Kids Alive Living With Water DVD

The Kids Alive Water Safety DVD is available.

Kids Alive

A chance encounter between Water Safety exponent Laurie Lawrence and Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan at an Australia Day bar-b-q in 2008 was catalyst and the beginning of a journey that saw a baby teaching water safety DVD launched in Canberra on Wednesday 28th October 2009.

The Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare, Youth and Sport, Kate Ellis was amazed as little Evie Read, aged just five and a half months, sat calmly in a green plastic shell filled with water at the AIS swim school and allowed Minister Ellis to pour water over her angelic face. The look on Evie’s face spoke a thousand words as she smiled, squealed, and splashed water back all over Ms Ellis. The Minister couldn’t believe how relaxed and comfortable Evie was with the water.

“It’s Children’s Week – a time to celebrate the contribution of children to our lives and our society. But it’s also a time to think about what we can do to make their lives.  It’s a tragedy that 32 children under the age of five drowned last year, with 19 deaths in swimming pools. We can change that and we will,” Ms Ellis said.  “This DVD for parents is just one way we’re putting a focus on water safety and working hard to make sure young lives aren’t lost in the water,” Ms Ellis said

Later little Evie, in her Kids Alive cossie, took to the pool to show the media her paces.  Urged on by her doting grandfather, affectionately known as “Lollipop,” Evie showed how easy it was for young babies, given the opportunity and correct trigger preparation, to submerge and float at a very early age.

The Living with Water DVD – a Comprehensive Guide to Water Safety for Under 5’s promotes water safety messages for newborns, crawlers, toddlers and pre-schoolers. It includes essential information about learning swimming and water safety skills, eliminating water hazards, pool fencing, constant supervision of children around water and learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) skills.

Super coach Lawrence insisted the DVD is more than a learn-to -swim DVD

“In these modern times where the average three year old is sedentary in front of the television set for much of the day and spends barely three hours a day in active play  I want this DVD to help build a healthier nation. I want it to be a bible for fun fitness health and safety, but more importantly I want it to save lives,” he said and then he broke into a couple of verses of poetry.

Just focus for a moment on whom that lost child could have been

A Bradman, Fred Hollows or a Country Western Queen

The mother of a tribe of kids with Thorpie in their eyes

The father of a daughter who’d have claimed the Nobel prize!

Keep kids alive do the five mime the rhyme to survive

Fence the pool!

Shut the gate

Teach your kids to swim it’s great!

Supervise watch your mate!

And learn how to resuscitate!

The baby teaching water safety DVD is a world first in drowning prevention for preschool children and one which former Olympic gold medal coach Lawrence hopes will not only realise his dream of zero preschool drowning in Australia but also be a blue print in drowning prevention around the world.

Bounty new mother’s bag is on board to distribute the DVDs in hospitals all over Australia – reaching 83% of new mothers every year. Young Mums and Dads will go home from the hospital nursing their new bundle of joy and armed with information that with bring the pool to the bathroom. Hundreds of thousands of young Australian will benefit from the valuable information contained in the DVD.

In the making of the DVD numerous water safety experts were invited to form a reference group, share their expertise and suggest information to be included in the DVD.  Emma Lawrence sorted information and together with Cutting Edge Studio’s senior producer Pete Walmsley produced a DVD that was shown to focus groups of young parents for their comment.

This process was repeated on numerous occasions until Walmsley was convinced he had a DVD that was not only unique but a world first.

Walmsley enthused, “This DVD contains information on water familiarisation exercises for parents to perform on their babies in the bath and shower. It details water dangers that exist for little children as they grow from baby to crawler to active toddler.  There is information on what to look for in a good swim school and St John ambulance has included a section on CPR.

He continued, “There are some sad reminders as three families share their stories on how they lost their children in separate drowning incidents in a pool a bathtub and a dam and as a father of two young boys Will three and Thomas three months it cuts very close to the bone … it has opened my eyes to the dangers that exist in and around the home.”

Thanks to the Commonwealth Government who funded the project and the generosity of Kids Alive, parents and caregivers of under 5 year olds will be able to collect a free DVD from their Swim School registered with Aussie Aquatics.

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SAFER Swimming Materials

Pool Watcher Lanyard

  • The SAFER Swimming Pool Watcher lanyards are available from participating Registered Swim Schools.

SAFER Swimming Booklet

  • Copies of the SAFER Swimming booklet are currently been revised.

SAFER Swimming Banners

  • These banners are currently been revised.

SAFER Swimming  CPR-Hero

The SAFER Swimming CPR-Hero is based on a “compression only” form of CPR.  Compression only CPR is recognised by all international resuscitation councils, including the Australian Resuscitation Council. CPR-mate is a simple and easy way to learn compression only CPR for the whole family.

