Royal Life Saving WA AGM 2020

16 October 2020

Royal Life Saving Society WA’s 111th Annual General Meeting was held last night at our headquarters in Mount Claremont. The night was a great time of celebration, reflecting on the successes of the past year, and long-time service of faithful members.

Retiring board member Mark Gubanyi with his gift at the 2020 AGMAs part of the evening we celebrated the service of resigning board member Mark Gubanyi, who has been a member of the Royal Life Saving WA board for the past six years, and continues to serve as an Ambassador for our Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention program. Mark’s involvement with Royal Life Saving WA began in 1999, following the drowning death of his daughter Kaitlin in a friend’s backyard swimming pool. Mark chose to use the tragedy as a catalyst to promote the importance of toddler drowning prevention in Western Australia, joining Royal Life Saving in promoting the Keep Watch campaign.

In 2004 Mark, along with current Royal Life Saving WA President Colin Hassell, took part in the Swim Across Australia. The event saw a team travel from Geraldton to Sydney, visiting 44 towns across the country as they swam laps in a pool on the back of a truck, promoting the Keep Watch program. His advocacy in this area has been outstanding and instrumental in achieving an 85% reduction in toddler drowning across Western Australia over the past 20 years.

Last night we also welcomed new board member Gningala Yarran-Mark, Royal Life Saving WA’s first female Aboriginal Director. Gningala completed a Bachelor of Laws from UWA in 2002 and holds a Master of Business Leadership from the Curtin Graduate School of Business (2016). She currently works at United Group Limited (UGL) delivering KPI’s contained in the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan and is Chairperson of the UGL RAP working group.

Gningala has already provided outstanding leadership and expertise to Royal Life Saving for a number of year, contributing to the development of our REFLECT – Reconciliation Action Plan and driving action via our Aboriginal Steering Group. She is committed to helping Royal Life Saving, our staff, volunteers and stakeholders to actively seek opportunities to engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

We welcome Gningala onto the board and look forward to receiving her insight and input into our future programs and services across the organisation.

Existing board members Justine Leavy and David Cummins were re-appointed to the board for a further two-year term. These members share a range of experience in the aquatic, corporate and government sectors which is invaluable to the organisation as we continue our work across Western Australia and strategically plan for the future.

The night was also an opportunity to share the stories of our 2019-20 Annual Report, a year which was affected in unexpected ways by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and saw us able to train fewer Western Australians in vital swimming and lifesaving skills. However, we look forward with hope to the future as the later part of the 2019-20 financial year saw a resurgence in members taking part in this crucial training once again.

The report can be downloaded at the link below. 

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The evening also saw long-time Royal Life Saving WA Community Trainer Sallie Watson receive Life Membership of the Society. You can read more about her service to the Society at the link below.

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The evening also saw a number of faithful members awarded for their service. You can read more about these awards at the link below.

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