Bryce Steele

 Bryce Steele presenting at a SPASA WA awards ceremony

The Swimming Pool and Spa Association of WA (SPASA WA) is an organisation which aims to ensure WA’s pools and spas are installed and maintained to the highest of standards. The organisation wants to see West Australians enjoy their swimming pools and spas, and do so in the safest possible manner. SPASA WA State Manager Bryce Steele recognises that an important part of that aim is his organisation’s partnership Royal Life Saving Society WA.   

“From SPASA’s point of view the more people in pools the better, but we also want people to enjoy that and be safe around water and swimming pools so we have a common goal. It’s important that we work together to not only promote swimming but also promote it safely. We don’t want there to be a stigma around swimming pools because they can be a safe and perfect environment for people to connect their family and enjoy some time together if they’re treated with the respect that they should be” says Bryce.

Over the past two and a half years Bryce has ensured SPASA WA is working closely with Royal Life Saving Society towards a common goal. “One of the first things we did is that when we send a letter of congratulations to a new pool purchaser we enclose information about Royal Life Saving and the first aid and resuscitation classes available. We encourage pool owners to complete one of these courses if they haven’t done so already on the off chance that one day they do need to unfortunately perform something like that. We’ve also built a better presence within our pool shop members, having a display box on the counter explaining how SPASA WA and Royal Life Saving work together for home pool safety, developing the home pool safety checklist and the like.”

Bryce has taken on a volunteer role as a member of Royal Life Saving Society WA’s Honours and Awards Committee. One of the committee’s roles is to assess applications for Royal Life Saving’s Community Help Grants. The grants provide financial assistance to families affected by a non-fatal drowning incident; helping them cope with the serious lifelong injuries these incidents can cause.

Bryce says the role is one that has been an eye opener; “Interesting, challenging, sometimes emotional, and having a family myself it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to be put in the position of these families affected by a non-fatal drowning. It makes me think even more about pool safety. I’m a pool owner just like one of the 150,000 pool owners across Western Australia. I don’t want to be one of those that’s left behind to deal with the result of a non-fatal drowning. I’ve seen the impact it has on them and their lives and that’s what the Help Grants are about - to help them and make a difference with the ongoing care and welfare of their child and the family.”

Looking towards the future Bryce says his hope is to see our state be free of the tragedy of drowning. “Swimming is a part of the Western Australian way of life, it’s what we do and we’d like to see a future where people can enjoy that safely, with zero drownings! So obviously getting the education and understanding out there about water safety is something we want to see happen and be able to assist with.”

A man holding a resuscitation manikin

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