Volunteer Profile: Isabella Heather      

Isabella ‘Issy’ Heather has an active presence across the lifesaving community, being a member at two lifesaving clubs, training in various awards and competing in a number of different lifesaving sports. She also contributes to the LSV Education team through her work placement at LSV headquarters.

Current Clubs:
Jan Juc and Fairhaven SLSCs

How long have you been involved in lifesaving?
I was first introduced to lifesaving when I was a baby. Both of my parents are long time members of Jan Juc SLSC. Every summer since then, I have been down at the beach – it’s my second home.  The aquatic environment has always been a part of my life.

How did you become involved in lifesaving?
As a nipper, I started competing in U8’s in board and swim events, with wade relay as my favourite early on and my first U15 pennant at a senior carnival. I have made lifelong friends and love catching up with them over the summer season. Competing in first aid, champion lifesaver and patrol competition events have given me so many more skills and increased my confidence. There are so many opportunities, which keep me involved.

What are some of your roles and responsibilities at your club?
I am a member of two clubs. At Jan Juc, I am Patrol Vice-Captain, and a Training Officer in various awards. Last season as part of the team, I trained candidates for the Surf Rescue Certificate, Bronze Medallion (both adult and school age) and spinal management awards and I am currently helping to train first aid candidates.

For the past two years I have been assistant to the first aid manager, helping to look after all the first aid and emergency care equipment. All club members are involved in running our major events, including the Danger Swim Series and Bells Bash Cliff Run. I also enjoy helping the nippers, both as Age Group Co-Manager and as water safety.

At Fairhaven SLSC, I am an active patroller and compete in surf boat rowing in U19 and U23.

What is your greatest achievement in lifesaving so far?
Nothing can compare to being part of the great Australian lifesaving culture and the opportunities it provides. The 2016/17 season has seen my greatest achievements. At Jan Juc I was awarded Most Outstanding Junior Female Member and was part of the winning patrol for our Club Patrol Efficiency competition. Being part of the training team when so many people achieve awards, or watching the smiles on children’s’ faces as they participate in the Surf Ed program has also been very satisfying. I also received the Surf Coast Shire Youth awards in both Community Citizenship and Leadership. As part of the Fairhaven female boat crews, I was able to represent Victoria in U19 and U23 ARSL Surf Boats titles. For our achievements, the U23 Female crew was named Fairhaven’s Most Outstanding Female Victorian Competitors.

You are a student at SEDA College. Tell us about what SEDA does and the program you are involved in:
SEDA College is a senior secondary college offering sports development programs and talented player programs in many sports. Each stream offers Years 11 and 12, with an option to continue onto a diploma course in the following year for direct entry into University. I am in the Year 12 aquatic sports program, where I am completing my Certificate III in Sport and Recreation. We are also given the opportunity to gain further certificates related to the sports within the program. Students work in supported work placements and community based programs.

SEDA College allows students to gain industry knowledge while learning in a hands-on education environment. The aquatics program partners with industry organisations including LSV, Swimming Victoria and Yachting Victoria and enables us to make strong connections and learn from experts in the aquatics industry.

What inspired you to take this path?
I am a kinaesthetic and visual learner and I was beginning to find that a predominantly classroom environment did not suit me as well. My main passion is lifesaving and the aquatics environment, so I am very interested in pursuing a career in this area.

I first heard of SEDA College through friends who were talking about their experience with the surfing, AFL and netball programs. It wasn’t initially of interest to me, but late last year my mum decided to look into it further and she came across the aquatics program. I’m grateful that she helped to find an education program that was suited to me; it is something that I really enjoy doing.

What are your highlights of the SEDA program so far?
Some of the highlights so far in the SEDA Aquatics Program are the teaching experiences with the open water clinics for primary school age children, the swim program for children with disabilities, and the swim program for vision impaired and blind adults. I am also lucky to have my work placement at LSV. As well as aquatic sports, we have the opportunity to mix with the other SEDA College students across the Melbourne region, gaining experience in many other sports and learning from elite athletes.

When you’re not lifesaving or at school, what keeps you busy?
In my free time I enjoy catching up with friends and family, taking our dog for a walk, playing netball for South Barwon Swans and chilling with music or a movie.

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