I wanted to end my first week by expressing how honoured I am to be joining Life Saving Victoria.
LSV punches well above its weight in terms of the quality and breadth of work it produces, which is reflected in its standing in the Victorian community.
From patrolling between the red and yellow flags on the beach and everything that goes on behind the scenes to support that; working with pools and schools to enable swimming and water safety activities; creating athletes to secure a strong pipeline of talent in lifesaving; innovation in water safety research and public health; fundraising through social enterprise across the highest standards of hospitality, public training and consultancy; and all the enabling functions across people, corporate services and communications – LSV’s diverse approach to keeping Victorians safe around water is truly remarkable.
I understand the road to a new leader has been a long one, and that for some, change can be difficult. This is especially true against the backdrop of a global pandemic, which continues to impact the way we work and interact with one another. I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself and assure you all that I fully intend to continue my predecessor, Dr Nigel Taylor’s, legacy in lifesaving.
Throughout my 20-year career within the community, health, education and emergency management sectors, I have been fortunate to have crossed paths with LSV many times. This includes in my role leading Wellington Shire Council’s organisational development function, where I saw firsthand the value lifesaving clubs and aquatic facilities bring to the community.
While at Emergency Management Victoria, I undertook a variety of corporate positions, including as the Executive Director of Workforce Planning as well as the role of State Relief and Recovery Manager at the State Control Centre. During my time at the Department of Justice and Community Safety, I was the Executive Director of the Corporate Governance and Support Transformation Project. As you are likely aware, these organisations share many close links and relationships with Life Saving Victoria.
While I was the interim CEO of the CFA, I supported the organisation’s transition through the Victorian Fire Services Reform. Much like lifesaving, CFA is a volunteer-based organisation, and I look forward to bringing the experience I gained there to LSV – for without our incredible volunteers, we simply cannot function.
Through each of these opportunities, I have been steadfastly committed to community and volunteers, and I have a strong belief that values-driven and people-focussed leadership is crucial to shaping culture and achieving organisational and community outcomes.
I’m acutely aware that I am stepping into the role amid one of the most tragic drowning tolls in Victoria since record keeping began, and I am absolutely committed to working together with Life Saving Victoria staff, clubs, volunteers, our partners and supporters to continue our important work in water safety and reverse this unacceptable trend.
I look forward to working with the team to progress LSV’s impressive work in water safety into the future.