National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Supervision
Canterbury Bankstown Leisure & Aquatics
The City of Canterbury Bankstown is the proud owner and operator of the Canterbury Bankstown Leisure & Aquatic Centres. Our venues include the Birrong, Canterbury, Max Parker, Roselands and Wran Centres. Since the amalgamation of the former Bankstown and Canterbury Councils, we have worked tirelessly to align our services on a journey towards best practice. Our service is designed to ensure the provision of a safe and enjoyable experience for our Community. Our approach to Supervision and Safety hinges on a values based culture with two of our organisational values being “We care about our customers” and “We are committed to safety”.
With over 700,000 visits across all venues annually, our customer base is made up of a very diverse community that speaks 129 different languages. 10% of the overall visitation at our facilities is from children. The sheer number of languages spoken in the Canterbury-Bankstown LGA coupled with a significant number of non-swimmers presents an ongoing challenge of ensuring the safety of all swimmers at our Centres, particularly children.
At the City of Canterbury Bankstown, we have just completed a Strategic Plan that has been developed on the back of extensive consultation with stakeholders and significant community engagement. The plan is committed to providing significant investment into our Leisure and Aquatic service over the next 10 years and is focused on providing facilities that support health and well-being, provide value for money, are multi-purposed, support for population growth, are supported by partnerships, support the needs of the community, are connected to other facilities and transport, are accessible and inclusive, environmentally sustainable and above all safe.
What it means
It would be an incredible achievement for our team to win this award in recognition of all of the effort that has been put into making our facilities safe for our community. Countless hours have been put into developing our procedures, training our people and transforming our culture into one that is committed to providing the safest and most enjoyable experience we can for our community. It would also be well deserved recognition for all of our lifeguards who day in and day out provide such a high level of care for such a diverse community and one that presents unique challenges that are overcome everyday.
Describe how the nominee has provided a contribution to their community / industry in Supervision
The City of Canterbury Bankstown is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for the local community through an approach of continuous improvement by constantly reviewing and refining our operations and striving for best practice. Over the past 5 years, we have developed and have continued to enhance our supervision framework with procedures established through regular risk assessment, consultation with staff, alignment with changing industry standards, staff training and regular audit. Our customer education practices coupled with the desire to be an industry leader when it comes to Supervision and our diligence in policy and procedures has ensured that our facilities are safe for all users. This has been done through the development and implementation of some stringent supervision policies and procedures and training for our staff, supervision campaigns to educate our customers and review of our terms and conditions and expectations of customers when in our facilities
Describe (and provide evidence) of improvements and/or achievements made in Supervision over the past 12-18 months
Over the last 12 to 18 months, as an organisation we have committed resources and invested significantly in the development of our site specific risk assessments and supervision plans, staff training and dedicated customer education through our recent summer supervision campaign.
The supervision plans were developed in conjunction with our Lifeguards, Duty Managers and Centre Managers and were designed with direct reference to the new Royal Life Supervision Guidelines and Supervision Planning document issued to industry. In addition to the internal consultation, we also consulted widely with industry and engaged Royal Life to carry out Supervision Validation Assessments (SVA’s) on all of our venues to drive the development of our procedures. We have successfully implemented all of Royal Life’s recommendations from the SVA’s across 5 facilities, run extensive induction and in-service training for our Lifeguards and have achieved 100% in the Supervision section of our Royal Life ASFA’s. In addition to that, we also overhauled the Lifeguard in-service training calendar which is heavily focussed on prevention.
Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to aquatic safety through Supervision
In addition to the implementation of our site specific supervision procedures, the City of Canterbury Bankstown developed an interactive summer supervision campaign to drive customer education through a fun and interactive Super Hero Campaign entitled “Super Vision”. This campaign targeted children in holding the parents/guardians accountable for supervision by tagging them as their child’s “Super Hero” and their child’s personal “Lifeguard”. The campaign included extensive marketing and promotion with a dedicated social media campaign, campaign videos developed by our in-house teams, a dedicated web page, posters, banners and flyers and interactive “Super Hero” cut outs at each Centre for the community to have their photos taken with to promote the “Super Vision” message. Along with this, we gave away “Super Vision” branded towels to those customers that engaged with the cut outs and shared their photos on social media to gain as much traction and coverage as possible. This campaign was successful in communicating with our customers the importance of Parental Supervision, provided support for our staff in having those educational conversations with parents and promoted our expectation of parents and guardians in relation to supervising their own children. The campaign essentially wrapped up Royal Life’s Keep Watch program of which we are partnered and communicated the message in an engaging, fun and interactive way.
Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Supervision and how have they been overcome
The main barriers the City of Canterbury Bankstown has faced and continues to face in relation to Supervision include:
• a large contingent of the community coming from non-English speaking backgrounds which makes communication and messaging difficult and requires us to be innovative in our approach
• a large number of families that are new to Australia and may not fully understand the risks associated with an aquatic environment
• a large number of users that are non/weak swimmers
We have worked on addressing these barriers in a number of ways and they include the recent Summer Supervision campaign that was predominantly based on imagery and videos with a simple take away message, a website that can be fully translated by the end user, learn to swim lessons advertised in non-English speaking newspapers, signage and information on site that has been and can be translated, a multi-cultural staff that is able to speak a variety of different languages, CALD training for team members, etc. In addition to that we have offered free CPR courses to our community and ensured that our team is trained and equipped in detailed and stringent preventative procedures that allow us to be proactive in supervision and identifying issues before they become incidents, and if they do become incidents, we are prepared to respond.