The SAFER Swimming CPR-mate available at participating Swim Schools registered with Swim Australia.

EnergyAustralia SAFER Swimming Club

Staff Profiles

Ross Gage

Leading by example, and respected by his peers, Ross is dedicated to helping reduce drowning deaths, and ensure all Aussies learn-to-swim and become safeer, smarter and stronger as a result.

Qualified in Human Movements (Education), Ross has evolved as a successful swim teacher and coach, industry consultant, co-editor of swim journals, as well as centre manager and swim school owner. In 1997, he established ‘Swim Australia’ and has driven it ever since.

A regular Keynote Speaker, Ross has been extensively awarded for his industry involvement, receiving “Outstanding Contribution to the Teaching of Swimming in Australia”, and “Meritorious Service to the Teaching of Swimming in Australia” awards.

Nicala Harris
National Office Manager

Nicala upholds extensive skill-set versatility over a broad business spectrum.

Married for 20 years, and a mother of two, Nicala is a true sports enthusiast, having spent the majority of her life in, on or around the water – originally as a competitive swimmer.

Developing her business foundations within the banking arena, Nicala then proved her true resourcefulness and loyalty, in becoming a Personal Assistant at Channel 7, for 11 years. Her professional flexibility would later see her return to the pool as a teacher for another 14 years, before advancing to a management position within the organisation.

Jasmin Forsyth (nee Geisel)
National PR & Media Manager

Jasmin is extensively skilled in sports, and media consultancy.

A former ex-elite swimmer, she medaled at various national and international championships in sprint freestyle, butterfly and relay events, before prematurely retiring in 2000, due to an ongoing back injury.

Graduating from QUT with a Bachelor of Journalism – and an induction into the International Honour Society for her academic achievements – Jasmin has followed an exciting and versatile media career. Cutting her teeth at Channel’s Ten and Nine, Jasmin has enjoyed many roles as a TV host, journalist, writer and producer for a range of local and national shows, from kids, news, sport and current affairs programs.

Wearing many media-related hats, the mum of one, is a popular MC at special events, is a consultant in media, PR and writing to a range of businesses and individuals, and proudly co-runs Media Force Productions, with her husband and TV cameraman, Chris.

Emily McNeill
E.A to CEO & SwimCARE Manager

Emily has a true passion for swimming, sports and events. A graduate of Bond University with a Bachelor of Sports Management, not only has she medalled in the pool and in Open water – at both State and National level – Emily was a Learn to Swim Teacher and Coach at The Southport School (TSS) on the Gold Coast.

Here she’s assisted in realigning the learn-to-swim system, creating a �?feeder’ stage for kids transitioning from learn-to-swim to mini squad. Having assisted at several Conferences and events, Emily presents a unique set of skills, ideal for her diverse and crucial role for the organisation.

Riana Horner
Media Assistant

Since moving from England two years ago with her family, the QUT journalism student and freelance writer, has already worked for a number of fashion and lifestyle publications in Queensland. With a passion for writing, extensive experience in the production of photo shoots, an eye for detail, and remarkable flare for working with young children, Riana is an asset to the Media team.

Danielle Rossiter
National Office Assistant

Specialising in administration across a diverse field of industries, Danielle is a crucial team member in ensuring the Swim Australia engine room, is maintained.  A mother of three, Danielle has successfully teamed for love for sport, with her profound skills in front line business.  Formally an assistant teacher at an International Preschool, Danielle has taught learn-to-swim and is passionate about childhood education, wellbeing and keeping kids safer, in and around water.


We are committed to a swimming and water safety for all philosophy. We incorporate inclusion strategies in all aspects of its activities, endeavouring to create opportunities for all Australians to participate. Whether people choose to learn to swim for safety, fun and enjoyment, health and fitness, aspire to be a world champion, or choose to be involved in a non-swimming role as a teacher or volunteer swimming provides many opportunities.

As the Peak Industry Body for Swim Schools, we are committed to assisting its Registered Swim School network emulate such a philosophy.  To that end, various Special Interest Groups, driven by passionate, expert Leadership Teams have been created.  Additionally, a number of great fit charities have been embraced – our �?Pool of Causes’.

We care about the community and we care about swimming and water safety


Our initial major project in fulfilling its Inclusion Strategy was the development of the Inclusive Swim School Standard.  This was Launched in Cairns on the 9th July 2015, during our annual National SwimDisABILITY Fest.  

When contextualizing the sports �?Inclusive Clubs Standard’ to one suitable for Swim Schools, we also modernized it to incorporate the Federal Government’s Play by the Rules 7 Pillars of Inclusion.
The standard serves two purposes;

  1. providing education and guidance to those Swim Schools who are taking steps to create an inclusive environment in their Swim Schools, and
  2. helping Swim Schools, we and associated bodies, identify areas of strength and weakness, enabling the development of better, inclusive programs. 

