Board of Directors

President - Mr Vaughan Davies (2017 – Present)

Image of Vaughan Davies

Having grown up the regional WA towns of Esperance and Kalgoorlie and starting his working life as a casual pool lifeguard, Vaughan has developed an extensive career in the public sector. He spent 10 years in local government working in community services and overseeing the management and construction of swimming pools across regional Australia, before moving into a role as regional manager of Tourism WA based in Broome. From there he joined the Department of Aboriginal Affairs where he became the Director General of the Department in 2016. Vaughan currently works at the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage as the Assistant Director General of the Heritage and Property Division - responsible for the management, protection and promotion of Western Australia’s Aboriginal and Historic heritage assets as well as the Western Australia Planning Commission’s property portfolio .

A keen long-distance open water swimmer, with a few Rottnest Channel solo swims to his name, Vaughan spends as much time in or on the water as possible as a keen boaty and fisherman. Impressed by the work RLSSWA does through the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools program in regional WA, he joined the board’s Aboriginal Reference Group in 2017. Seeing RLSSWA as a well-established, solid brand steeped in history and filled with talented, professional and committed staff, he saw a position on the board as an opportunity to work with like-minded people, while also giving back to a cause that has been a part of his entire life.

Vaughan believes swimming is a life skill that every Western Australian should enjoy 100% water safety across all parts of the community is a goal he would like to see the organisation achieve - from infant aquatics, swim & survive, seniors water safety through to working with non-English speaking and remote Aboriginal communities. He sees this as an achievable aim through good governance, strategic thinking and creating partnerships with government and corporate organisations.

Mrs Carol Harper (October 2015 – Present)

Image of Carol Harper

Carol has worked in the Swimming Pool industry for over 25 years. She currently works as an Independent Consultant and Project Manager in the residential aquatic industry drawing from her experience as owner/manager of the Pool Spa & Outdoor Living Expo, and prior to that being co-owner/manager of Exclusive Pools for ten years.

Carol has extensive knowledge and networks in relation to outdoor living in WA, and has won more than 50 industry awards with Exclusive Pools for individually designed swimming pools. Along with her experience in running small businesses she is in a good position to make a positive impact through her work with Royal Life Saving WA as the Society aims to prevent drowning across the Western Australian community.

Coming from the swimming industry Carol believes it is vitally important to learn First Aid and resuscitation skills so that everyone can be a lifesaver. Since becoming a member of the Royal Life Saving WA board in 2015 she has found her involvement with the Society to be extremely rewarding as she sees the impact being made right across Western Australia. Looking ahead Carol is keen to see this impact expanded into more communities in the future.

Ms Justine Leavy (2018 – Present)

Image of Justine LeavyJustine completed a PhD, from UWA in 2014, holds a Masters in Public Health, UWA and Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) from Curtin University. She currently works at Curtin University as a Teaching and Research Academic in the School of Public Health and is the Discipline Lead, for Health Promotion and Sexology.

In 2019 she was awarded the Aspire Curtin University Professional Development Award and launched the Western Australian Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Evaluation and Research Network (WADER-n). Justine is an active drowning prevention researcher, evaluating Royal Life Saving WA’s drowning prevention programmes Keep Watch and Don’t Drink and Drown. Widely published in peer-reviewed journals, Justine in an expert in the field and is a member of the International Drowning Research Alliance (IDRA) which allows her to connect with drowning researchers from around the world including Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the World Health Organization.

Also a board member of the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA®), Chair of the AHPA Research, Evaluation and Evidence Translation Committee, and Sector Advisory Panel Member U.S. National Physical Activity Plan for the Mass Media sector, Justine joined the board of RLSSWA in 2018 to bring her expertise and provide strategic advice to the Directors about research, evaluation and evidence translation matters pertinent to drowning prevention and the public health profession. She sees the opportunity to be part of the Royal Life Saving WA Board as a chance to build aquatic safety capacity and give back to the community.

