things I needed to make it possible, like creche for my children, and advice on the safest and most appropriate clothing for Muslim women like myself to wear in the pool."

Royal Life Saving Society WA has also recently completed the development of a Swim Wear Guide, advising CaLD women about the options available to them as we seek to address cultural requirements. The guide explains the suitability of the different swim wear options in a variety of swimming environments to ensure the women are aware of the risks associated with some of the more modest options.

Mr Leaversuch says "This program, and the swim wear options provided, work together to give women the opportunity to experience learning to swim as an enjoyable pastime. It enables them to take part in something that is an important part of Australian life."

The Swimwear Guide will be shared with key stakeholders including:

• Lifeguards who will be able to effectively communicate with patrons why some swimwear options are only suitable for shallow water activities due to their weight and the restriction of movement.
• Swim instructors who will be able to help participants choose the right swimwear for their planned activities, as the wrong swimwear prohibits skill development.
• Participants who will be able to choose the options best for their activity, making physical activity enjoyable and fun.

The information in the guide will be communicated via a range of platforms including signage at centres, handouts at reception, cue cards for lifeguards, instructors and resources such as videos and personal stories to be shared online.

 Click on this link to download the Guide Swim Wear Guide

 

Aflex Technology has commenced the year with the appointment of Business Manager, Frank Witowski. With extensive experience from operating his own highly successful businesses for many years, Witowski has been welcomed to the Aflex Technology team to manage day-today business functions and assist the company's continued growth. Managing Director Martin Stratford says Witowski's background will be a valuable asset to Aflex, stating "Frank brings an extensive range of skills in business management and will implement the strategy for the next phase of growth, with a focus on the global export market."
General Manager Karen Stratford will move into an Executive role, and continue as a Director at Aflex. Aflex Technology has an extensive range of New Zealand made inflatable products for open water, commercial pools and land. Witowski's appointment comes at a busy time for the company, with enormous opportunities in the inflatable water park and commercial pool inflatable categories. Witowksi commenced his role at Aflex Technology on January 4th 2017.

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An Aflex George in Action

LIWA Aquatics members and regional communities will benefit from funding for safety and training through the Community Pool Revitalisation Program.  Speaking in Merredin on Wednesday, Sport and Recreation Minster Mia Davies said $176,272 would go tothe  Leisure Institute of Western Australia Aquatics for a range of initiatives.  "For example, this money gives provision to offer financial assistance to 100 pool lifeguards to requalify in regional WA and the purchase of 95 lifesaving mannequins for in-house and community training."

The funding will also cover:

  • Eight audits of regional pools to achieve Waterwise specification
  • 10 full scholarships to regional female industry participants to undertake pool operations training
  • 30 Funded  Pool Operations Training Course positions for regional participants

The Minister said safe and well-maintained facilities were important to encourage greater participation in sport and active recreation.  "A community pool should never be underestimated in its ability, not only to teach people about water safety and be a fun place to swim, but to also act as a hub for local community life," she said. "Especially in regional Western Australia, pools often form the social centre of many towns and communities."

Late last year, 91 pools and four water playgrounds received $2,923,728 in funding through the Community Pool Revitalisation Program.  Eligible regional local governments can apply for up to $32,000 towards pool upgrades, maintenance, equipment, staff development or a reduction of pool entry costs. The money can also be put towards a capital project.

Minister Davies was also on hand to present a Long Service Order Award to long standing Royal Life Saving Trainer Judy Jefferys for her contribution the community over 22 years

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Minister Davies and Judy Jefferys

 

 

The Royal Life Saving's job board is up and running and LIWA Aquatics encourage all work places in the aquatic and recreation industry to advertise their jobs on this site. The job board allows you to post your current vacancies and reach out to job seekers in Western Australia who are looking for work in the aquatic, sport and recreation, fitness, leisure and fitness industries. The best thing about the Royal Life Saving job board is that it specifically targets people interested in your vacancies and they don't have to go through a number of jobs that aren't relevant to them.

The job board is promoted through Royal Life Saving's website as well as on social media and email campaigns to people who have completed a course with Royal Life Saving as well as people who register as a job seeker.

If you would like more information or to register and advertise on the Royal Life Saving job board please contact the office on (08) 9383 8200 or click on this link:

header-logoThe Shire was recently named as the winner of the Excellence in Inclusive Community Design Award at the National Disability Awards ceremony on 7 November.  The judging panel concluded that Collie was a welcoming, inclusive and vibrant community that prioritises compliance with accessibility standards across its CBD infrastructure, buildings and facilities. It is committed to delivering the highest standard of accessibility, and has undertaken a number of recent improvements to increase accessibility for people with disability.

A highlight includes an upgrade to the town's 50-metre Olympic-size swimming pool to incorporate purpose-built ramp access for wheelchair users and people with impaired mobility.

Click this link for the full story:

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New Ramp Access at the Collie Pool

 

LIWA Aquatics was presented with the CEO's Award for Water Efficency at the recent Water Corporation stakeholders event.  The citation for the award presented by Ms Eva Skira Chair of Water Corporation read as follow:

  • This is awarded to a Waterwise Partner that has worked collaboratively with the Corporation to deliver outstanding water efficiency outcomes in their industry or business sector.
  • Winner: Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics
  • Water Corporation has partnered with LIWA Aquatics since 2010. Together we have collaborated on numerous research projects to identify water use trends in aquatic centres and water efficiency opportunities.
  • LIWA Aquatics has been a proactive advocate for water efficiency by inviting the Corporation to speak annually at their State Conference and publish articles in their industry journal.
  • In 2012 LIWA Aquatics became the first industry body representing a non-residential segment to be endorsed as a Waterwise Partner. In 2013 we launched the Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program in partnership with LIWA Aquatics and to date have successfully endorsed 31 aquatic centres across the state as Waterwise.
  • As a direct result of this partnership the aquatics industry has collectively reduced their water consumption by 13% since 2008. This is an estimated 700 billion litres of water, which is a commendable achievement.

