National Aquatic Industry Safety Awards
Excellence in Public Education
Nominated By:
Contact Details
Level 5, 20 Smith St

YMCA NSW is comprised of:
• 22 recreation sites offering wet and dry programs
• 63 children services sites delivering before and after school care and vacation care
• 2 camping sites providing outdoor education programs
• 46 community service programs designed to strengthen and empower local communities
In the 2016/17 financial year our teams across NSW and ACT enabled approximately:
• 310,000 people to participate in swimming programs, gymnastics, and indoor sports
• 12,000 people to have health and fitness memberships
• 17,000 campers to participate in outdoor education activities
• 300,000 people to take part in community sports competitions
• 556,000 children to visit a vacation care program
• 305,000 children to use before school care and 526,000 to use after school care programs


YMCA in NSW was established in 1853 and since then has committed itself to the creation of healthier and more connected communities.
In NSW the organisation has 160 years of experience in facilities management. We have developed longstanding stakeholder relationships with Local, State and Federal Government and industry bodies such as AUSTSWIM, Royal Life Saving Society and Fitness Australia. YMCA NSW has a positive reputation for responding to the grass-root needs of a diverse range of communities. We support the youth of today and civic leaders of tomorrow through programs such as Youth Parliament and importantly we are trusted by clients of all ages throughout NSW and ACT.

Future Plans

YMCA NSW will continue to work with industry stakeholders and the community to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment of the facilities it manages. YMCA NSW will contiue to evolve the Safe Summer campaign, continuing the practice throughout the winter, and relaunch again in the following summer. This develops a continuous improvement plan.
In conjunction with Macquarie University, YMCA NSW is conducting a research project that tests responses to critical incidents and examines the factors that influence identification of and response to incidents. The research will examine concepts of risk perception, expertise, use of cues and personality as they impact incident identification and response.

What it means

Winning this award will be a great acknowledgement of the hard work of so many staff at YMCA NSW. It will help to encourage and motivate our staff to continue to strive for the highest level of safety within our centres.
A campaign like this relies on the efforts of our support services, our managers, our operational staff, and our executive. Without the support of so many, it cannot have the success that it has.

Criteria 1

Describe how the nominee has provided a contribution to their community / industry in Public Education

Throughout the 2017/18 summer, YMCA NSW launched the Safe Summer @ the Y campaign. This campaign was to increase the awareness and responsibility of parents to supervise their children while visiting a YMCA NSW aquatic centre. Utilising social media posts, in-centre posters, a dedicated webpage, having children aged 5 and under wearing wristbands, educating parents upon entry, and Lifeguards providing Keep Watch @ Public Pools cards to parents on pool deck.

Criteria 2

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

Improvements include:
• The implementation of placing wristbands on all children 5 years and under.
• The provision of Keep Watch @ Public Pools cards to parents on pool deck.
• Information throughout the centre about supervision responsibility.
• Recognising safe behaviours – both staff and patrons – with a Safe Summer @ the YMCA ‘Safety Award’.
• The development and promotion of a video, promoted on the organisations website, all aquatic centres websites, as well as Facebook and YouTube
• The development and implementation of a dedicated website to the campaign

Criteria 3

Describe how the nominee has shown commitment to aquatic safety through Public Education

Safety is one of the YMCA NSW’s core values. This has driven our commitment to public education and the need to ensure parents are performing their supervision requirements.
Leading into the 2017/18 summer, YMCA NSW committed to the provision of 2 Lifeguards on deck at all times. This exceeds the requirements from the GSPO. Prior to the launch of the Safe Summer campaign, an education strategy was rolled out across all facilities to inform them of the campaign, the expectations of the Lifeguards, the required expectations of the parents, and how to be consistent in the approach in messaging to parents.

Criteria 4

Describe what barriers have been encountered by the nominee in Public Education and how have they been overcome

Engaging with parents and ensuring the required parental supervision is always a challenge.
YMCA NSW implemented a holistic and systematic approach in the education of parents attending our facilities.
This included:
• Posters and parental requirements located at the entry to the facilities
• Information displayed at the reception
• Customer Service Officers engaging with parents to explain the Safe Summer campaign, the requirements and responsibilities of parents, and to ensure wrist bands are placed on children 5 years and under
• Posters displayed around the centre – including the foyer, change rooms, pool hall, not only in the aquatic areas but also in the gym, group fitness rooms, crèche and café spaces.