Long-time members awarded at inaugural celebration

3 February 2022

Cameron Wrathall with his awardThe Royal Life Saving Society WA is a member-based organisation that boasts over 40,000 members statewide across four member categories: Associated, Award, Sport and Supporter. People become members of the society in a number of ways; through completing one of our vocational training or first aid courses, by supporting our fundraising programs, by volunteering for the society or by participating in one of our sports competitions or events.

Our members are at the core of what we want to achieve as a society, working to prevent drowning by creating safer environments, equipping people with essential swimming and water safety skills and empowering the community to respond in an emergency. Through many of our activities we also achieve important health, education, employment and social cohesion outcomes. Recently we held our first ever member recognition event, which reflected on the importance of our members and our appreciation for what they do for us and help us to achieve. A total of 1,320 of our training members, and 1,273 of our fundraising members were recognised, with a number of these attending an event at our Royal Life Saving WA Office in Mount Claremont to receive their awards.Brad DePiazz with his award

Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Fundraising and Membership, Laura Kazmirowicz, says it was a great opportunity to honour the valuable contributions of our members. “All of our members, in their own way, make a significant contribution to the prevention of drowning and creation of a safer Western Australian community. Without them, Royal Life Saving WA simply couldn’t do the important work that we do. Royal Life Saving WA’s Honours & Awards program is our way of acknowledging the ongoing contribution and loyalty of our members, many of whom we have never met in person, which is why we decided to hold this inaugural recognition event so that we could thank them in person and get to know them a little better.

Some of these members have been involved with Royal Life Saving WA for a significant period of time, including Brad DePiazz and Darren Hicks who received Companion Member Awards for 15+ year involvement as training members. Brad started in the aquatic industry at Craigie Leisure Centre in the late 1990’s, after completing his Pool Lifeguard award with Royal Life Saving WA as a 17 year old. Royal Life Saving WA’s Tony Head was his manager at that time. “He fitted beautifully into the team we had at that time. He never missed a shift and became a valued team member and someone you wanted to have on shift when it was busy. He had a great sense of humour and was involved in all the social activities and the fun we had at that time. He left Craigie to join the team at Aquamotion and has been a stalwart at that venue since that time. He has embraced the industry and made a fantastic contribution to water safety and drowning prevention throughout his career in aquatics.”

Chris Retallack with his awardChristopher Coccaro also received a Companion Member Award for 15+ years of involvement as a Supporter Member through fundraising, while Narelle Holt and Chris Retallack received Guardian Member Awards for 20+ years of involvement as training members.

Chris worked as a manager at our Yandeyarra Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool for two years, before spending a significant amount of time working with the YMCA across Port and South Hedland as one of two Pool Managers responsible for the operation of Gratwick and South Hedland aquatic centres.

Royal Life Saving WA’s Travis Doye worked with Chris at the YMCA and says he made a real impact. “Chris was passionate about giving young people a start in the industry and through his influential role as a Pool Manager and as a Royal Life Saving WA aquatic trainer he helped large numbers of young people obtain aquatic industry qualifications that led to initial employment across the local pools before mentoring them on to the next phase of their careers.”

As a representative of the LIWA Board for many years Chris also played a key role in providing a different and important regional perspective for the aquatic industry that helped frame programs and services for the broader community. Since leaving the Pilbara, he has spent time working in several metropolitan aquatic facilities and is currently employed with the City of Armadale at the Armadale Aquatic Centre, continuing to make a difference in his local community.

Michael and Yvonne Plows with their award

There are many stories like Chris and Brad's amongst the members recently awarded and we thank each and every one of them for the impact they have made during their years of involvement with Royal Life Saving WA. The recent awards event was made possible thank to support from Beyond Bank Australia who have proudly sponsored our Honours Awards program since 2019, a partnership that continues to grow from strength to strength.

Those who attended our recent recognition events included:

Associate Member Awardees (5 years continuous involvement) in our Training Award Member category:

Clayton Taylor

Chris Adams

Mitchell Berliner

Emma Lavery

Cameron Wrathall

Patrice Leahy

Linda Skroza

Trevor Garrett

Eden Martin

Freya Walsh

Jordan Rann


Associate Member Awardees (5 years continuous involvement) in our Supporter Member category:

Mitzi Green

Clive Mariano

Lisa Meuleman

Yvonne and Michael Plows

Laurie Best

Janet Dennant

Janice Dudley

Cindy Lucas

Brianna Smith


Fellow Member Awardees (10 years continuous involvement) in our Supporter Member category:

Isabel Smith

Gautam Biswas


Fellow Member Awardees (10 years continuous involvement) in our Training Award Member category:

Corey Hollow


Companion Member Awardees (15 years continuous involvement) in our Training Award Member category:

Brad DePiazz

Darren Hicks


Companion Member Awardees (15 years continuous involvement) in our Supporter Member category:

Christopher Coccaro


Guardian Member Awardees (20 years continuous involvement) in our Training Award Member category:

Narelle Holt

Chris Retallack