Board of Directors

ARI NSW is led by a group of industry experts and professionals with a wealth of experience, knowledge and support for the sector. 

The Board's main prerogative is to connect the Aquatic & Recreation sector with industry. To achieve this, they represent ARI NSW to advocate for the industry to governments, support the expansion of services and 

Below are our Board of Directors. Connect with them through their LinkedIn profiles by clicking on their images. 


Marco Blanco is the Founder, Principal Solicitor and CEO of Child Safeguard. 

Marco is an industry leader, expert and authority on child safeguarding. He has advised global and national organisations across multiple sectors.

Marco is the current chairperson of the Aquatics and Recreation Institute NSW, and has particular expertise in working with clients in Aquatic and Recreation and Local Government on Child Safeguarding, Risk Management, and Governance.

Marco sits on multiple Boards and Committees, including Aquatic Recreation Network Australia (ARNA) and leads ARI NSW's Advocacy committee.



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 addition to Stan's aquatic risk background, he had 18 years as a qualified emergency rescue paramedic officer with extensive water rescue, aviation and technical rescue experience.

Stan is the Chief executive Officer of LSA Group of Companies and also holds a position on the NSW Sport and Recreation Skills Council providing support and guidance as an aquatics industry expert and the representative for the ARI, He is a Director HumanAbility (the National Skills & Jobs Council) and is a Fellow and Life member of the ARI. 



 As the national aquatic safety manager, Scott is responsible for leading the improvement of the aquatic safety standards at Belgravia Leisure's aquatic venues, developing and implementing the organisation's Aquatic Safety Strategy.

Scott serves as a director on the ARI NSW Board and has done so since 2021. 

Scott's strengths and background in aquatic operations, training, compliance, and risk management; and for more than 20 years, Scott has a wide range of expertise in strategic and operational roles in local government, training organisations, and the commercial and university sector.




Tania’s career spans over 25 years in corporate and care and not for profit sectors including McDonalds, Optus, Wesley Mission, and Para Mobility. Tania is currently the National Sales Manager for Para Mobility, an industry leader providing Australian Made and Manufactured assistive technology products to allow freedom and independence for those living with a disability or mobility issues.

In her current role with Para Mobility, Tania manages a team across several sectors including the Aquatics and Recreation sector. Tania joined the ARI Board in May 2023 and has volunteered across various organisations including NSW Rural Fire Service for 10+ years, Ronald McDonald House Childrens Charities, Pre-School and School Committees for her two daughters.





Todd McHardy has been Chief Executive Officer at the BlueFit Group since 2007. 

His extensive knowledge and experience in the sport, aquatic and recreation sector has enabled him to provide facilities with the opportunity to have a greater connection with their local communities, inspiring greater health and wellbeing. Expanding these services across NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland & Western Australia. 

Todd is an industry leader and joined the ARI Board in May 2023. 




Having worked within in the aquatic industry for over 20 years, holding a range of different roles within local government and the private sector, Karl enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge with others. 

Karl has extensive experience in technical operations, community facilities and business management. For the past 3 years he has worked in the role of Program Leader Aquatic and Leisure Centres with the Blue Mountains City Council. 

Having worked in both the public and private sector in centre management and for period of time in the aquatic service industry, I have a well-rounded and extensive knowledge of all aspects of the aquatic and leisure industry.



As Aligned Leisure’s General Manager of Operations, Simon spearheads the company's operational strategies and orchestrates the development of robust operational systems and initiatives.

With two decades of expertise in leisure management, Simon boasts a proven track record of adeptly steering the transition of new contracts while enhancing operational efficiency and business efficacy. Renowned for his hardest work ethic in the industry, Simon lives and breathes the aquatic industry, all while fostering a thriving people culture

Simon is a dedicated and dynamic leader deeply invested in sculpting the trajectory of the leisure industry. Renowned for his prowess in assembling high-performance teams and fostering a vibrant team ethos, Simon's hands-on leadership style consistently yields outstanding team dynamics and business outcomes across his career.




With over thirty years’ experience in the community, aquatic and recreation industry, I have worked with local government, the private sector, community groups, not for profits and commercial stakeholders, developing a broad understanding of our industry’s framework.


Connecting community wellbeing to leisure is my purpose, environmental sustainability is my passion, and I look forward to developing our industry's skill base and creating meaningful industry relationships through networking, learning and development.