Break Out #2

by Aquatic Recreation Institute on May 17, 2022


Break Out #2

Child Safeguarding in the Aquatics & Recreation Sector:

Marco will provide a brief overview of compliance requirements with the Child Safe Standards. 

Marco will then facilitate a child safeguarding panel discussion with Stan Wall, CEO of Lifeguarding Services Australia and Jay Clarke, Managing Direct of City Venue Management. The panelists will provide insights into how their organisations have implemented child safety measures and embedded a culture of child safety.

Marco Blanco

Chief Executive Officer - Child Safeguard

Marco Blanco is the Founder, CEO & Principal Solicitor of Child Safeguard. Child Safeguard is a leading consultancy firm, that helps organisations implement Child Safe Best Practices. 

Child Safeguard has advised and partnered with multiple clients in the Aquatics & Recreation sector, including large private operators, peak body associations ,local government, and learn to swim operators. 

Marco is regarded as an industry leader, expert and authority and is a regular keynote speaker at National and State Conferences. Marco is regularly features in the media, including ABC News and to provide expert commentary regarding child protection and child safeguarding issues. 

Marco is also the ARI NSW representative on the Sport and Recreation Sector Engagement Committee - Child Safeguarding, Office of Sport NSW. 


Stan Wall 

Chief Executive Officer - Lifeguarding Services Australia (LSA)

For the past 30 years, Stan has had the pleasure of being a professional lifeguard and having worked throughout Australia, Pacific Islands, Middle East, Asia and Europe. 

As a leader in aquatic based risk management and risk based assessments, one of Stan's major roles has been specialising in major aquatic events and operations. In additional to his aquatic risk background he has had 18 years as a qualified emergency rescue paramedic officer with extensive water rescue, aviation and technical rescue experience. 

Stan has managed or been a key stakeholder in the risk management of over 4,00 major and international events, including the logistic coordination and operations management of the Sydney Aquatic Centre during the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Water Safety Coordinator for the World Masters and the ITU World Triathlon Series. 

In his current role as CEO of the LSA group of companies, he is responsible for the strategic planning, governance, ISO certification, leadership and operational logistics for various government, local council and private facilities and events. 

How to make the most of training packages to get the best employment outcomes?

Liz, Stan and Ben will discuss the training package development process and how, with a little bit of knowledge employers can work more effectively with RTOs to use Vocational Education and Training to better support the employee journey.

Liz Horne

Skills Engagement Executive - Skills IQ

Liz has worked with Skills IQ for over six (6) years and during this time has worked closely with the SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package. She is currently leading the project to update five qualifications within Sport and Recreation. 

Prior to working with Skills IQ, Liz has 35 years experience in senior leadership roles in the outdoor education and recreation sectors, working for small and large organisations in Australia and the USA. 

Liz has comprehensive experience in establishing systems informed by standards, best practice and supporting staff in professional development to deliver quality recreation programs. 

Sales and Customer Experience in Leisure. Then, Now and the Future!:

Alex will explore how the leisure sector has traditionally approached sales and customer, how we have evolved and where to from here. Strategies to take the sector to the next level for both our businesses and communities.

Alex Simmons

Guest Experience Manager I Growth & Operations AUS & NZ - Belgravia Leisure 

Alex has worked in the Fitness, Leisure and Aquatics sectors for 20 years in leadership positions both in Australia and North America. Alex has held roles as Area Manager, General Manager, Regional Manager and spent many years as a turnaround specialist working with some of the biggest chains of health clubs in the world. 

Alex is experienced in team dynamics and culture, customer experience strategy, sales performance and management as well as all day-to-day operational facets of venues. 

Currently, Alex is the Guest Experience Manager & Growth & Operations AUS & NSW for Belgravia Leisure and a Board Member for the ARI NSW. 

Alex is excited to talk about how the leisure sector has traditionally approached sales and customers, how we have evolved and where to go from here. Strategies to take the sector to the next level for both our businesses and communities.