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Sunday, 22 July 2018 from 8:00 AM - 5:15 PM

Pymble Ladies' College, Australia



Organisation: NSW Technical Hub

Position: High Performance Coach


Organisation: Royal Life Saving Society NSW

Ash has worked in the Aquatic industry for 10 years and holds Pool Life Guard, Pool Operations, BronzeEX, AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety, Infant & Preschool Aquatics, and Access and Inclusion accreditations. Ash has managed various swim centres around Sydney including ASTA at Seven Hills and currently looks after river projects with Royal Life Saving Society NSW.


Organisation: Royal Life Saving Society NSW

Bernadette has been involved in the aquatic industry for more than 15 years. Starting out at Macquarie University Sport and Aquatic Centre as a swimming teacher, Bernadette is currently coordinating the swimming programs at the Aquatic Safety Training Academy (ASTA) for Royal Life Saving Society NSW.


As we all know, working in the aquatic industry can come with its fair share of stress at times. So it’s lucky that our keynote speaker for today, David Buttifant, specialises in reducing it.

Buttifant, somewhat of a guru within the elite sport and high performance landscape, is the director of Keen Edge Pty Ltd, who aim to help people achieve personal growth.

Before embarking on a successful career in the elite sport industry, which included positions with the Australian Olympic Team and the Collingwood Football Club, Buttifant was much like many others in this room, a licenced Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety with AUSTSWIM.

With over 20 years of experience dealing with elite athletes, Buttifant has now shifted his focus to the corporate world, and the AUSTSWIM community resembles a unique blend of both landscapes.

As teachers or presenters, Buttifant believes that developing yourself can help you develop others, so sit back, relax, and prepare to learn tools that will help you both in and out of the water.


Position: WETS Aqua Instructor

The past 21 years has been a journey of enjoyment, education and teaching in the wonderful world of Aqua Exercise. I qualified as an aqua instructor in South Africa and continued my aqua journey to Australia. My Aqua qualifications include Aqua Zumba and Gymstick H20. I have taught mainly on the North Shore of Sydney, and have taught at various pools, including the AIS, in Canberra. This year I am honoured to be a presenter at FILEX 2016 in Melbourne. I look forward to presenting at the AUSTSWIM State Aquatic Education Conference 2016 with the sensational Maria Teresa Stone as we bring you "Triple Treat".


Position: AUSTSWIM Aqua WETS Instructor

Jacqui is very excited to be making her AUSTSWIM Conference debut. She has been a swim teacher at Aquatics Down Under in North Rocks since she was 17, and in particular loves teaching infants. Although originally hesitant towards completing her WETS course, she has fallen in love with aqua and hopes you will too!

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Organisation: Hills Swimming

Position: Owner

Julie Zancanaro is a Swim Teacher and Swim School owner with a background in Occupational Therapy, and a passion for developmentally sound programming for our youngest and most vulnerable students. For the past 30 years she has spoken at international conferences and been widely published. She received the Meritorious Service to Swimming in Australia Award in 1996, was inducted into the Australian Swim Schools Hall of Fame in 2016, and was recently announced as the 2017 winner of the Virginia Hunt Newman Award for International Contribution to Infant Swimming. She will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida in August.


Position: Adult Specialist & Swim Centre Owner

Kari founded Different Strokes Swimming after recognising a gap in the well-being market. Having learned to swim freestyle later in life, she saw a void in areas such as learn to swim, stroke correction and structured recreational swimming for adults. The swim school was founded in early 2015 specialising in adult only programs, it currently operates out of six pools in Sydney. Later that year Kari took over Sydney Swimmers, adult swim squads, providing a complete pathway from learn to swim to open water swimming.

Kari has had an impressive career in the media industry with roles including Head of Business Development, Group Advertising Director, and Project Lead for News Corp Australia. She found swimming when looking to improve her work life balance. Through learning to swim freestyle, she developed a passion for swimming and now competes successfully at Masters' level and a number of open water events.

Her strong commercial and strategic acumen coupled with her commitment to adult swimming, sets the platform for Kari’s vision; everyone over 18 years must be able to swim.

Kari is an AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water safety and is currently finalising her Teacher of Competitive Strokes. She is also on the board of Masters Swimming NSW and a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Position: Aqua Instructor

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Organisation: AUSTSWIM

Position: Presenter

Katrina Scarpin’s passion for the aquatic industry started in 1997. Katrina’s expertise in swimming and water safety has come from continuous learning. She has owned two swim centres and later after the birth of her four children managed two swim centres. Katrina is qualified in Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety, Infant & Preschool, Access & Inclusion and Competitive Strokes and also presents the AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety Course. Katrina currently works as a Primary school teacher across years 2, 3 and 4. She is extremely passionate about swimming and water safety and the importance of providing exceptional teacher training and delivering the highest quality of professional development.

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Organisation: Royal Life Saving Society NSW

Position: Aquatic Partnerships Coordinator

Kaye has worked in the aquatics industry for approximately 16 years. She holds the following qualifications; Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Certificate III in Aquatics, Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety, Infant and Preschool Aquatics, Access and Inclusion, Towards Competitive Strokes and Adults. Kaye is also an AUSTSWIM Assessor and Presenter. She has worked for Royal Life Saving NSW for nearly 7 years as a trainer, instructing in a variety of courses and programs. Kaye is passionate about the prevention of drowning and advocates the need for components of Water Safety to be in all swimming programs.