    To assist Swim Schools develop a more Inclusive outlook in general and work through this Standard in particular, a range of resources have been accumulated.*With the kind permission of Swimming Australia Ltd, these have been contextualised to suit the Swim School environment.

Our SwimDisABILITY program comprises of a Special Interest Group, driven by a Leadership Team, consisting of Wendy Ross, Tracey Ayton, Liz Green, Herbie Howard, Michael Woods, Emily McNeill (SwimCARE Manager) and Ross Gage (CEO).  The agenda centres around:

•         Teacher Accreditation
•         On-going professional development.
•         Standards; including information and guidelines.

Major Sponsor for SwimDisABILITY

Pool of Causes

We work to support a wide range of valuable community service programs.  It directly supports the following:

Environmentally Friendly Swim Schools

The Environmentally Friendly Swim Schools program is focused on developing more environmentally friendly Swim Schools.  The Environmentally Friendly Swim Schools Special Interest Group’s Leadership Team consists of Peter Willis, Bill McDonald, Lari McDonald, Lesley Rudd, Cameron Speechley and Deny Zancanaro.  The agenda centres around:

•         Providing regular information and tips regarding environmental practices to Swim Schools.
•         Lobbying regulators, including Government, regarding standards pertaining to the likes of water treatment.

Ambassadors over the years

Ashley Callus

“Being able to swim well has been great for me. Besides my competitive success, I’ve been able to make lots of friends and enjoy doing things like swimming in the surf. Swim Australia is doing a fantastic job helping Swim Schools develop. This will result in my kids being efficient swimmers and benefiting from the fruits of the skill.”

Forbes Carlile MBE

“This is an excellent initiative and will contribute strongly towards the health and well being of young Australians.” (1997) John Konrads AM: “Swimming is much more than a safety requirement and a sport. We know that being at home in the water adds to the happiness of life. It improves motor skills, aids concentration at school or at work and expands the horizons of our mind. I am delighted to support Swim Australia, their objectives are critically important to everybody.”

Laurie Lawrence

“Swim Australia ensures that swim schools throughout Australia will, with the guidance of Swim Australia, become even more professional. It is a professional organisation that will benefit all Australians.” (1997)

Hayley Lewis

“For me, swimming has been a sport for life. I was taught to swim when I was just out of nappies to make sure I was safe and from there swimming became both a career and a lifestyle. Now I’ve done the same for my kids and I really encourage all parents to ensure their kids get the safety and health benefits of learning to swim as early as possible. The best way to teach kids to swim is at a Swim School registered with Swim Australia where they’ll be in a safe environment and can build skills and confidence in the water.”

Karni Liddell

“I wanted to be involved with Swim Australia because I am so passionate about swimming, fitness and health and Swim Australian encapsulates all of this. Swimming has provided me with an amazing life and I have made lifelong friends through swimming. I love swimming and more importantly I love watching other children with disabilities getting involved in swimming, as it really is essential that people with disabilities stay active, healthy and happy.” (2008)

Justin Norris

“I wanted to become an Ambassador for Swim Australia because I’m very passionate about using my knowledge from years of competing and applying it to grass roots learn to swim. I have two young daughters so I’m am very focused on infant aquatics. Swim Australia is a great support for all swim schools and a great resource for all parents.”

Jim Piper

“With so much of Australia’s lifestyle revolving around water, it’s very important for kids to learn to swim and gain water awareness at a young age, Swim Australia provide great programs to teach kids these skills, so they can be safe whilst enjoying the water.” (2004)

Jessicah Schipper

“Swim Australia’s programs are an awesome head start for kids who want to enter into the competitive side of swimming but also gives them the confidence they need to just get into the water and have fun with their friends and their swimming. My sister and brothers and I all learnt to swim at an early age and have never regretted doing so because we have had so much fun competing and playing in the water, knowing we had the type of water safety training that Swim Australia provides right from the start.” (2007)

Don Talbot OBE

“It is a pleasing and surprising honour to be appointed as an Ambassador for Swim Australia. I have never been named as an ambassador for any organisation before and I will do my best to represent Swim Australia well. Swim Australia should be applauded for placing such a high value on children learning to swim well in an enjoyable manner. I would urge all parents to enrol their children in a Swim School registered with Swim Australia. Learn-to-Swim ‘graduates’ are strongly urged to maintain their swimming. The sport has wonderful healthy benefits and teaches timeless values.”

