Faithful members awarded at 2018 AGM

19 October 2018

Last night Royal Life Saving Society WA celebrated its 109th Annual General Meeting, reflecting on the successes of last financial year which saw us continue to make inroads into drowning prevention, through our metro and regional swimming, water safety and education programs.

During 2017-18 we saw 199,018 children take part in our Swim and Survive program across the state, while 23,939 infants and toddlers were involved, along with their parents, in our Infant Aquatics program. Teaching children personal survival skills and water safety is the most important investment the community can make to reducing drowning, and has proven to be effective, with children now the least likely of all age groups to drown.

Stuart Mack receiving his Gold Star Bravery AwardWe also saw 26,021 people participate in lifesaving training programs throughout the year, including first aid and CPR, Pool Lifeguard, Bronze Medallion, Aquatic Rescue and Pool Operations. Having so many qualified lifesavers in communities across WA is an extremely positive result as we strive to ensure there are first responders available at every emergency scene.

During the AGM we were able to pay tribute to several loyal members who've been pivotal in helping us achieve these results during over a number of years, including:

Stuart Mack – Gold Star Bravery Award

Stuart was a member of a lifeguard team at Cockburn ARC, who responded to a mental health emergency at the centre in January this year. A woman was displaying unusual behaviour, refusing to leave the pool and resisting all efforts by lifeguards and staff to assist her. After the pool duty manager radioed for help, Stuart was one of the lifeguards who arrived with first aid equipment and a defibrillator, ready to assist as the woman lashed out at staff in the water, hitting and biting them. During this time Stuart provided support to the other staff and patrons in the centre, and, recognising the importance of staff wellbeing after the incident, stayed back on the day to assist in covering the deck so the staff could be properly debriefed. For his actions on this day Stuart was last night awarded a Gold Star Bravery Award.

Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation

The Children’s Leukaemia and Cancer Research Foundation has been a long-standing partner of the society since 2002. CLCRF has trusted RLSSWA to conduct many fundraising programs on its behalf and their support has had a significant impact on the success of the Royal Life Saving call centre operations over the past 15 years. In recognition of their commitment to Royal Life Saving Andrea, Wendy and Kaitlyn from CLCRF received a Western Australian President’s Award.

Emma Lavery

Emma coordinates the swim school at Kwinana Recquatic and has been dedicated to increasing access to swimming lessons for children who might otherwise miss out. She has facilitated lessons for children with disabilities through the SAIL program, supported Aboriginal students from the Wirrpanda Foundation and worked with local schools to offer subsidised lessons which allow moreLouise Schmidt receiving her award children to learn to Swim and Survive. For her outstanding contribution Emma received a Western Australian Associate Award.

Louise Schmidt

Louise has been delivering the Infant Aquatics and Swim & Survive programs through her private swim school since 2014. She works with Lake Joondalup Baptist College’s Junior Lifeguard Club to teach students vital swimming and lifesaving skills and also coordinates and teaches Swim & Survive lessons to students in Gingin who might otherwise miss out. For the difference she is making in so many young lives we awarded Louise a Western Australian Associate Award.

Virginia Lanza

Virginia has been a trainer with Royal Life Saving for 10 years, delivering aquatic and resuscitation courses. She also works as a swim instructor and volunteers her time as a community trainer each year. In recognition of her commitment to improving swimming and resuscitation skills in the community Virginia was awarded an Australian Associate Award.

David Townsend

David has delivered RLSSWA aquatic and first aid training courses for 10 years including the School Teacher Aquatic Rescue Training course. He is also a Community Trainer, delivering courses for his students at Wesley College and is a proactive member of the RLSSWA Volunteer Community Trainer Committee. For his faithful service David was awarded an Australian Associate Award and a Western Australian Long Service Order.

Les Dodd

Les has delivered courses for RLSSWA for 15 years including Bronze Strand and first aid courses. He is also a community trainer delivering numerous courses for his students at Rockingham Senior High School and volunteering his time each year to assist with various RLSSWA programs. Les was awarded an Australian Fellow Award.

Josephine O'Reilly receiving her awardHeather Preston

Heather has delivered pool lifeguard and first aid courses for RLSSWA for 18 years while working as a lifeguard at a number of metropolitan and regional facilities. Heather also volunteers her time each year to assist with the Pool Lifeguard Challenge. Heather received an Australian Fellow Award for her commitment to Royal Life Saving and the aquatics industry over 18 years.

Josephine O’Reilly

Josephine has been delivering Royal Life Saving courses for 15 years. She has shown dedication to providing first aid training to a broad spectrum of people in the community, training young people through our Kids First Aid course, people in regional areas and the WA Police, among others! Josephine also volunteers her time each year as a community trainer, and was awarded an Australian Fellow Award and a WA Meritorious Service Order.

Camern Eglington receiving his award from RLSSWA President Colin HassellCameron Eglington

Cameron has delivered RLSSWA Bronze Strand courses for 15 years and First Aid courses since 2014. He is also a community trainer and volunteers his time each year to assist with various RLSSWA programs especially in regional areas. Recently he was involved with delivering a Bronze Medallion and Aquatic Trainer course in Kununurra, with nine participants who can now deliver Royal Life Saving courses in their community. Cameron is also a member of the RLSS National Board. In recognition of his service to RLSSWA, Cameron received an Australian Companion Award.

Robin Broad

Robin has been involved with RLSSWA for 20 years, delivering a number of first aid and aquatic courses. Robin is based in Bunbury where she delivers Inland Waterways Bronze courses for Scouts groups in the Leschenault Inlet, among other courses. She also volunteers her time as a committee member of the Volunteer Community Trainer Committee. In recognition of her outstanding service to RLSSWA and the community over 20 years, Robin was awarded an Australian Companion Award.

Royal Life Saving WA is proud to have so many dedicated members working tirelessly to teach skills that save lives across the WA community each and every day, and we’re truly thankful to these individuals who’ve made an outstanding contribution, some over many years.

You can read more about the achievements made by Royal Life Saving WA over the past year by downloading our 2017/18 Annual Report at the link below.

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