With summer fast approaching, September has been a month of planning and preparation.
We hosted the 2021 LSV Club Conference, gearing up our clubs for the season ahead. With presentations on water safety protocols for the aquatic industry, strategic planning for clubs, M&LD, welfare and culture, emergency management and more, it was inspiring to see this exchange of information that will serve to strengthen our organisation. During the conference we also released findings from our industry-leading research, the lifesaving capability and resourcing review (LCARR). The research provides invaluable insights that will shape our strategies, priorities and activities into the future. A huge thank you to the hundreds of members who gave up their time to deepen their knowledge and preparedness for the season.
I’d particularly like to congratulate the recipients of the 2021 LSV Governance Scholarships, which plant the seeds of success for the future of lifesaving governance capability. After a highly competitive application process, 27 LSV members from clubs and the aquatic industry have been awarded fully funded governance scholarships – a fantastic opportunity for our members, whose clubs and communities will benefit from the skills gained through these programs for many years to come.
In recent weeks we’ve also seen the release of the national drowning reports from Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia. The reports revealed a spike in drowning deaths in the past 12 months due to key factors such as recreating in unfamiliar locations, exhaustion, and interruptions to regular swimming lessons during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This research, together with our localised Victorian Drowning Report, which will be released later this year, will inform our water safety strategies toward a future free from drowning.
Looking ahead, I’m excited to announce the relaunch of our Blue Connections program, kicking off via zoom on 13 October at 7pm. Professional mentor and leadership coach and Mojo Crowe director Ben Crowe will be the keynote speaker, sharing his knowledge of helping people with their professional mindsets and personal perspective. I encourage you all to take the opportunity to connect during this fantastic first session back.
With Victoria’s coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak ongoing, and easing of restrictions in sight, I want to provide assurance to all our clubs that we will continue communicating regularly and working with you all, to ensure you have what you need to safely facilitate lifesaving patrols this summer. In line with the federal and state government advice and SLSA’s position, we strongly encourage our members to get vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19). Current modelling from the State Government indicates that by the time our season commences, 80 per cent of Victorians are expected to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, significantly reducing the risk of community transmission and further protecting our people. If you have any concerns regarding vaccinations, we encourage you to speak with a medical professional.
As we move into spring, with warmer days lockdowns beginning to ease, I have felt a tangible shift and mounting energy as preparations for the upcoming summer move into their next stage. I am eagerly awaiting the experience of my first full season at LSV, and my goal is to support you and each and every facet of our proud organisation as we all work together to achieve our goals and deliver on our mission.
I hope you too are looking forward to the summer ahead with energy and enthusiasm, and are continuing to stay safe, connected with your family, loved ones and your local community.