Consumer Protection award for Keep Watch ambassador

9 May 2021
Royal Life Saving Keep Watch parent ambassador Melanie Mitchell was presented with the Kidsafe WA award at this year’s Consumer Protection Awards.

The awards, which were held at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday 20 April, recognised the achievements of those who have contributed to the improvement of consumer protection in everyday situations. The Kidsafe WA award focuses on the promotion of product safety and injury prevention for children.

After her two-year-old son Lachlan tragically drowned in a pool at a family day care in 2015, Melanie has been advocating for safer family day care regulations and lobbying for a ban on swimming pools at family day care services.

Since launching Lachlan’s Legacy, Melanie has worked tirelessly to promote toddler drowning prevention and has volunteered as a Royal Life Saving Keep Watch parent ambassador. Melanie has shared her story widely online and through the media in an effort to prevent other parents from experiencing the same tragedy, and she is also an ambassador for the joint Consumer Protection and Royal Life Saving Society’s ‘Don’t Duck Out, Make It Safe’ national portable pool education campaign.

Melanie met with senior WA politicians on the issue, wanting increased checks at day cares with pools or spas and a ban on new day cares with pools, spas or water features on the premises. Her efforts to honour Lachlan's legacy – which involved many submissions, meetings with ministers and media appearances – resulted in the Department of Communities carrying out a consultation on family day care regulations. Melanie then personally handed out hundreds of flyers to encourage community submissions to the consultation.

In November 2020, her hard work finally paid off with the State Government announcing new swimming pool regulations to make family day care centres safer. The new regulations will ban any new family day care services in residences with pools, spas, or water features. Existing services with these features will be required to meet strict new safety measures including monthly inspections and additional safety devices on site designed to alert or deter a child from entering the water.

Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said, “I am confident phasing out swimming pools and spas, paired with new safety requirements for all residences with gathered water on site, will improve the safety of children at family day care services. I would like to acknowledge and thank Lachlan’s mother, Melanie Mitchell, for engaging purposefully to help implement meaningful sector changes that will support better child safety outcomes.”

Congratulations to Melanie for this award, a tribute to her son and a well-deserved recognition for her many years of hard work. 

Learn more about the new regulations at the link below:
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Read Melanie's story here:
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