Members awarded at 2021 Annual General Meeting

22 October 2021

Each year the Royal Life Saving Society WA and Royal Life Saving Society Australia bestow honours awards to actively recognise volunteers, members and staff who have made an important contribution to the work of the organisation. At this year's Annual General Meeting we were pleased to be able to recognised a number of our members who have successfully been nominated for these awards.

The awards were presented by Royal Life Saving WA President Colin Hassell and WA State Opposition Leader and Royal Life Saving WA Vice Patron, the Honourable Mia Davies MLA.

The awardees are listed below. Some of those awarded are from regional areas of WA and were unable to attend our AGM in person, but did attend online.

Diane Bronton

Diane obtained her first Bronze Medallion in 2011 and in the same year, she became a Bronze Examiner and obtained her Pool Operator and Pool Lifeguard qualifications. She has provided swimming and lifesaving skills to many children and community members through the delivery of training and swimming lessons. She recently joined our team of regional swim instructors, travelling to towns including Port Hedland to deliver lessons for regional students who would otherwise miss out on this essential service. Diane was honoured with the Long Service Order.

Wendy Smith with her awardWendy Smith

Wendy has been a swim instructor for 20 years, first gaining her qualification on 21st October 2001! She then went on to become a Bronze Examiner in 2006. Wendy delivers and assesses Bronze Medallions through the VacSwim program and has also shared her skills delivering resuscitation courses for her local community. Based in Northam, Wendy has shared her passion for swimming and lifesaving with countless children and young people in her local community. Wendy was recognised for her great effort and commitment, receiving the Long Service Order.

Sandra Ciabarri

Sandra has made a huge contribution to the aquatics industry in the Wheatbelt for over 25 years as a swim instructor, swim school operator, aquatic manager and community trainer. While managing pools in Southern Cross and Wongan Hills, she delivered Bronze Medallions and resuscitation courses for Royal Life Saving and is also the sole operator and teacher of a Royal Life Saving Endorsed Swim School in the region. While no longer a full-time manager, she continues to promote the principles of Royal Life Saving through her training and instructing roles. Sandra has a passion to educate the community about not only staying safe around water but the joy that water can bring. In recognition of her tremendous contribution, Sandra was awarded the Meritorious Service Order.

Kathy May

Kathy has over 30 years’ history in the aquatics industry as a swim teacher and trainer and has been involved with Royal Life Saving programs since 2003 when she became a Bronze Examiner. Since then she has delivered Bronze, Resuscitation and Aquatic Rescue courses for her community in Esperance, often volunteering her time, alongside her role as a VacSwim instructor and regional instructor. Kathy has been a great mentor to other local instructors and trainers and demonstrated a terrific commitment to sharing her expertise. In recognition of her long contribution to Royal Life Saving WA, Kathy received the WA Meritorious Service Order.  

Judy JefferysJudy Jeffreys with her award

Judy has a long history sharing water safety knowledge and skills in the Merredin community. She became a swim teacher 30 years ago and went on to become an aquatic trainer to deliver Bronze Medallion, Aquatic Rescue, Heart Beat Club and resuscitation courses. She has instructed and trained children, teenagers and adults and has often travelled long distances to conduct training in other Wheatbelt towns as there are few trainers in surrounding areas. As an aquatic trainer, she has spent many summers requalifying and upskilling community members, often in a volunteer capacity. We recognised Judy for her many years of diligent service with a WA Meritorious Service Order.

Those awarded in person at the AGM included:

Colin Hassell, Tanya Hansen and Mia DaviesTanya Hansen

Tanya has been a swim teacher for nearly 20 years and became a Bronze Examiner in 2010. Since then, she has been delivering swimming lessons and aquatic and lifesaving training in Narrogin. She has also worked as an instructor, supervisor and regional advisor for VacSwim, working to ensure that good quality teaching is provided to students in her region. She has worked to improve the skills of a large cross-section of her community, from young children to seniors and people with disabilities. In recognition of her service to Royal Life Saving and the broader aquatic industryTanya received a Long Service Order.

Kim McMinnColin Hassell, Kim McMinn and Mia Davies

Kim has been a swim teacher since 2004 and became an aquatic trainer in 2007 to deliver and assess Bronze Medallions. He has taught and coordinated in a variety of swim schools including local government, private swim schools, VacSwim and interm lessons. As the Swim School Coordinator at Aqualife Victoria Park, Kim has been an advocate for inclusive and accessible swimming lessons, particularly for people with disabilities. He led the Aqualife Swim School to become the first to be recognized as an NDIS approved provider in WA. Kim was awarded the Long Service Order as thanks for his great work in spreading the Royal Life Saving message.

Colin Hassell, Kathleen Fry and Mia DaviesKathleen Fry

Kathleen became a Bronze Examiner in 2003 when she recognised that no one was available to provide this important service in her town of Dalwallinu. For many years she delivered Bronze Medallion and Resuscitation courses for high school students, teachers and other community members. She now lives in Perth part-time but continues to travel to Dalwallinu to assess and requalify people in the Bronze Medallion. Kath has provided many people with valuable lifesaving and resuscitation training and has taken great pride in seeing course participants develop these important skills. Kath received the Long Service Order in recognition of her contribution.

One member also received a Royal Life Saving Society Australia honours award. These recognise noteworthy volunteer service and we nominate only a small number of our members for this recognition each year.

Carol Harper was successfully nominated for a National award this year.Colin Hassell, Carol Harper and Mia Davies

Carol was elected to the Royal Life Saving Board of Directors in 2015. She’s worked in the swimming pool industry for over 25 years and brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to the board. During her time on the board, Carol has led efforts to improve programs and services for home pool owners and championed relationships with swimming pool and spa manufacturers – all in pursuit of the goal of eliminating toddler drowning. Carol is also a passionate supporter of the importance of learning resuscitation and first aid skills. She always makes thoughtful and considered contributions to board decisions and the strategic direction of the Society. In recognition of her contribution, Carol received the Australian Associate Award.