This was a great achivement for LIWA Aquatics and one members can be justly proud of as we strive to protect our environment and protect our precious resources.

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LIWA Aquatics Board Member Nick Wilkinson, Water Corporation Chair Eva Skira and LIWA Aquatics Executive Offcer Tony Head

Official Opening of the new Gnowangerup Community Swimming Pool

Official Opening of the new Gnowangerup Swimming Pool will go down in history as a milestone event for the Shire of Gnowangerup. The Opening took place on Saturday 5th November and was attended by close to 400 people. The event showcased the new 2.6 million dollar purpose built facility and its new fun features including modern seating and picnic facilities, fully landscaped surrounds, beach entry, heating, solar panels, refurbished change rooms, water features, shaded areas, purple BBQ and custom made bridge.

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The weather could not have been better with a perfect 34 degree day and no wind. Amongst the crowds, dignitaries also enjoyed the sun including the Honorable Tuck Waldron, Ross Thornton, Chair of the Great Southern Development Commission Board, Darren Beazley, CEO of Swimming WA, Robbie Miniter Representative of the local Noongar community and Wirrapanda Foundation, Wayne Pech, Chair of the Gnowangerup Sporting Complex,  Paul De Jong from McCorkell Construction and Gnowangerup Shire Councillors.

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Special guests also joined the festivities included a number of representatives from surrounding Shires, Chris Thompson from Department of Sport and Recreation, Tony Head from the Leisure and Aquatic Industry Association, Kathryn Clare from Triathlon WA and Merv Alymore and his wife Di whose father donated the land for the previous town swimming pool located at Alymore Springs. The Pool was officially opened by Tuck Waldron, Keith House, Shire President and Ross Thornton. The Shire President acknowledged the support of the multiple funders which included The Department of Sport and Recreation, The Department of Regional Development, The Great Southern Development Commission, Lotterywest and The Gnowangerup Sporting Complex. President House also commended the suppliers, community supporters and Shire staff for their hard work in seeing the project from inception to completion.

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Once the official proceedings were wrapped up, Peter Rundle and Keith House had the first swim... a race... commentated by Tuck Waldron.
The rest of the day was jam packed with exciting features including sausage sizzle provided by volunteers from Youngernow Mallefowl Centre, bouncy castles, bungee run giant Jenga and Connect 4 , massive dry slide, a live radio broadcast on Hot FM and a triathlon.
The Shire would like to thank all staff and volunteers for making the day a fantastic success!

Recently a worker at an aquatic centre was exposed to chlorine gas when he attempted to refill an unlabelled 100 litre chemical storage and dosing drum in a plant room at the facility. The storage and dosing drum containing sodium hypochlorite solution (known informally as "liquid chlorine") was used to dose liquid chlorine into two smaller pools at the facility. Read full article.

 

Australasia's leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of aquatic inflatables, Aflex Technology, have announced the launch of their new website this week.
With a history of over 23 years in the inflatable industry, the Aflex team are delighted with their new look and believe it truly depicts the family company's professional offering of high quality New Zealand made inflatables, innovation and family fun values.
You'll find on the new website that the Aflex product range has been more clearly divided into three simple categories – Inflatables for Commercial Pools, Inflatables for Open Water and Inflatables for Land – making it easier than ever to discover suitable Aflex products for your facility. The redesigned website also incorporates a number of innovative features including a 'wishlist' function where visitors can save and review their product selection, then submit their wishlist as part of their enquiry.

Your friendly Aflex team can't wait for you to explore their new website! www.aflextechnology.com

 

RLSSWA's Labour Hire Service provides a range of suitably qualified 'Aquatic Industry Professionals' for short term contract roles throughout Western Australia. Given the high level of training and experience that our State based industry demands, there have also been instances of interstate contract work available.

The aim of this service is to ensure continuity of Aquatic Centre operations in times of need and provides short term:
• Facility Managers,
• Pool Operators,
• Duty Managers,
• Lifeguards, and
• Event First Aid Personnel

RLSSWA is currently accepting expressions of interest from those who are interested in becoming a Contractor. The profile of a RLSSWA Labour Hire Contractor will have:
• Extensive industry experience and a diverse set of Aquatic related skills
• Well developed ability to problem solve and build immediate workplace rapport
• High level service focus
• LIWA Aquatics Accreditation, Current Pool Operations, Pool Lifeguard and First Aid qualifications
• Ability to provide Police Clearances, Working with Children Checks and Workplace Medical clearance where required
• A well balanced, calm approach and positive attitude

To register for consideration as a RLSSWA Labour Hire contractor please forward your brief profile (specialist skills, strengths, availability), CV and contact details of at least two references to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . To chat further about this Service please call Travis Doye on 9383 8200.

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Contact LIWA

We provide support, professional development and networking opportunities for individuals in the aquatic industry throughout Western Australia.

  1. PO Box 726, Hillarys, WA 6923
  2. (08) 9383 8238
  3. Email using this form

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