This year the Narembeen Recreation and Aquatic Centre was the venue for the 13th Annual LIWA Aquatics Country Pool Managers seminar.  There was an excellent response to the seminar with over 35 people in attendance and considering the distance it was great to see delegates from as far away as Albany, Esperance and Norseman.

Once the delegates and guests were welcomed by President Jeff Fondacaro the Shire President Mr Stephen Padfield officially opened the seminar and emphasised how important it was for the delegates to seize this opportunity to network and open some dialogue amongst each as they all shared the similar issues and problems.  Stephen also provided some history of how the new facility came about, some of the issues faced during construction and the ultimate success of the project.

Shire President Stephen Padfield, Jeff Fondacaro and CEO Frank Peczka

A brief wander up the road saw delegates standing at the gates of a vibrant, engaging and well presented aquatic facility.  The amount of planning that had gone into the facility was evident as it married interactive play equipment with effective leisure water and recreational swimming space.  The use of colourful shade sails, manicured lawns, well appointed change rooms and office space really impressed all the delegates.

After morning tea Rohan Gunton from the YMCA led us into our second presentation "Recruiting and Retaining Staff."  Staffing is a big issue for all of the industry but even more so for the country areas due to distance and limited resources.  Rohan had some excellent ideas and suggestions with his presentation which you can find along with the rest of the presentations on the new LIWA Aquatics web site.

Rohan also gave an insightful presentation on the very successful "Swim Through Life Program" the YMCA conducted in Port Hedland.  The program was conducted in an attempt to encourage indigenous youth to get involved in the aquatic industry as pool lifeguards.  The success of the program has seen further funding allocated for this year with 50 young people applying for the program with the outcome of gaining their Bronze Medallion and work in their local aquatic facilities.

The Narembeen Aquatic Facility

Following on from Rohan our MC Chris Blankley provided further information to the delegates on how the Shire of Mundaring encourages staff retention and recruitment.  Chris provided some very humours moments during the presentation and kept everyone engaged with some of special tips for getting people to come back to work at his pool.

The group then broke into three for the workshop session, with each group spending fifteen minutes on each topic.  Jeff Fondcaro's topic was on reading and understanding the Path Lab Water Test results.  John East's topic was a discussion regarding the change in the Health Department's recommendation on managing faecal contamination.  The final topic was discussing chemical handling and spill procedures and spill kits.  The workshops were interactive and provided delegates with some good information and provided great feedback on the proposed DOH faecal contamination policy.

After a nice lunch in the sun and some chatting amongst the delegates the afternoon session was underway and led by John East who presented a informative session on "How to Manage a Project."  John's dot points are available on the LIWA web and would be very useful to all managers wether they are taking on a small or large project.

John East

Tony Head then provided and update on behalf of Heather Preston who was delivering a Pool Operation Course for industry in Busselton.  Tony updated the delegates on the number of Pool Operations and Pool Lifeguard courses conducted by RLSS and how effective the partnerships with Central TAFE and the Department of Sport and Recreation have been for industry.

Tony continued on with an update and demonstration of how to use the "Generic Operations Manual" that will be available for industry later in the year.  The manual and relevant documents have been developed to compliment the Code of Practice and will assist Managers in ensuring compliance against Section 7.8 of the Code.

The latest information on "Watch Around Water" was presented by Lauren Nimmo from RLSS.  Lauren does an amazing job with the program and we now have 100 pools across Australia using "Watch Around Water".  It is forging ahead and will one day lead to a national supervision program across Australia and give our industry a national focus and standard.

Peter Leaversuch then work shopped Section 7.10 of the Code of Practice that pertains to the supervision of the water body in Single Operator Facilities.  This issue has caused much debate in some areas and clearly needed some clarification for Group One Pool Operators.

Leavo and a Showbag

Peter was able to provide some clarity to the issue and it was supported by 100% of the delegates in attendance.  It is proposed that the following terminology be included in Section 7.10 to replace the current prescriptive statement   "Supervisors shall not be assigned duties that would unduly distract them from supervising patrons or program participants at all times, or unduly inhibit their ability to provide immediate assistance to patrons or program participants in distress"

Chris then went around the room and each of the delegates updated the group on how their past season went and how upcoming season was looking.  This provides some great feedback on some very important industry issue and trends and allows everyone to have the floor and promote what is happening in their towns and facilities.

Chris then thanked everyone in attendance for their support of the day and commended the Shire of Narembeen for their support of the event.  Chris also made mention of our sponsors the Royal Life Saving Society, the Department of Sport and Recreation, Orica and Mircacle Play Equipment for their great support and closed the seminar.  Recognition must go to our LIWA AquaticsRegional Representative Darren Teasdale for all the lead in work and suggestions he made for this years seminar.  Well done Darren!

The response regarding the seminar from all the delegates was very positive with some great feedback and suggestions for next year topics and venue.

The Delegates at 2009 Country Seminar


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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
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