Since Victoria started reopening on 21 October, there has been a buzz in the air leading into our summer patrol season, which kicks off next month. Thanks to the huge efforts of Victorians hitting the 70 per cent vaccination target, we are now all preparing to return to our workplaces and waterways earlier than anticipated.
I would like to thank our members for playing their part in allowing our state to reopen and restart our patrolling, education, training, sporting and recreational activities.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our people and communities is our highest priority. To comply with the roadmap set out by the Victorian Government and due to the many services and activities we facilitate; LSV members, employees, industry and community partners, contractors and visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend an LSV club or facility, deliver an LSV service in person or participate in an LSV activity in person.
Vaccinations save lives and are critical to Victoria’s reopening plans. A fully vaccinated patrol and workforce will also help us to greatly reduce the risk of community transmission and disruption to our lifesaving services this summer, allowing us to do our jobs to keep Victorians safe on and around our waterways.
If you would like to know more about our vaccination approach, you can find more information in our frequently asked questions document.
As we return to our regular summer operations, LSV welcomes the Victorian Government’s initiative that will enable schools to turn their unused Swimming in Schools funding into vouchers, enabling families to access swimming lessons, after missing them during lockdown. This builds on two initiatives already on offer from LSV, including the meet a lifeguard program and mega beach days, facilitated by Life Saving Victoria on behalf of participating schools.
As we’re enjoying the longer, warmer days, and getting outside more in the lead up to summer, it is time for us to put our sun safety at the forefront of our minds. LSV has had initial discussions with the Australasian College of Dermatologists to explore opportunities to collaborate and reinforce the importance of people staying safe from sun related injuries while working in and enjoying the outdoors. While we protect those enjoying our waterways, it’s imperative that we also protect ourselves, and I look forward to working with the college to further explore and promote the benefits of sun-safe enjoyment of aquatic environments.
As we reopen, I am thrilled to be able to visit clubs, facilities and events to recognise our incredible people and projects, and I look forward to getting out and about from November. In the meantime, I’ve continued to enjoy opportunities for online connections, including recently opening the Ready 2 Lead female leadership network session, to engage with a great group of up-and-coming, inspiring young women who will be our organisation’s future leaders.
I am also proud to announce that LSV’s diversity and inclusion team were finalists in the recent Victorian Sport Awards Peter Norman Inclusion category for their dedication to the needs of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community, partnering with 170 CALD organisations to provide 22,000 community members with first steps towards enjoying aquatic sport and recreation safely. Well done to everyone involved, you do LSV proud!
During October, LSV welcomed our recently appointed Council Chairs and I had the pleasure of meeting with them in preparation for their commencement. Our Councils play an incredibly important role as a conduit between our volunteer members and the Board and management, and I wish all of you the best in your new roles and look forward to continuing to work together in support of our members and community.
Finally, I was delighted to introduce a session with a group of our successful Governance Scholarship awardees as they commenced their course. It was my pleasure to meet the attendees, and see the talent, skills and commitment they bring to LSV.
While it’s exciting to finally be moving out of lockdown, we acknowledge that some people may be feeling anxious or uncertain about the transition to opening up again. Please remember, you don’t need to be in crisis to reach out and there is always support available through organisations such as:
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
Lifeline – 13 11 14