Wednesday, 27 September 2017 to Thursday, 28 September 2017 from 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Tweed Events- Twin Towns club and Resort, Tweed Heads,, Australia


‘Soak It Up’ Conference 2017

Wednesday 27th September & Thursday 28th September at Tweed Events - Twin Towns.

The 2017 AUSTSWIM National Conference 'Soak it Up', focuses on innovative concepts, research, development, program initiatives in Aqua and Swimming and Water Safety Education.


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Personal Ability to Influence Others...
For over 20 years Glenn’s been engaging audiences with his unique blend of education and entertainment. Glenn, a dynamic storyteller draws upon his vast life experience to move our AUSTSWIM audience in thinking, reflecting and connecting with today’s youth in an ‘impro’ delivery style that’s certain to make an impact. We applaud Glenn for his cutting-edge work committed to promoting independent, creative, and critical THINKING in people of all ages; espousing how to be ‘your authentic’ self.


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Raising Performance, Thinking and Results
Most people are far more capable than they think; with capacity to be more effective and efficient. Each of us has tens of thousands of thoughts flashing through our brain each day! And ...... surprise ...... they are not all positive!!! With genuine passion to see people live up to their potential, Lisa encourages belief in our personal capacity to thrive. With a unique ability to connect and effectively communicate her simple yet profound concepts Lisa will excite us our 2017 AUSTSWIM Soak It Up National Conference.   


Alan Pearce is an Associate Professor at in the Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport at La Trobe University, and Senior Research Fellow in the Melbourne School of Health Sciences at The University of Melbourne.

He is passionate about science of neuroplasticity in exercise, health and disease, and is invited to speak at many conferences all around the world.

Alan Pearce PhD,  Alan has an ability to make ‘nerdy’ science research into easy to apply teaching methods for Teachers of Swimming and Water Safety and WETS Instructors. After all, he is an regular participant in both aquatic activities. Alan's primary research focus is on sports concussion with his work recognised nationally and internationally, and recently viewed on TV with impressive projects with the AFL. With 20 years experience in transcranial stimulation and electrophysiology techniques, (lots of brain analysis) Alan also investigates neuroplastic changes following peripheral injury, balance disorders, exercise interventions and rehabilitation. Just check out this prolific research list!!!

Alan is also an honorary member of the concussion advisory group for the Australian Athletes Alliance – group of 8 professional athlete unions, an honorary member of the Australian Football league concussion working group, advisory committee for Headsafe New South Wales and Smart Head Play charity groups, and a presenter for Head First education group, teaching undergraduate medical and physiotherapy students all about concussion.

Al is also the co-developer of the Samsung BrainBand to measure head impacts on the rugby field which in 2016 won 3 awards for Samsung at the Cannes International Innovation Award. He is also part of a new innovation developing a sensor mouth guard to measure head impacts in contact sport.

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Organisation: YMCA

Melinda currently holds the role of Chief Executive Officer for YMCA Australia. Throughout her 10 year career at the YMCA she has specialised in the delivery of family and children’s programs.

Melinda role includes the strategic development and oversight of the YMCAs in Australia and she has provided specialist management of the YMCAs risk and compliance system inclusive of the national insurance scheme.

Melinda has also provided key leadership nationally for the YMCA in the area of children’s services development, child protection practise development and the YMCA redress approach to survivors of child sexual abuse.

These roles are supported by tertiary qualifications in science, business management and social science.

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Organisation: Belgravia Leisure

Position: Chief Executive Officer

Nick has over 25 years’ experience working in the Aquatics and Recreation industries, and for the past 16 years has held a number of executive management positions. He has formal qualifications in Physical Education, Facility Management and Business Administration. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Director of Physical Activity Australia and Chair of the AUSTSWIM licensing committee.
Nick was the former Chief Operating Officer of YMCA Australia and General Manager with Maroondah City Council and in July 2014 he commenced in the role of CEO, Belgravia Leisure.
Nick has a passion for values based leadership and a commitment to continuously improve organisational culture to help achieve growth and improved service outcomes.

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Organisation: The City of Yarra

Katherine has been involved in the aquatic industry for the past fifteen years. She has recently been appointed as the Manager Richmond Recreation Centre for Yarra Leisure, which is one of three facilities managed by the City of Yarra, also operating the Collingwood and Fitzroy swimming pools.

For many years Katherine has coordinated large council-run programs in both NSW and Victoria. She has been a key reviewer for the Swim & Survive program along with the AUSTSWIM Assessor review. Katherine has also just been named Chair of the AUSTSWIM Victorian State Advisory Committee.

Katherine currently oversees more than 70 staff in her team, who provide learn to swim lessons to over 3000 students across the three venues. She has a strong enthusiasm for creating, building and maintaining a constructive staff culture within her workplace. It is this dedication that has seen her team receive industry acknowledgment, winning several awards for their work.

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Rob holds a master’s degree in special education and a bachelor’s degree in emotional and behaviour disorders. His energetic and dedicated approach to supporting schools and families in the inclusion of children with special needs has gained wide recognition and respect in his field receiving the NSW quality teaching and Australian College of Education Awards.

