Well deserved honours bestowed in Annual General Meeting

19 October 2017

Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Annual General Meeting was held this evening at our headquarters in Mount Claremont. The night was a time to reflect on the year that’s passed and celebrate the successes achieved by our members across the WA community.

As part of the evening two worthy Western Australians, David Cummins and Mark Gubanyi, both current members of our Board of Directors, were recognised for their contribution to furthering the aims and objects of Royal Life Saving. The pair received Honours from our National organisation – the Royal Life Saving Society Australia, presented by RLSSA Board Member Cameron Eglington.

David Cummins was appointed an Associate of the Royal Life Saving Society Australia. He’s been a Director of RLSSWA since 2007, leading the establishment and formation of the WA Honours and Awards Committee in 2012, and acting as its Chairperson since. The Committee meets on a regular basis to receive and review nominations and bestow awards accordingly, including awards for Members, Bravery Award recipients and beneficiaries of Royal Life Saving’s Community Help Grants.

David was also instrumental in the development of our 2020 Strategic Plan, and the revision of the Royal Life Saving WA Constitution in 2015, to ensure it complied with changes to the Incorporated Associations Act and embraced contemporary governance standards. He has also applied his professional expertise in advertising, and networks in the media industry to assist Royal Life Saving to better promote its various campaigns.

During a 40-year involvement in the aquatics industry David has served as President of Masters Swimming WA from 1987-1992, been a member of Masters Swimming Australia’s Board for 20 years, and served as Chairman of the 1999 Pan Pacific Masters Swimming Championships. He has also chaired many State, National and Masters Games Championships.

Mark Gubanyi was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Life Saving Society Australia, having served the organisation as a Keep Watch Ambassador since 2004. Mark’s personal strength and contribution to Royal Life Saving is admirable. He is actively involved in advocacy work, conducts presentations and was a key member of the highly successful Swim Across Australia.

Mark has been dedicated in educating parents of young children to think about ways in which they can reduce the risk of drowning in and around their homes. He’s been instrumental in shaping and developing the Keep Watch program and how it is delivered in WA.

Mark also became a Director of RLSSWA in 2014, where his drive has resulted in the establishment of grief support services, peer-to-peer networks and direct ‘help’ grants to people coping with the impact of drowning.

We congratulate both David and Mark on these very well-deserved awards and look forward to a continued partnership with them into the future.

Another very special part of the Annual General Meeting saw long-time Board member Jeff Fondacaro nominated as a Life Member of Royal Life Saving Society WA. Jeff began his formalJeff Fondacaro receiving his life member award from Audrey Cahill contribution to RLSSWA in 2006, joining the Board as a Director.

During more than 10 years continuous service, he has lead the Society’s engagement with 130 public swimming pools throughout WA, which collectively have an annual patronage in excess of 10 million people. He has also provided expertise in the development of the Society’s Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation and risk management services, advocated for the inclusion of the Pool Lifeguard Award as the industry standard in public aquatic centres, championed the implementation of the Watch Around Water Parental Supervision Program, and directly contributed to the successful implementation of vocational training in safe pool operations.

Jeff maintains a strong network and has collaborated with sport and recreation industry leaders, he’s also assisted in the promotion of the Swim & Survive program to endorsed swim schools in public aquatic centres across the state.

Over the past 10 years public swimming pool compliance to safety standards has increased from 83% to 93%. The rate of injuries has decreased by over 25%, and there has been no drowning in public pools over that period. This can in large part be attributed to Jeff’s tireless work in promoting safety across the industry.

Prior to and during his role on the Board Jeff has also been an active lifeguard and pool manager at the Beatty Park Aquatic Centre, and has served as President of the Leisure Institute of Western Australia. His contribution to the aquatic industry in our state is remarkable and his nomination as a Life Member is very well deserved.

Read more about Royal Life Saving Society WA’s successes during 2016-17 in our Annual Report at the link below.

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