Day One


The 42nd Annual LIWA Aquatics conference was opened by the Director General of Sport and Recreation, Mr Ron Alexander.  Ron is great supporter of the industry and his ongoing involvement with LIWA Aquatics and its professional development opportunities never waivers.  During his presentation Ron announced to the delegates that LIWA Aquatics has been successful in obtaining an increase in its base funding from the Department to $95,000 per annum for the next two years.  This funding and its associated outcome requirements will ensure the continued development and long term sustainability of the institute.  LIWA Aquatics President Mr Jeff Fondacaro responded to Ron and his words of encouragement to the delegates and thanked him for his continued support and attendance at the conference again this year.

Ron and Jeff

The Key Note Speaker of the first morning was Michelle Cowan who spoke with passion about the importance of goal setting and how she personally went about overcoming some major obstacles in achieving her own lofty ambitions.  At 21 years of age Michelle became Australia's first female accredited AFL coach and went on to coach in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL) alongside current Carlton Assistant Coach Darren Harris at West Perth Football Club.

At 23, taking the attitude which made her the pioneer of women of professional football coaching into the workplace, she managed 150 staff through a $10.3 million dollar Leisure Centre development and at 25 she became the Managing Director of her national training company - Specialized Training & Development.  Michelle shared her inspiring and entertaining account that needed daring and determination and which saw her planning strategy, giving guidance, but not taking any cheek from 42 of the biggest blokes in the WAFL competition.  It was and entertaining session and one that got the conference to a great start.  LIWA Aquatics would like to thanks Links Modular for their sponsorship of the Key Note Speaker and their great support of the conference and the Institute.

The Delegates broke for their first look at the Trade Display that had been assembled for the conference in the Exhibition Area.  The scope of equipment and the numbers of exhibitors in attendance clearly demonstrated the importance of the LIWA Aquatic Annual Conference and Trade Display on these companies calendar of events.  The 40 Exhibitors came from across Australia and the range of products was incredibly diverse and this is easily the largest exhibition of its kind presented at any similar forum.  The delegates needed to visit all of the booths to ensure they were in the running for some great prizes that were on offer on Tuesday afternoon.

Walter Practising CPR

Managing our Water Resources

Over the past 2 years LIWA Aquatics has been able to establish a very successful partnership with the Water Corporation that continues to flourish and benefit the industry and wider community.  Pamela Mearns presented the latest information to delegates on the current state of in-flow into our dams that was hardly inspiring to those in attendance.  The south west continues to have very severe problems and we need some more very good falls over the next 8 weeks while the ground is soft enough to allow run off into the dams.

The second desalination unit will come on line later this year which will support existing supplies but as an industry we need to take ownership of the how we manage water in our facilities.  Pamela reiterated the need for managers to take charge by reading their meters on a regular basis, checking change rooms for leaks, replacing old shower heads with WELLS rated equipment and ensuring pools are water tight.

Gas Handling and Storage

Peter Xanthis from the Department of Mines and Petroleum was on hand to update delegates on the latest storage and handling requirements of gaseous chlorine.  The need to undertake a complete Risk Assessment on the storage area is now a legal requirement and must be completed every 5 years or if there is a major change to the facility storage area.

Peter highlighted the need to have communication methods in place to deal with possible wind blown contamination in the event of a gas chlorine incident.  The potential for this to occur is unlikely due to the wide use of auto shutdown and remote vacuum regulators in our installations today but there is always an associated risk using any chemical.  For more details email the link This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Greg and Lyn in Trade Area

Risk Management Workshop

After lunch the program focused on the area of managing risk in the aquatic environment.  Peter Leaversuch released the latest injury research data that has been collected by Royal Life Saving on behalf of the industry for the past 12 months.  The ongoing collecting of this data ensures training and effort can be focused on problem areas with in the aquatic environment.  Peter also announced the funding of a project that will be conducted over the next twelve months looking at the operation, supervision and practices relating to the use of inflatable devices in our pools.

Kim Johnson the Coordinator of Gosnells Leisure World then took the delegates on a risk management journey that took nearly 10 years to play out.  What began as an innocuous ride down a slide for an individual and their child on a visit to their local aquatic centre ended with the slide being closed and then rebuilt to a much higher standard.  The process City of Gosnells went through and how the facility was subsequently refurbished interested all the delegates in attendance.

Lasts years findings into the death by drowning of young child by the Queensland Coroner raised some serious issues around the use and supervision inflatable devices.  One of the major suppliers of these inflatables is A Flex Technology from New Zealand.  Karen Stafford was on hand to provide information to delegates on how A Flex has responded to the inquest and the amount of up front information that is now provided to pools prior to and after purchase.  Following the presentation their was an opportunity for delegates to raise questions and issues with the presenters and a range of issues were discussed

Watch Around Water

The final presentation for the day was from Sarah Grace the co-ordinator for the Watch Around Water Program in Victoria.  Sarah updated the delegates on the program and its development in Victoria with nearly 90 centres now registered.  Sarah also shared some of the ways facilities had been engaged and the importance of this program in the promotion of parental supervision.  With the massive take up of the program in Victoria there are now well over 200 sites across Australia promoting the mantra of Watch Around Water.

Our program manager Lauren Nimmo then showcased the new imagery for Western Australia that will assist managers in promoting Watch Around Water during the upcoming season.  The new "Your Child Your Focus" message will ensure the program hits the target market with fresh imagery and positive reinforcement.  Watch out for the new banner and promotional material and don't forget to get your registrations into Lauren as soon as possible to ensure you have the resources for the start of the season.


Jeff and Sarah

Business & Trade Members are entitled to display a banner here for only $100pa - Contact us

Contact LIWA

ABN:  35 334 789 538

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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