Jenny has over 25 years’ experience working with children with disabilities and challenging behaviours. From early intervention, primary and secondary schools, to adults.
Jenny holds a Cert. IV in workplace training and assessment, ASCTA bronze level coach, AUSTSWIM Teacher license for TSW, INF, TCS and TAI, and a Cert. III Aquatic Fitness.
Jenny is also an active RLS examiner and provider for the ‘swim & survive program’ to all ages and abilities. Her commitment to providing effective learning programs for teachers and children to learn to swim in a safe, caring and fun environment is reflected in her approach. 

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Organisation: Aquatic Education

Marcelle Frederick has been part of the aquatic industry for many years and has been awarded numerous prestigious awards including AUSTSWIM most outstanding contribution and AUSTSWIM National Presenter of the year. Marcelle has travelled extensively and presented for AUSTSWIM in New Zealand, Beijing, Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Qatar, Shanghai and Hong Kong. She runs courses in teacher training and conducts swim lessons and trains those entering the industry.


Organisation: AUSTSWIM

Position: Presenter

Diane is one of only two executive directors at Changing Change International. She has had over 25 years' experience in the aquatic industry and now predominately works as a consultant to businesses, including swim schools, changing the way change happens through culture, systems and people. Diane has an MBA in Human Resources and Marketing where she now specialises in everything to do with change.

Diane has been an AUSTSWIM Teacher for over 25 years as well as a presenter of 'everything AUSTSWIM'. In addition to this, Diane facilitates customised training for swim schools on business development, leadership, team and client communications as well as marketing, ensuring every client’s experience with you exceeds their expectations, something every swim school should be aiming for.

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Combining her unique blend of energy and enthusiasm, Stacey promotes wellness for every age and stage of life. As the Director of Freedom Health & Wellness, Stacey connects with people of all ages, cultures and demographics. She is a popular and well-regarded fitness professional and presenter who has been involved in the fitness industry for 15 years.


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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Our AUSTSWIM Ambassador Brooke Hanson remains one of Australia's most recognised Olympians

She made her debut for the Australian Swimming Team in 1994 before going on to represent Australia over 25 times at major international championships.

Her career highlight came in 2004, when, after missing two Olympic teams, she won Olympic gold and silver medals at Athens Olympic Games.

Brooke claimed several podium finishes throughout her career including the 2004 World Short Course Championships where she made history, winning a record six gold medals.

The Olympic champion has gone on to make a successful career for herself as a television personality and has been a proud Austswim ambassador for almost a decade!

Brooke continues to balance her blooming professional media career with, motherhood, sponsor appearances, motivational speaking, charity events, swim clinics and her commitment to promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for all Australians.

Lets take a look at the journey of our Olympic gold and silver medallist


Organisation: AUSTSWIM and Active Monash

Position: Administration & Trainee Presenter, and Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety and Infants and Preschool Aquatics

As an aquatic educator for the past 15 Years, Jess brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the area of Infants and Pre-schoolers, and Program Management. Jess' aquatic career has developed from Teach to Manager and now has transitioned to explore her role with the AUSTSWIM team. Jess is able to pass on her passion, which is TEACHING and education swimming and water safety for any age or ability.

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Organisation: Peninsula Leisure

Position: Swim Manager

Julia is the Aquatics Manager at PARC Frankston, Victoria – a new centre that opened in October 2014. Since joining PARC, she has completely re-written and redesigned the LTS program offered to swimmers, which is the first of its kind in Australia. She has been teaching and presenting swimming for nearly 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge and information to share. She trained as a Phys Ed teacher in the UK and came to Australia 15 years ago where she fulfilled her dream and bought a swim school which she later sold to take up new challenges. She is passionate about the grass roots of swimming believing that without little gumnuts there will never be big gum trees. She likes to think outside the square with innovative teaching ideas and practices and still gets teary when the small people master their challenges.


Organisation: AUSTSWIM

Position: Presenter

An aquatic educator for the past 30 years, Maria Burn brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the areas of Access and Inclusion, Adults, Infants and Pre-schoolers, school groups and her expertise, participants with unique functional and intellectual challenges.
Maria also takes great delight in her role as an AUSTSWIM presenter, which allows her to pass on to others her passion, vast knowledge and extensive understanding so they too can embrace difference and experience the joy of aquatic education for all.
Maria’s skill, knowledge and passion has been recognised by numerous awards over the years including, Victoria’s Award of Teacher of Access and Inclusion, National Teacher of Infant and Pre School Aquatics, Inclusive programming and Community Disability …..
Maria strongly believes that everyone has the right to reach their full potential in life as well as the aquatic environment.

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Nick Folley is a founder and Director of SwimZest, an aquatics and business consulting team he started in 2014 after over a decade in the swim industry. Nick has a combination of practical experience across a range of roles from teaching swimming and water safety all the way up to developing and running large aquatic / learn to swim facilities. With formal business qualifications from the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology he has a unique capacity to implement practical solutions to industry and business problems.
He says the best thing about his roles is the amazing people he gets to meet and work with. Nick always enjoys meeting new people so if you run into him say ‘Hi’.

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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: Royal Life Saving Society Australia