Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson in the poolLauren Thompson is the newest Royal Life Saving WA face in the Pilbara, taking on the role of Pilbara Development Officer, which will see her engage the local community with the many Royal Life Saving WA programs on offer for them.

Regional WA life is certainly not something that’s new to her! Lauren grew up in the wheatbelt town of Northam and says water has always been a big part of her life. “I frequently visited the local pool with my friends and family. I was lucky to have parents who supported and valued swimming lessons, in addition to supporting my love of aquatic activities such as water skiing, boating and fishing. As an adult I lived on a farm where we had dams, troughs, and our own pool to enjoy, therefore I held great responsibility in educating my children about water safety and teaching them how to swim.”

Lauren also has a background as a nurse and student midwife in the health sector, which will hold her in good stead to engage with parents and families across the Pilbara, as she shares the important messages of our Keep Watch toddler drowning prevention program to safeguard children from drowning. She’s already been busy collaborating with community groups to facilitate Infant Aquatics, Heart Beat Club and the provision of Swim and Survive lessons for local communities.

Lauren looks forward to further developing those relationships and many others as she works to ensure all community members across the Pilbara have access to swimming and water safety skills so they can feel comfortable in the water. “These skills are so vitally important for Pilbara residents due to the variety of water bodies we have including inland waterways, rivers and the ocean. I believe the greatest need of the Pilbara community at the current time is to have extended access to facilities and services, such as the swimming pool.  By providing a place for community members to ‘catch up’ and ‘hang out’, which is a safe space and inviting during the hot weather, we can enable a sense of belonging.”

There is currently a shortage of swim instructors right across WA, so for Lauren addressing that has been an immediate focus.  “Engaging the community to become swim instructors is one of my main aims, so that we can create a bank of local talent in this area who can engage and provide aquatic education tailored to the needs of Pilbara residents - especially children with diverse learning requirements such as those from the surrounding Aboriginal communities. I’ll be busy over the coming months recruiting swim instructors across the Pilbara.”

Lauren is making sure she becomes a well-known face in the local community, who people can come to for information on the wide range of Royal Life Saving programs. “I have been hosting pop up stands in the local supermarkets to promote RLSSWA. I am also interacting with the public to promote aquatic activities relevant to the town and promoting the Swim for Fruit program which commences at South Hedland Aquatic Centre in term 4.”

She will work in collaboration with our other Pilbara staff member, Talent Pool Manager Tim Turner, as they jointly engage with local youth as part of the Talent Pool youth employment program. This program aims to engage youth in aquatic and first aid training with the goal of assisting them to transition into the workforce.

Though much of what Lauren is doing involves “serious work” she wants to ensure the community sees the fun that can be had by taking part in aquatic recreation. “I believe RLSSWA can assist by providing programs such as Swim for Fruit and Swim and Survive as these programs create swimming ability that enables the individual to feel comfortable in the water and capable of participating in fun activities such as the Aqua Run Inflatable.  I believe in the mantra “those who play together, stay together” and I feel this is relevant in supporting family and community groups to embrace differences and positively approach diversity.”

If you would like more information on our programs in the Pilbara, please click the link below.

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