Bronzies aplenty in Hedland thanks to Talent Pool surge

24 December 2021
Participants at a Bronze Medallion course in Port HedlandPort Hedland has a raft of new Bronze Medallion graduates after a busy weekend of training at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre in early December. The training was made possible thanks to funding from Principal Community Partner BHP, proud sponsor of Royal Life Saving WA’s Talent Pool program.

Royal Life Saving WA Aquatic trainers Steve O’Meara and Lauren Thompson assessed a huge group of 14 participants in the Bronze Medallion course over the weekend of 4th and 5th of December. The iconic Bronze Medallion award is the recognised minimum standard of a qualified lifesaver.

Bronze Medallion participants in the pool at South Hedland aquatic centreMany of the course participants are members of the Talent Pool program, which provides skills development for young Aboriginal people leading to employment opportunities both within and beyond the aquatic industry.

“The successful participants are now able to seek employment with the Town of Port Hedland at the local aquatic centres to work as ‘Bronzies’ (junior lifeguard positions),” said Lauren. “The participants have qualified at just the right time, with school holidays approaching and the weather well on its way to reaching that time of year we see the hottest temperatures for the Pilbara region.”

Bronze Medallion participants practising rope throw rescues“Participants worked hard all weekend. In true Pilbara style, the temperature was very hot, the ground was very hot, the shaded areas were very hot. This is a true reflection of what the environment is like when working as a lifeguard here in Hedland, reinforcing the importance of self-preservation when working in extreme conditions.”

Steve and Lauren made sure that all participants were hands on during the course to ensure they have the confidence and endurance to immerse themselves into any aquatic emergency, should it be required.

Many of the participants went on to undergo their pool lifeguard qualification the following weekend, furthering their aquatic industry careers. We look forward to seeing them working around Hedland’s aquatic spaces this summer!