As the end of July fast approaches, I’m sure I’m not the only wondering where the year has gone as we continue working to achieve water safety outcomes.
After several delays due to COVID-19, on Sunday 3 July, we formally farewelled former LSV CEO Dr Nigel Taylor and former executive personal assistant Frances Evans, acknowledging and thanking them for their outstanding contributions to lifesaving and wishing them well in their retirement.
Nigel took down the red and yellow flags on his career as CEO in 2021 after more than 30 years leading lifesaving in Victoria. During his time at the helm of LSV, Nigel had seen significant changes including the merging of Royal and Surf Life Saving in Victoria to form LSV almost 20 years ago, the addition of lifesaving to the emergency services sector, the inclusion of swimming and water safety as a compulsory part of primary education, and countless other developments that have been instrumental to a significant rise in water literacy across Victoria.
It was also wonderful to acknowledge Frances’ significant contribution and commitment to lifesaving across Victoria for more than 46 years spanning local, regional, state, national and international levels.
During July, I also attended the 2022 ESF Emergency Management Conference, which this year followed the theme “As the World Changes, so Must We”, challenging participants to consider a range of contemporary issues. With a strong focus on community resilience, inclusion and volunteering, we will keep exploring opportunities for how LSV can continue to work with, contribute to, and influence this space in partnership with our emergency management sector partners in future.
On 8 July, LSV was recognised by Ambulance Victoria for providing surge support last year as part of an integrated response to increased demand for paramedic services during the pandemic. Thank you to our members for adapting your life-saving skills to care for the wider community, your efforts were greatly appreciated.
From July 21-24 our IRB athletes competed at the Australian and Interstate IRB Championships in Mollymook, NSW, where our state and development teams’ massive efforts saw Victoria place second overall, only behind Queensland. Congratulations everyone on an amazing effort on the national stage and maintaining your rescue-ready skills over winter.
July 25 marked the second annual World Drowning Prevention Day, which followed the theme “Do One Thing”, encouraging every person to take one action to prevent drowning. It was amazing to see Melbourne landmarks, including the iconic Flinders Street station, illuminated in blue to mark the occasion and raise awareness about drowning prevention, as well as life saving clubs and aquatic facilities getting involved across the day.
I continue to be inspired by everyone’s steadfast commitment to saving lives – and with our Awards of Excellence coming up in early August, I look forward to getting together with our members to celebrate a host of achievements and dedication to lifesaving. An enormous thank you to the honours and awards committee, and the events sub-committee, for their work to bring this event to life.