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The City of Karratha's efforts to ensure the Pilbara town is sustainable and Waterwise were today recognised by Water Minister Dave Kelly during a visit.

The City of Karratha has been endorsed as a Waterwise Council and the Karratha Leisureplex, which is managed by the local council, has also been named a Waterwise Aquatic Centre. 

The Waterwise Council Program is run through a partnership between the Water Corporation and Department of Water, and supports councils to improve water efficiency in their operations and liveability in their communities.

The Waterwise Aquatic Centre Program is run through a partnership between the Water Corporation and the LIWA Aquatics to promote water efficiency. The program has helped the industry save more than 700 million litres since 2008 - that is enough water to fill about 280 Olympic-sized pools. 

For more information, visit https://watercorporation.com.au

Presentation of Waterwise Council and Waterwise Aquatic Centre certificates: Kevin Michel MLA, Minister for Water Dave Kelly and City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long.

Image and text supplied by Water Corporation

 

 

Ray Martin - a Life in Aquatics

Ray Martin started his connection with the Aquatic Industry in 1929 when he joined the local swimming club in Pascoe Vale Victoria as a six year old. As he moved into his teens his interest was fostered by the Pool Manager of the time who allowed him to clean the filters and get involved in the operation of the plant and equipment. It was a natural progression for Ray to move into a Lifeguarding role when he was old enough.

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The 2017 event featured 17 teams, 68 competitors, smoke filled plantrooms, fitness testing, first aid incidents and of course a great deal of fun and comradery. It is a unique event that brings teams of professional lifeguards together once a year to test their skills, knowledge and fitness in a realistic setting at HBF Stadium. LIWA Aquatics is proud to sponsor this event but it would not be possible without the amazing support of the staff at Royal Life Saving and of course the competitors representing their respective facilities.

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All the teams ready for action

This year we welcomed back a number of facilities but also had the City of Cockburn and Adventure World competing in the event for the first time. LIWA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro was the MC for the event and with time at a premium was able to keep the competition flowing and ensured a timely finish even with a record number of teams. The first event is a timed event that see's 4 lifeguards pitted against the clock in a test of both straight line speed and the ability to tow manikins up and down the pool. HBF Arena #1 blitzed the field in this event with a time 1.13.44 followed Fremantle and Beatty Park 4 seconds behind the winner. Points for this event were allocated on a basis of 0 for the winner and each team losing one point for every second they were behind the winner HBF Stadium.


The second event incorporated both fitness and emergency response skills testing with two lifeguards from each team competing. The fitness component was won by the Mandurah Blue team with a time of 1.06.97 followed closely by Beatty Park and HBF Arena #1. The skills testing in the event was very close with Riverton Leisureplex #2 followed by the two Fremantle Leisure Centre teams.


Event 3 saw two lifeguards tested with a written and multiple choice questions in the critical areas of first aid and lifeguarding. This is the first time we have tried this type of knowledge testing and overall the teams did very well with Altone Park and River Leisureplex #1 sharing the honours in this event. The competitors then had a short break before the 17, 3 person teams went into lock up for the critical initiative component of the Lifeguard Challenge.

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Go, Go Go!


Having the spare team member involved for the initiatives meant there were plenty of actors available which adds to the excitement and provides a more realistic setting for the activities that simulate the real work environment. RLSSWA CEO Peter Leaversuch briefed all the actors and the timing sequence of when events will begin to escalate on the pool deck and then it was actors ready, your time starts NOW!  With a military like precision the first of the 17 teams headed onto the pool deck to face dangerous play activities, water polo balls being thrown at spectators and a swimmer in distress in the lap lanes. But these distractions were only a precursor to the plantroom fire and injured staff members emerging from the smoke onto the pool deck. The inclusion of a major out of water emergency was a first for the Pool Lifeguard Challenge and clearly tested the skills of the participants.


The Lifeguards cleared the pools promptly and then focused their first aid and emergency protocols skills to deal with the injured staff member who was clearly bleeding and effected by smoke inhalation. The level of professionalism demonstrated by the teams was of a very high level and highlighted that the training they are undertaking in the workplace and during formal requalification sessions is paying off.  The actors who were in place for the 17 scenario's did a great job in particular Stef and Amy who continually emerged from a smoke filled room coughing and spluttering to be carried or assisted across the concourse. Jayden's attention seeking for a cramp was also a very good distraction just prior to the major emergency kicking off. The participation of the spare lifeguards and the team members that have completed the scenarios all added to the vibrancy and reality of the Challenge.

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Realistic Initiatives


LIWA Aquatics President Jeff Fondacaro continued his role as MC and provided great context to the importance of the Challenge in developing safety standards in our industry. All the Lifeguards that competed today had come into the industry with the knowledge that Watch Around Water was there to support them and promote parental supervision. But Jeff highlighted the need for them to remain vigilant and continue to embrace their own training and professional development.


Royal Life Saving CEO Peter Leaversuch paid tribute to all the participants in this unique event and to LIWA Aquatics for its support and financial sponsorship of the Challenge. Peter also thanked his own staff for participation in the day and singled the organiser Caitlin Oxlade for bringing the event together in such a professional manner. It was then back to Jeff who thanked all the volunteers and judges including Chris Blankley, Matt Merritt, Ryan Scally and of course Steve Good for their amazing contribution to the day and our industry.

It was then time to announce the winner and the placegetters which at the end of the day saw only three points separating first and second place with the third placed team 49 points behind the winner. It was a close competition and everyone was a winner on the day but as always a team needs to be recognised and be presented with the silverware!
In third place which was an incredible effort considering the team had been up before 4am (not so unusual in the aquatic industry) and then driven 450kms to compete with a score of 499 points was Geraldton Aquarena. In second placing was the Mandurah #1 with a score of 545 and the winner on the day with 548 points was Riverton Leisureplex #2. It was a great win by the City of Canning Team who were very proud winners of the 2017 LIWA Aquatics Pool Lifeguard Challenge. See everyone again next year and keep up the training.

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Riverton Leisureplex #2

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

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