Member Profile: Dr Michael Kennedy OAM, Founding Chairman, then Director, Company Secretary, now committee member for Life Saving Victoria.
Michael was recently awarded the Chairman’s medal by the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation, in recognition of exceptional and continuous service to the foundation as a founder and continuous organiser of the Angela Taylor Memorial Run/Walk.
What do you see as your key achievement over your 14 years with LSV, and what has inspired you over that time?
The creation and development of Life Saving Victoria has greatly improved aquatic safety for all Victorians: at our beaches, waterways, at public pools, in our homes. We are better able to do what we do, to save lives, we are better resourced, better trained, have better facilities, communicate more effectively, and are better connected to our increasingly diverse communities.
The opportunity to contribute to that improvement in aquatic safety, to support our ‘front line’ people by working ‘in the back room’ in a range of administrative roles, is a great privilege.
What has inspired me has been the extraordinary commitment, dedication and energy of our people, often over many, many years, and the diverse skills and capability that they bring to their roles.
What are some of the highlights over your time with LSV?
To mention a few:
– The progressive coming together of ‘Surf’ and ‘Royal’ to create a strong ‘LSV culture’, where all aspects of what we do are acknowledged and valued.
– The strong focus on innovation, where looking for and finding better ways to do things is a fundamental part of what we do.
– Our integral role within Emergency Management Victoria, which ensure a ‘well connected’, timely and effective response to emergency situations, across all emergency services, including LSV.
– Our great work with diverse communities, with not only aquatic safety benefits, but broader social benefits in the community.
– The much enhanced support and resourcing of clubs, in training, equipment, facilities and advice, so that they can better do what they do.
– The great work we do with young people, from nippers through to leadership development, developing valuable life skills that go beyond lifesaving.
A favourite moment?
One of many: this photo is at a recent open water swim at Williamstown. This life saver held those crutches for half an hour or so, until the swimmer, who could swim but had limited mobility, came in, and he assisted her out of the water. A ‘go the extra mile’ effort that typifies the commitment of our people, and makes you proud to play a small part in supporting them in what they do.