National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Facility Management
Glen Eira Leisure
Nominated By:
Contact Details
200 East Boundary Road
Bentleigh East

Glen Eira Leisure (GEL) comprises of three sites: Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre (GESAC), Carnegie Swim Centre (CSC) and Caulfield Recreation Centre (CRC). GESAC was purpose built to provide the local community with an inclusive, accessible and state-of-the-art recreation facility. GESAC is one of Glen Eira City Council’s major community hubs providing a range of services and options to encourage a healthy and active lifestyle supporting GESAC’s vision: EveryBody Welcome.
GESAC’s facilities comprise:
- Aquatic Pool Hall (including an aquatic wellness area, learn to swim pool and water slides)
- Sports Stadium
- Vibrant Health Club
- Inspiring Group Fitness Studios.
- Transcend Day Spa
- Café
- Childcare


The Active hub within the city of Glen Eira, GESAC was purpose built to meet the needs of the surrounding community. All programs and services are tailored to ensure options for all ages from seniors to junior swimmers. The development of GEL’s Attendant Support Program (ASP) showcases the commitment to breaking down the barriers for the community. The ASP team comprises of staff from all different departments, providing support to community members who require it when they attend GEL facilities. With over 4000 visits per day, users vary from the strong partnerships with MIND, SCOPE and My Physio through to elite sports groups such as Monash University, Bayside Triathlon Club and the Academy of Swimming Club.

Future Plans

GEL’s outdoor seasonal facility, CSC, has been operating for almost 60 years. Throughout the 2018/19 season, CSC saw an attendance of 87,771, including over 14,500 school children attending over 30 swimming carnivals. Planning is currently underway for the redevelopment of CSC with an aim to keep the unique and nostalgic feel of the centre in the design, while updating the facility to modern day standards. It’s proposed to be an all-year-round leisure facility, with a range of services catering to a broader section of the community. Attendances at GEL have grown to over 1.6 million visits per year. A focus on growing all programs and new Member Retention activities has seen an increase of 381 Swim School enrolments, taking the total to 4,336 with a large increase in customer satisfaction.

What it means

Since opening in 2012, GESAC has continued to thrive on the development of programs and services that cater for everyone in our community. Winning this award, would really recognise the 450 staff members and the effort they put in every single day, and say ‘Thank you’. It would also show the community of 10,000+ members across GEL that GESAC is always growing and developing as the community does, always striving for improvement. GEL staff aim to influence the leisure industry that they are passionate about. With multiple staff across multiple advisory committees and boards, each expert opinion is constantly challenged and winning this award will recognise the years of hard work put in across all the departments.

Criteria 1

Describe how the nominee has provided a valuable contribution to their aquatic facility (e.g. assisted with training programs, mentored other lifeguards and trainees, gained additional awards, assisted with public relations events etc.).

With 450 staff members, people are the forefront of achievements so GEL is heavily invested in developing them professionally and personally. All departments have a strong focus on internal training, from industry partnerships with LSV and ARV to the comprehensive annual training schedule. In 2018, GESAC was named LSV’s Licensee of the Year, recognising the commitment to appointing internal staff who are able to deliver the courses onsite at GESAC and have the best understanding of the environment. In addition to our comprehensive training opportunities, mentoring opportunities are also created with members of the GEL Leadership Team. Eg. GEL Manager, Paige Buse (ARV and Fitness Australia boards), mentors team members at all levels from Supervisors and Team Leaders to Coordinator level positions.

Information and education is another key focus, to ensure that the community is kept informed. Free CPR workshops and training opportunities are created for parents. GESAC was also awarded the Facility Management Award at the Aquatic and Recreation Victoria Awards in 2018.

Criteria 2

Describe (and provide evidence) of improvements and/or achievements made in Facility Management over the past 12-18 months

When re-branding to GEL, management of CRC and CSC were incorporated. Transcend Spa and Wellness Centre also opened, ensuring that GEL members now have access to ‘holistic’ lifestyle and wellness options.

The recent commencement of GEL’s partnership with Mind Australia, now based within GESAC’s Health Club, guarantees complimentary mental health services are available to members and staff.

With the completion of the painting of all 5 pools by the end of June 2019 and the refurbishment of the steam room, gym floor and group fitness studio 1 to be completed by July 2019, GESAC will look to continue to lead the industry in all things health and fitness.

International Day for People with a Disability saw over 400 people in attendance. This annual event involves 40 volunteer staff members! A day bringing the community together to celebrate inclusion.
The “This Girl Can” event saw 70 participants (40 non-members) partake in the mega-fitness and cycle classes!

2018 recognised GESAC’s commitment to the community, along with all staff contributions, discipline and work ethic to ensure that we’re capitalising on the opportunity to make a difference for the community.

- ARV Facility Management of the Year GESAC 2018
- ARV Most Valuable Employee 2018
- ARV Group Fitness Instructor of the Year 2018
- Fitness Australia Quality Accredited 2018
- 2019 Quality Accredited Fitness Business of the Year
- 7 Lifeguards received Glen Eira City Council’s Outstanding Contribution to the Community Awards for their response to 3 critical incidents.
- LSV Everyday Life Saver of the year awards.
- Platinum Pool Program and LSV Lifeguard challenge.

Criteria 3

Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to aquatic safety through Facility Management

Since obtaining and upholding LSV’s platinum pool accreditation in 2012, pride on the safety and service excellence of the facilities is evident. Going through internal and external audits annually ensures standards and expectations are maintained and staff are educated about any reviews/updates made to the GSPO’s.
The Lifeguard teams are strong advocates for the Watch around Water policy (WAW), as it is identified as a priority area in all training sessions. LG’s and DM’s are empowered to provide feedback on improvements for the safety of all aquatic users. With the rapid growth of the Swim School, the Lifeguard team identified that roster changes were required to assist with the wide range of users during swimming lesson times. The hourly tracking of ratios identified the increase in the headcount, and resulted in the deployment of an in-water guard.
To ensure that being proactive in approach to water safety, not reactive, the Customer Service Team and LG’s are empowered to inform and educate all parents about WAW policy, from the point of entry. All staff is trained on developing skills to build a rapport with parents, to ensure that they’re best positioned to enforce a strong and consistent message.

Criteria 4

Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Facility Management and how have they been overcome

The team at GESAC have overcome countless barriers from pool tile failure to GSPO changes and has responded quickly to rectify issues. A major issue that GEL faced was staffing levels when CSC and CRC were taken-over. During the 2017/2018 season, the casual staffing team were required to accomplish an unanticipated and excessive workload over the two sites. Learning from this experience, in 2018, 80 highly skilled Lifeguards were recruited. A large recruitment drive, saw many new challenges but also opportunities created. Senior staff were up skilled and given more responsibility, procedures were reviewed and strictly adhered to and furthermost, the current team needed to have the same buy-in as management, to ensure staff morale and culture was maintained.