Position: AUSTSWIM Aqua WETS Instructor


Organisation: Ripples, St Marys

Position: AUSTSWIM Aqua WETS Instructor

10 years ago Lesley started her career as a Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety and also AUSTSWIM accreditations in Infant and Preschools Aquatics and Towards Competitive Strokes. She is an AUSTSWIM Assessor, RLS CPR Examiner and a WETS Aqua Instructor. In 2014 she was awarded the NSW AUSTSWIM Teacher of Infant and Preschool Aquatics Award and in 2015 the AUSTSWIM National Award for Teacher of Infant and Preschool Aquatics.

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Position: AUSTSWIM Presenter

Lyn has more than 30 years experience in the aquatic arena as a teacher, swim school owner, presenter and auditor.

She is also experienced in the area of teaching children and adults with special needs. In fact, she was a recipient of an Australian award for just that.

Lyn is capable, experienced and her qualifications are many. With a passion for all things concerning swimming and water safety, Lyn eats breathes and lives her passion. These things even eclipse her passion for coffee and chocolate.

Lyn will encourage, enthuse and energise you to expand your knowledge to become even better teachers.

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Organisation: Child SafeGuard

Position: Managing Director, Child Safeguard

Marco Blanco is the Founder and Managing Director of Child Safeguard. Child Safeguard is a consultancy firm that provides expert advice in how to become a child safe organisation. Marco is an industry leader and has over 15 years’ experience as a lawyer, child protection expert, and entrepreneur.

Organisation: Royal Life Saving Society NSW


Organisation: Aquatics Down Under

Position: Presenter

Mel Rickwood is the owner of Aquatics Down Under Swim School situated in North West Sydney. With a 15m x 5m pool, 15 teachers and 800 students a week, life is busy but Mel still boasts that she has the best job in the world. Mel is an AUSTSWIM Presenter of Teacher of Swimming & Water Safety and Infant Aquatics, has presented at conferences throughout Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. With 28 years of experience in the learn to swim industry Mel’s passion for teaching and imparting knowledge to both her students and her teachers are still as strong today as they were at the outset of her career.

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Organisation: AUSTSWIM

Position: Presenter

Nina Nyitrai has had the opportunity to live in Australia for the last 33 years. Although she has been a ‘swimmer’ since the age of two, her early experiences were in the US, within the summer camp system. She started her involvement in the Aquatics Industry 35 years ago. She is a swimming instructor, lifesaver, lifeguard, (former) pool manager, AUSTSWIM presenter and Royal Lifesaving Australia trainer. Nina is passionate about water safety and has spoken at AUSTSWIM conferences in Australia and New Zealand on this topic. She is currently involved in completing her PhD in Aquatic Education/Drowning Prevention.

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Organisation: Edith Cowan University

As a swimmer and educator Professor Penney is passionate about the learning that can happen in aquatic environments and is very aware that it takes quality teaching and teachers to enable and support quality learning.  Professor Penney's background is in research in Health and Physical Education curriculum, pedagogy and assessment and is currently leading a national research project with AUSTSWIM that is exploring ways in which quality can be enhanced in the training and assessment for Presenters. 

Professor Penney is currently on her own journey towards being a licensed AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety.


Organisation: Sponsored by Mattioli

A former Physical Education specialist from Keele University, Simon was a Social Science Research Council Scholar, and studied at North London University where he obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in Recreation Management. In addition to this, he is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Fellow of the Advanced Management Program, Harvard University AMP179.

Simon has managed facilities in both the United Kingdom and Australia. He also lectured for three (3) years at Deakin University (Burwood Campus - Melbourne) in the Sports Management Graduate and Undergraduate courses.

He was formerly the Chief Executive Officer of the State Sport Centres Trust comprising the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) and Melbourne Institute of Training (MIT in Albert Park, Lakeside Stadium as well as the State Netball Hockey Centre (SNHC) at Royal Park.

He is currently the Managing Director for Worldwide Sports Management which is a boutique management company specialising in people, infrastructure, and technology.

He has consulted to the following clients:

Samsonite, YMCA Victoria, City of Casey, City of Cleveland, Quay Clean, City of Glen Eira, and Christchurch City Council, South Australian Aquatic Centre.

He currently mentors a number of mentees on leadership and self-development.

In addition to his extensive management experience, Simon has had the opportunity to develop three (3) major ‘Greenfield site’ sporting facilities in Melbourne. These include the Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre project valued at $10M, the MSAC project valued at $65M, the SNHC project valued at $27M and the MSAC Redevelopment valued at $56M, and the establishment of the Melbourne School of Sport and Recreation Management.

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Organisation: WETS Presenter

Recently awarded the 2016 recipient of the AUSTSWIM National Aqua Instructor of the Year, Stacey brings with her over 15 years’ experience in the Fitness Industry, with experience in freestyle group exercise, personal training and aqua instruction.

Over the past 8 years, Stacey has been steadily growing her community fitness business, Freedom Health and Wellness, located just outside of Hobart. Two years ago, after just having her first baby, Stacey and her husband purchased an old warehouse and have created a thriving fitness centre, motivating and inspiring community members of all ages and mentoring a number of members who are now part of the Freedom crew of trainers.

While balancing the growing business, mentoring trainers and being a mum and a wife, Stacey has been working on completing a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science in her spare time with the end goal of becoming an Exercise Physiologist in the not too distant future!

Stacey is an energetic and popular fitness professional, with a genuinely caring nature and infectious love of the fitness industry. She has been presenting both nationally and internationally at aquatic and fitness conferences over the last 10 years.