Volunteer profile: Katrina Antony, from rural leader to LSV director

Each year, 15 October marks the United Nations International Day of Rural Women, celebrating the valuable contributions women from rural areas make to their local communities. 

From our rural lifesaving clubs such as Mildura in the north, Mallacoota in the east and Portland in the west, to our rural affiliated swimming facilities, Life Saving Victoria (LSV) is grateful for the dedication of our rural members.  

Despite rural lifesaving clubs and aquatic facilities often being the heart and soul of local communities, their members often face bigger challenges than their metro counterparts, such as geographical disadvantages, fewer development opportunities and fewer role models. 

However, women like LSV Director of Training and Assessment Katrina Antony continue to thrive and pave the road for future leaders. Katrina is a current member of Ocean Grove SLSC and also spent many years as a member at LSV’s westernmost lifesaving club, Portland SLSC. 

She has held several leadership roles within LSV’s western region, including western district officer and state and training assessment supervisor within the Lifesaving Operations Council (LSOC) executive team.  Katrina has also held senior roles at LSV’s aquatic sport carnivals, particularly as Carnival Deputy Referee and Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator (SEMC) during the recent IRB carnival season. 

Her dedication to lifesaving saw Katrina overcome the geographical disadvantages many of our rural members face, spending many hours on the road to attend LSOC meetings to ensure the western region was represented.  

LSV Director of Training and Assessment Katrina Antony.

“Diversity is the key to the success of the organisation,” Katrina said. 

“Being a member of a small, regional club, I recognise that one size does not fit all, as there is such diverse demographics within our clubs, whether it be in membership size or their location across the state.” 

Katrina’s main challenge in becoming involved in LSV at a state-wide level was the 600-kilometre roundtrip from Portland to LSV’s Port Melbourne office to attend meetings. 

“Back then, online meetings were very limited and still in their infancy, I would take two days off work to travel to LSV, attend the meetings on a Thursday night then drive home to Portland on a Friday,” she said. 

“However, despite the geographical challenges, LSV has given me so many opportunities while living in Portland to network with other members across the state and meet a wide range of women in various roles.” 

After moving to Geelong two and a half years ago, Katrina says she remains grateful for her rural roots and her involvement within both Portland SLSC and the wider LSV western region. 

“Holding the position of western district officer enabled me to work with clubs in the area and form lifelong friendships,” she said. 

“LSV has encouraged me to build goals and participate in the many pathways offered through their leadership and development programs.” 

Thank you to all our rural woman, who make our lifesaving work possible.  

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