Saves lives like a girl

Females in lifesaving were the focus of acknowledgement and special celebrations over summer, including Pink Patrols being adopted by 15 clubs across Victoria and a well-attended International Women’s Day breakfast at The Views at LSV.

“Through initiatives such as Pink Patrol, Life Saving Victoria is committed to building female capacity and capabilities through all facets of lifesaving,” said LSV’s General Manager – People, Emma Atkins.

“We are in a fortunate position with almost 50 per cent of club members now women or girls – many contributing and leading in diverse aspects of lifesaving, including nippers, paid lifeguards, RWC (jet ski operators), IRB drivers, athletes, club captains, chief instructors, age managers, coaches, officials, board members and executive management teams.

“We need to continue to build capacity and encourage our females to ensure we have diversity in leadership roles. We have a great opportunity to be a community leader in gender equality.”

On the beach, Pink Patrols highlighted and inspired women making their mark in lifesaving in Victoria, including Woolamai Beach SLSC member Annie Coleman.

“Seeing the Pink Patrol when I was younger 100 per cent made me want to get more involved in lifesaving,” said Annie. “On patrol, it’s really great on pink patrol day, because the younger members come up and ask us for help. The younger girls can then see the amazing things we do in lifesaving.”

The aim of the Pink Patrol is about building capacity within our female membership, highlighting pathways and empowering and encouraging women and girls to take on leadership roles.  It also provides a platform for female role models; you can’t be what you can’t see!

“We’re thrilled that we had so many new clubs adopt a Pink Patrol this year,” said Emma.

“Each event reflected the spirit of the respective club and acknowledged the amazing female lifesavers past, present and future as well as our male champions of change.”

Here’s how some of our clubs celebrated the event this year.

Off the beach and extending the celebrations, the 2020 LSV International Women’s Day (IWD) breakfast event was held at Life Saving Victoria’s Port Melbourne event facility, The Views. The IWD breakfast event delivered both a morning of inspiration and celebration; seeing 46 women and girls from across Victoria recognised for their outstanding contribution to lifesaving.

Another highlight of the IWD breakfast was a panel led discussion on leadership in major emergencies, featuring panellists Sherene Mounier, CFA Coordinator Incident Management Systems; Sharon Unthank, Acting District Manager Midlands Forest and Fire Operations, Grampians Branch; and Emma Conway, CFA Commander and facilitated by Luke Heagerty, CFA Manager Incident Management Systems.

Commander Conway spoke about the importance of seeking and taking up opportunities, saying: “Find what you want to do and don’t see limits, see opportunities.”

Sherene Mounier spoke about imposter syndrome and the importance of signposts along the way that light up the path ahead, while Sharon Unthank spoke about how a presentation by former Police Commissioner Christine Nixon had inspired her to take on more leadership roles and about rebuilding confidence when you receive criticism.

Volunteer members, LSV staff, family, emergency service volunteers from CFA, SES, DELWP and EMV came together to celebrate and acknowledge the wonderful contribution of women in lifesaving and to hear the inspiring guests.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp was also on hand to show his support as part of the  Champions of Change, a coalition of influential leaders working to redefine men’s roles in taking action on gender inequality.

He spoke of the importance women have had on shaping his career, particularly former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, Christine Nixon, and the first female Assistant Commissioner for Victoria Police, Bernice Masterson.

“I wouldn’t be who I am today without them,” Commissioner Crisp told the room.

To mark the event, a video showcasing the varied and important roles of females in lifesaving was shown with #SAVELIVESLIKEAGIRL the motto.

“The video represents the many opportunities, pathways and contributions females have in lifesaving. We hope it inspires our next generation of females lifesavers, no matter age, ability or background, lifesaving really is for everyone,” said Emma Atkins.

“We were really pleased to be able to showcase the #SAVELIVESLIKEAGIRL video as part of our celebrations this year, there were certainly a few tears and a real sense of pride in the room when we released it.”

Next  Female Leadership Network (FLN) Event:

FLN Session [Online]– 6 May 2020 Emotional Intelligence – Why this is the X Factor.

The very talented, knowledgeable, lawyer, coach and expert facilitator Ush Dhanak will be delivering the first Build session for the Female Leadership Network on Wednesday 6 May, 2020.

All females and male champions are invited to this online session with Ush, who will focus on Emotional Intelligence – Why this is the X Factor.

Date: Wednesday 6 May, 2020

Location: Your home – Online event

Time: 7pm start (approx. finish 8pm)

Session Registration: https://www.trybooking.com/BJHSI  (a link and code will be provided)

LSV Members – $10 | General Tickets $15

Please register for this event by Monday 4 May, 2020

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