Justine’s vision is for Royal Life Saving to be recognised as a leader in knowledge translation for drowning prevention in Australia, and internationally. She’s excited about the way the organisation has been very progressive in working together with researchers to develop and implement evidence-informed drowning prevention programs, and wants to help the organisation to ensure evidence informed strategies are communicated to all West Australians, enabling them to be safe when in and around waterways, and reduce deaths from drowning in WA.

 Mr Aaron Brinkworth (2020 - Present)

Aaron Brinkworth

Aaron has worked in the bio-pharmaceutical industry for the past 25 years, with experience establishing sales, marketing & distribution networks across the Asia Pacific region. Some of this work has focussed on solving complex problems and advancing public health for underserved and at-risk populations globally. He has also been an active Surf Lifesaver since 1983, has experience teaching VacSwim and was also employed as a City of Stirling Lifeguard in the late 1980s.

Having always lived around water and been involved in aquatic activity, Aaron has a strong understanding of the significant risk water can pose to many within our diverse population across Western Australia. His role as part of Royal Life Saving WA’s board of directors enables Aaron to fulfil his desire to contribute to the broader community in our state and to the strategic direction and effective governance of the organisation.

Aaron believes the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan is very clear regarding Royal Life Saving WA’s vision and purpose – a vision that he shares. He is keen to ensure that no one misses out on swimming and water safety skills and hopes that through his strong interest in corporate governance, risk and strategy, he can assist the organisation to effectively lead efforts towards achieving this ambitious and essential goal. 

Ms Lisa Lilleyman (2021 - Present)Lisa Lilleyman

Lisa has been involved with Royal Life Saving in various capacities since 1999. These include the Department of Education’s Vacswim program and the Honours and Award Committee. She possesses a detailed understanding of aquatics, the multi-faceted nature of Royal Life Saving and importantly opportunities for growth and development.

Promoting water safety within the WA community is a genuine passion and Lisa offers extensive experience in delivering strategic advice, collaboration with stakeholders and working with not-for-profit organisations and Government. Lisa was the State Manager of the Australian Olympic Committee and is currently performing a national role as the Relationship Manager. In these leadership roles she has achieved many strategic outcomes, engaged with a wide range of stakeholders and works with all tiers of government including Ministers.

Leading people in program implementation, organisational change and ensuring everyone feels part of the evolution process is important to Lisa.

Jonathan SethMr Jonathan Seth (2021 - Present)

Jonathan Seth is a highly accomplished executive with a 30 years’ experience in CEO, senior leadership and director roles. He recently stepped down from his position as CEO of LGIS (local government discretionary mutual) after a successful nine 9 year tenure. His career includes executive roles with leading risk management, consulting and financial services organisations, such as Marsh, JLT, AIG and Aon.

Throughout Jonathan's professional journey, Jonathan has focused on risk management, strategy and governance in the not for profit and purpose driven sector. He has worked with organisations like St Vincent's, Activ Foundation and Amana Living, bringing his expertise to enhance their operations.

Jonathan's commitment to community extends to his role as non-executive director of Royal Life Saving WA. He has also made significant contribution to the Australian and New Zealand Institute of insurance and finance (ANZIIF) as a Board Director and Chair of the Academic Council and Life Member. Jonathan's dedication to risk management, governance and community service makes him a valuable asset to the team.

He holds Fellowship Membership with ANZIIF, QPIB, an MBA from Deakin University and has completed the AICD Directors program (GAICD).

Donna OxenhamMs Donna Oxenham (2022 - Present)

Donna Oxenham is a Yamatji woman and a descendant of the Malgana people of Shark Bay in the north-west of Western Australia. Donna is a researcher at the University of Western Australia and has considerable experience undertaking research on Indigenous children, families, and communities. 

Donna has already provided her expertise to Royal Life Saving in the development of our Reconciliation Action Plan as a valued member of our Aboriginal Steering committee. Donna also compiled an Aboriginal history of the area where our head office is located, where she researched the Whadjuk Nyungar relationships to country surrounding the Mount Claremont region. 

Mark's Story

Keep Watch Ambassador Mark Gubanyi has a very personal story of toddler drowning

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