Deserving Community Trainers honoured at 2022 Trainer Seminar

18 February 2022
Trainers at the 2022 Trainer Seminar at HBF StadiumRoyal Life Saving WA Community Trainers from around the state came together both in person and virtually for the fifth annual Trainer Seminar which was held on Friday 18th February. The face-to-face event was held at HBF Stadium in Mt Claremont, with 35 trainers attending in person while following COVID-19 safety and distancing protocols.

A further 27 trainers tuned in to view the event as it was live streamed online for the first time. The live stream provided regional trainers and those unable to attend in person the chance to participate virtually. Online attendees had the opportunity to submit questions in real time which were then read aloud during the seminar.

Jess Lally presenting at the 2022 Trainer SeminarThe event covered a range of topics relevant to the Community Trainer network and offered helpful tips and information to expand on trainers’ knowledge and skills. The first speaker was Dr Sandra Salter from the University of Western Australia, who gave a presentation on anaphylaxis including the use of Epipens as well as the newly re-introduced Anapen.

David Cashion, Product Manager at Phillips Australia and New Zealand, then gave an overview on the use and maintenance of a defibrillator, before a session from Jess Lally of Evolve Events who spoke about managing stress and anxiety. Trainers also heard from Camille Damer of Skills Strategies International for the VET session of the day, including updates on new units and maintaining industry skills.

Adam and Lisa from Perth Reptile CompanyAfter the lunch break, Adam Firstenberg and Lisa Harrap from the Perth Reptile Company delivered an interesting presentation on snake awareness and first aid. With an impressive display of live specimens, it was a very topical session for the summer months!

An information session about the SES and becoming a volunteer was provided by Royal Life Saving WA Trainer Ryan Scally, who is also an SES volunteer, before fellow Trainer Leanne Coverley-Brandis reviewed the adjustments trainers need to be making in their training courses amid the current COVID-19 risks.

The event concluded with honours awards presented to six trainers who were in attendance both online and in person, recognising their important contributions to the community. The first award was presented to online attendee first aid trainer Fiona de Courcier, who received a WA Service Order for her work in delivering courses to senior school students and the staff at Holy Cross College over the past six years. 

The next award was for Kellie Battilana, who has been involved in the aquatic industry for over 30 years as both a swimming instructor and a pool manager in the Pilbara and Mid West regions. She has also been delivering first aid courses to several TAFE institutions and industry groups for the past 15 years. Kellie, who was also joining the session online, was awarded the WA Long Service Order award.

Christina Davini, another online participant, was awarded for her work in delivering aquatic and first aid training at Holy Cross College and Craigie Leisure Centre, which she began in 2012. Christina was awarded a WA Long Service Order for her 10 years of service.

Karen Grant was then invited up on stage at the event to receive her award. A swimming instructor for nearly 18 years, as well as a Bronze examiner for the past three years delivering resuscitation and Bronze Medallion courses, Karen is also the founder of the Gingin Aquatic Centre Swim School. Karen was awarded a WA Long Service Order for the essential swimming and lifesaving training she provides to her community.

The next awardee was Madeleine Stockden, who was also presented with a WA Long Service Order. Madeleine first became a resuscitation trainer in 2009, delivering resuscitation courses to her physiotherapist colleagues and other health professionals. She also became a Bronze Examiner in 2011 and is heavily involved in training at the Fremantle Surf Life Saving Club.

The final award went to Les Dodd, who was attending the event online. Les was awarded the WA Outstanding Service Order award for his incredible 25-year involvement with Royal Life Saving WA and tremendous contribution to the aquatic industry in general. In addition to being an aquatic and first aid trainer, Les is also a Master Scuba Diver Trainer, commercial skipper, Australian Sailing, Power and Rescue Boat Instructor, Paddle Australia flatwater and coastal kayaking guide...the list goes on!

Congratulations to the award recipients, a huge thank you to the wonderful speakers and well done to each and every Community Trainer for the vital role they play in helping to keep Western Australians safe by teaching invaluable skills to the community! We look forward to seeing the incredible work they achieve in 2022.