Glenn Taylor

Kimberley Development Officer Glenn TaylorRoyal Life Saving WA is excited to welcome on board our new Kimberley Development Officer, Glenn Taylor – a Kununurra local who is passionate about the Kimberley region and all things water! Glenn says, “I’ve got a great affiliation with water and swimming. It’s really the only climate-appropriate activity up here for 6 months of the year due to our extreme climate. I’m very heavily involved in the swimming community of the Kimberley.”

“Our whole community spends a lot of time in the water, it’s a big part of our life.”

Glenn is well known in the Kununurra community, running a successful sports event management business and volunteering his time to the local sporting community. “As the manager of the [Lake Argyle] Swim, and other sporting events in town, I guess quite a few of them know my face.” The Lake Argyle Swim is the biggest annual sporting event in the Kimberley, with around 10% of the adult population participating each year.

Despite being a familiar face in town, Glenn is somewhat of a rarity as a long-term resident. He says, “only 10 per cent of our non-Indigenous population last 10 years, so I’m in rare company because I’ve been here for 12 years.” When asked what he loves the most about the Kimberley he replies, “lots and lots of things – the climate and the landscape have to be the top two. Actually, water! Water is what I love most about the Kimberley.”

Glenn and his wife decided to live in Kununurra after falling in love with the town while cycling around Australia in 2007. “The whole of Australia was in drought, and we came to Kununurra and there’s just a massive, massive freshwater lake and a massive river flowing with a huge volume of fresh water. That was unique in the whole of Australia when we cycled around in a drought year.”

“The goal for the role is to decrease our drowning rate up in the Kimberley.”

In his new role as Kimberley Development Officer, Glenn will be instrumental in furthering the work of Royal Life Saving WA in the region, using his local knowledge and contacts to further develop relationships and partnership opportunities throughout the Kimberley. He’s excited to have “further contact with everyone interested in water and swimming… really looking forward to working with all the aquatic people in town. They’re a good bunch to work with, they’re vital and they’re outdoorsy type people.”

Glenn will be seeking project opportunities to support increased participation in swimming and water safety education by at-risk target groups. He is also aiming to “increase the capacity in the Kimberley for trainers, and get more people trained in water safety and rescue. Train more lifesavers and first responders – all with the goal of eliminating drowning. Again, all that contact with water, unfortunately that has led to drownings in the Kimberley.” 

“You spend a lot of time in lakes and rivers here, and that can be new to a lot of people.”

Statistics show that around half of all drownings in the Kimberley occur in rivers and creeks, and that males drown at a rate eight times that of females. Other factors influencing the drowning rate include the use of alcohol in conjunction with aquatic activities and people in the area as tourists or visitors. Glenn says there are always a lot of people new to the area and its water-related activities. “They might be new to our climate, new to our waterways, new to freshwater – freshwater being less buoyant than salt water. So, there’s lots of reasons why this role is important for education.”
 
We wish Glenn all the best in his new role and look forward to hearing about his efforts in the months to come!
 

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