Remote pool managers honoured at North West Aquatic Seminar

26 May 2021
The 24th Annual North West Aquatic Recreation Seminar was held on Friday 21st May at the Broome Recreation and Aquatic Centre.

The event, hosted by the Leisure Institute of WA Aquatics (LIWA Aquatics) in partnership with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, Royal Life Saving WA and the Shire of Broome, was attended by Aquatic managers and shire staff from across the north west of Western Australia. 

Delegates heard and discussed issues relevant to aquatic centres across the region, including the disruptions caused by COVID-19 over the past year. The event also provided a wonderful opportunity for aquatic industry staff to share knowledge and information among their regional peers.

Awards were also presented to five of Royal Life Saving WA's remote pool managers, who run aquatic facilities in the remote Aboriginal communities of Kalumburu, Bidyadanga, Fitzroy Crossing, Burringurrah and Warmun. General Manager Community Development Greg Tate presented the awards.

The first award was presented to Ryan Ingley, who began his career with Royal Life Saving in 2015 in the remote Pilbara community of Jigalong, managing the Jigalong Shed. After managing the Shed for five years, last year Ryan and his partner Samantha moved to the Kimberley to take on the management of the newly constructed pool at Kalumburu. Ryan was presented with a WA Service Order award.

Bernie Egan was awarded the WA Long Service Order for her work in managing the pool at Bidyadanga, which she has been doing since 2009. Bernie not only manages the facility but also teaches swimming lessons and organises community health initiatives with other organisations.

Trevor Caporn was also awarded the WA Long Service Order for his work across regional WA. Primarily managing the Fitzroy Crossing swimming pool, Trevor has also mentored other pool managers and staff and provided pool management and support at communities including Burringurrah, Balgo and Halls Creek. Trevor and his wife Adele have been longstanding and well-loved members of the Fitzroy Valley community, but are finally moving on after years of tireless service and commitment.

Jamie O’Donohue is Royal Life Saving’s longest-serving remote pool manager, first joining the team in 2000 at some of the original pools in Yandeyarra and Jigalong. He later moved to Warmun where he managed the pool there for 10 years, before moving to Burringurrah this season. Jamie was awarded the WA Meritorious Service Order in recognition of his many years of service to Royal Life Saving.

The final award presented was to Stephen Waterman, current manager of the Warmun remote pool. In his previous role, Stephen had been working as part of the security and concierge team at Brookfield Place in the Perth CBD. A first aid emergency occurred at the building next door, and Stephen and a colleague were the first on the scene. His colleague retrieved a defibrillator, and Stephen performed CPR on the unconscious casualty until paramedics arrived. The man was later taken to hospital where he went on to recover. Stephen was awarded a Royal Life Saving Gold Medallion Bravery Award for his efforts to save the man’s life.

Learn more about the work of our incredible remote pool managers and the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Project at the link below:

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