Libby Trickett

“Swim Australia provides valuable water safety training and development for young Australians. With greater confidence in the water, kids can enjoy all the benefits that our great Aussie weather and lifestyle has to offer – and have fun too! I enjoyed learning to swim so much as a young child that I have never stopped swimming.” (2004)

Karen & Emily Seebohm

Mother-daughter ‘swim team’, Karen and Emily Seebohm, have volunteered their services to promote the swimming and water safety teaching qualification – Swim Australia™ Teacher. The Seebohm’s will be the first Ambassadors for the world-leading Swim Australia™ Teacher program” Karen Seebohm said: “I’ve been teaching swimming now for too many years than I care to mention. I have enjoyed every minute of it. It is still a thrill to see the littlies achieve various milestones and feel good about themselves. As a parent, too, I am very conscious of the need for children to be safer around water”. For Karen it was also a lifestyle choice: “I wanted part-time work and the range of available teaching sessions was perfect for me.” Karen went on to say: “… and don’t be put off by your own swimming ability – in many workplaces it is virtually irrelevant; you will learn what and how to teach. The important thing is that you love being with kids.” For Olympian and World Champion Emily, teaching swimming and water safety was a natural progression. “Being around the pool a lot for my own training, I got to watch plenty of classes. I saw the kids enjoying their lessons and trying hard to master a new skill – I wanted to be part of that. And it has been a real buzz taking classes. Mum has always been saying how good she feels about teaching – now I know where she is coming from.” (2009)

Registered Swim School

Find registered swimming schools in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Australia wide

We are proud to promote quality swimming lessons and swimming instruction standards through our registered swim schools across Australia. Whether you’re in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland or anywhere across the country, you’ll find a registered swim school near you. Use our swim school locator to find your closest location.

We register swim schools that meet the following criteria:

  • Consent by Government Authority to operate
  • Program is supervised by an accredited teacher or equivalent
  • Agree to abide by National guidelines as determined by us
  • An inspection, complaints and evaluation mechanism operates.

Registered Swim Schools have EXCLUSIVE access to

  • World’s best Professional Development & networking
  • Discounts to industry leading resource tools
  • Website listing which ranks as a leader (ie first or in the top few) with all the major search engines
  • Industry updates through hard copy & e-version publications
  • First rate customer service
  • Plus many more

To view Swim Schools that are currently registered use the Swim School Locator.


Accredited Swim Schools

From the 1st June 2012, Registered Swim Schools were able to apply to become Accredited Swim Schools.  To achieve this status, Swim Schools must pass more comprehensive and higher level standards.  This ranges across the likes of teaching-learning, facilities, staff development and management practices.

Due to the nature of the assessment, it will take Swim Schools some considerable time to reach a positive outcome.  Once Swim Schools have had a reasonable period to achieve Accreditation status, we will be recognising same via the likes of this website.

From there, Accredited Swim Schools will have the option of applying to become a �?Swim School of Excellence’ in various categories.

To find accredited swim schools in Victoria, New South Wales or anywhere across Australia, use our swim school locator here.


Aussie Aquatics (AA) aims to enhance learn to swim and water safety practices, primarily via its network of Registered Swim Schools. AA has virtually become:

  • “the learn to swim experts’,
  • the national authority on the teaching of swimming and water safety, and
  • the Peak Industry Advocate  body for Swim Schools in Australia.

Since 2001, AA had licenced the trademark “Swim Australia” from the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA), as a means to brand this vital community service.  Prior to that, Ross Gage (Sole Director of AA) operated ASCTA’s learn to swim section – which went by the �?Swim Australia’ name.

We have now evolved to be unique and total focus on Swim Schools

Our vision is one of a Safer, Smarter Stronger nation of swimmers.

Operating as the Peak Industry Advocate for over 500 Swim Schools, we have become the national authority on teaching swimming and water safety.

Our mission is to develop “learn to swim” in Australia to its full potential; resulting in all Australians learning to swim and gaining water safety knowledge through the safest and most enjoyable swimming lessons.

Through the Layers of Protection’ plan, SAFER Swimming and learn to swim programs, AA is on a quest to permanently reduce drowning deaths in Australia.

Our Swim School’s community alone, boasts over 600,000 families taking part in swimming lessons, each week – the largest network across the country.

To this end we:

  • Register Swim Schools that meet industry standards after referencing with various relevant bodies.
  • Promote the many excellent benefits for all of learning swimming and water safety, and
  • Provide the Registered Swim Schools with products, services and professional development programs to significantly enhance their operation.

We aim to:

  1. To promote learning to swim on a national basis, with an emphasis on the life-long health, safety, fun and fitness benefits of swimming.
  2. To recognise programs teaching swimming that meet prescribed guidelines.
  3. To aid in the development of the teaching and management expertise of such programs.
  4. To enhance the viability of such programs