2015 LIWA Aquatics Gala Dinner and Awards
- Written by Tony Head
- Category: Conference & Seminars
- Created: 22 December 2015
The 2015 Awards were hosted by the LIWA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro and consisted of the presentation of the Waterwise Aquatic Centre Awards for 2015 and a number of LIWA Aquatics awards culminating in the Presidents Awards for Excellence.
Jeff welcomed Minister Mia Davies and the 230 delegates and guests to the dinner where the Western Australian aquatic industry recognised the current and past achievements of its members and stakeholders. The attendance of Minister Davies, who holds the portfolios of both Water and Recreation adds a great deal to the night and highlights just how far LIWA Aquatics has developed over its 46 year history. Delegates were also joined by our Water Corporation partners represented by Catherine Ferrari, General Manager Customer and Community and Adele Gismondi and Jessie Cochrane. Royal Life Saving was strongly represented by the CEO and LIWA Aquatics Life Member Peter Leaversuch and his wife Tash and President Ross Peter and his wife Michelle.
Jeff also made special mention of the LIWA Aquatics Life Members present at the dinner and highlighted the key sponsors for this year's annual conference and their wonderful contribution to the industry. Jeff attributed the development and the success of the conference and the industry to the members of LIWA Aquatics who open their facilities day after day and provide wonderful service and commitment to the people of Western Australia. Matt Hughes from Links Modular Solutions was also on hand to brief the delegates on the competition that would take place after dinner. You needed to have your smart phones on the ready and have nimble fingers!
In the first round of presentations Minister Davies was able to recognise nine new pools as Waterwise Aquatic Facilities. LIWA Aquatics and Water Corporation has been very proactive this year and funded the auditing of ten regional pools with the aim of them becoming Waterwise. This year Claremont, Bilgoman, Newman, Northam, Wundowie, Mukinbudin, Koorda, Altone Park and Beatty Park aquatic centres were all assessed as Waterwise. This is a wonderful outcome for the industry and clearly demonstrates LIWA Aquatics commitment to working with Water Corporation in water saving initiatives.
In the second round of awards President Jeff recognised a number of members present and the first award was to recognise the efforts and amazing contribution of Recreation South Australia (REC SA) and Life Saving Victoria (LSV) to the growth and development of Watch Around Water. Andy Dennis from LSV and Rebecca Deans from REC SA were presented with this small token of LIWA Aquatics appreciation for their work in promoting water safety in public swimming pools.
Jeff then recognised an individual who was probably not well known to many people in the room that night. But he made an extraordinary contribution and held the Institute together in the mid-1980's at a time of flux for the industry. He was a strong part of the transition of the Institute and its development in the late 80's and early 90's. Peter Duff was able to hold onto the legacy of "Maintain the Network" and was a wonderful contributor to the Aquatic Recreation Industry in Western Australia. Peter joined Jeff on the stage to accept the award as a token of appreciation from a grateful industry.
When you look up the word legend in the dictionary you get a number of alternatives for its meaning, but at this year's award ceremony we recognised two "dead-set" legends of the aquatic industry. One has even had a street named after him for his work in the community. These two individuals are our history and everyone in our industry owes them a debt of gratitude, the City's of Rockingham and Kwinana owe them a debt of gratitude as well as everyone who attends an aquatic facility as they paved the way for LIWA Aquatics to develop from humble beginnings 46 years ago to the organisation we are today.Jeff then welcomed Mr Fred Smith and Mr John Robertson to the stage to be presented with LIWA Aquatics highest honour, The Lifetime Achievement Award for their amazing contribution to LIWA Aquatics and our industry.
This year Jeff recognised Wendy Cole from the City of Mandurah with his Presidents Award for Excellence. Wendy is a member who really lives and breathes all that is great about industry and importantly contributes to industry development and training. Nothing is a problem for this member who contributes to the training of our lifeguards, drives ambulances for the community and takes time to participate as a LIWA Aquatics Board Member and importantly is a Watch Around Water zealot. Wendy was a very deserving winner of the 2015 Presidents Award.
Jeff then handed back to Matt Hughes who conducted the Links Modular Competition which saw Jessica Uitdenbogerd take home a new Apple Watch! It was great night when the industry comes together to celebrate it success over the previous 12 months and recognises the contributions of our members.