The Importance Of Networking For Leisure Facility Managers

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” – Sound familiar?

ALFA Facility Manager Networking Breakfast - Networking

To succeed in business, you must continually connect with new people, cultivate your relationships and leverage your network.

These days, having a strong network of industry colleagues that you can ask advice of, seek assistance from, or exchange information with, can be more valuable to your success in business than the best college education. [Read more…]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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Early Bird Registration for 2013 ARV Industry Conference Closes Tomorrow!

ARV’s 2013 Industry Conference – “An Evolving Industry” – is under two months away, and you only have until 12th July 2013 to take advantage of this year’s Early Bird Rate – a saving over $100 on your full registration.

The ARV Industry Conference brings together a diverse and knowledgeable group of industry decision makers including CEO’s, Directors and Managers of local government, aquatic and recreation facility managers, commercial organisations, universities, peak bodies and directors and managers of state government departments. [Read more…]

Community Aquatic And Recreation Facilities In Dire Situation

The community aquatic and recreation facility industry finds itself in a dire situation. In established areas our infrastructure is aging and in new growth corridors there is limited provision for community leisure facilities as part of the planning process. Either way, we find local communities with limited access to quality leisure facilities.

Why are we in this position? Amongst many others, the reasons include the a lack of a national plan for community leisure facility provision, an unsustainable funding model for our facilities and unrealistic financial expectations placed on our industry. [Read more…]

Gary Penfold

Gary Penfold (Manager of Warringah Aquatic Centre) has worked in the Recreation Industry since 1980 in a range of areas including Sports Development, Dry Facility Management, Special Events and Aquatic Facility Management. Gary has contributed to the development of the industry through various voluntary roles during this time, including: ARI NSW Executive Committee, ARI Training Committee, National Water Safety Council, ARI Conference and Magazine committees. A former ARI President for three years, Gary Penfold currently holds the position of Chair of ALFA.

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ARV Residential Planning and Design Workshop Outcomes

Residential Planning & Design Workshop Background-

Aquatic and recreation centres are significant pieces of community infrastructure that serve large segments of a municipality and when designed thoughtfully and/or co-located with other elements of community infrastructure and services, they become vibrant hubs of community activity, providing opportunities for the development of invaluable social connections and community engagement, are significant economic entities and are pivotal to the provision of community health, wellbeing and fitness. [Read more…]

New Classification & Rates of Pay Introduced to Fitness Industry Award

Fair Work Australia (FWA) has recently completed a review of the Fitness Industry Award 2010, as part of the statutory requirement under the Fair Work Act 2009, that sees the contents of all Modern Awards subject to scrutiny by that tribunal.

Background:

In 2011, Service Skills Australia finalised the SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package which has subsequently been fully endorsed. This development led to United Voice, the union representing the majority of workers in the sector, making an application as part of the award review process seeking “to apply proper minimum rates of pay for the Award, fully reflective of the qualifications required for work covered by the Award.” [Read more…]

Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor is the Principal Consultant at HMT Consulting (www.hmtconsulting.com.au). Michael has over 30 years experience in Industrial and Employee Relations, from a workforce perspective, and holds a Graduate Diploma in Employment Relations. HMT Consulting specialises in assisting small to medium sized enterprises cope with the complexities of the new IR Laws and related Human Resource Issues.

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WaterMarc Gets Ultimate Seal Of Approval

I was fortunate enough to attend the WaterMarc members only VIP pre-opening event on 1st September 2012 to see firsthand what all the fuss is about and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was extremely impressed!

WaterMarc is a multi activity leisure centre in Greensborough, Victoria. It is the largest aquatic and recreation facility in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and it has all the bells and whistles you would expect of a new facility of this magnitude, topped off with extremely friendly and helpful staff focusing on the customer experience. [Read more…]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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Aquatics And Leisure: Looking To The Future

We’ve come a long way in the 60-odd years since the huge boost that was given to aquatic leisure in this country by the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. And probably, in a sense, we’ve come even further in the last 30-40 years since the first moves were made to enclose some of the predominantly outdoor 50 yard pools that sprung up after the Olympics.

We’ve gone from summer-only, cold-water outdoor venues run with an iron fist by “hose and thongs” men to modern, multi-faceted, all year indoor and indoor-outdoor venues that offer a huge diversity of activities to millions of users annually. (Sadly, some hose and thongs staff persist: I met one not more than 10 years ago who bragged about pushing the clock forward 15 minutes near closing time and who got the hose going in the change rooms at 5.30 pm as a way of encouraging people to pack up and leave!)

The changes have been dramatic. The dominant model of an outdoor 50 metre pool and a static shallow-water “play” pool surrounded by lawns and rusty cyclone fencing (I think there was a company that manufactured it that way so as to be as unappealing as possible) has given way to heated indoor 25 and 50 metre indoor lap pools; specialised warmer water “program” and health pools; interactive water play areas; ever-larger fitness gyms (of increasing specialisation); a multitude of program rooms; consulting suites; cafes with quality food in place of snack-selling kiosks or canteens; quality lounges, seating and waiting areas; multiple change and other service areas including those for people with disabilities, and much more.

Management has changed too. Many of the hose and thong and family-managed venues have long since given way to professional management regimes with greater numbers of and more skilled staff. Many venues are still contracted out but most are to fully professional organisations (whether commercial or not-for-profit) with highly skilled staff, staff training programs and staff with a broad diversity of skills. [Read more…]

Are Poorly Designed Suburbs Creating An Epidemic Of Chronic Diseases That Will Cost The Health System Millions?

Today I appeared on the front page of The Age in Melbourne.  I would like to say it was because of my good looks, but the rather unflattering photo of my children and I indicates that this was not the case. The reason I was front and centre taking up most of the cover of one of the countries most read publications (as well as most of page 15) was because there was a major issue that is affecting many new communities throughout Australia that needed maximum exposure.

I got the gig as they needed a family in my suburb that could speak on the issue of urban design and how it can affect the health of families. As the Public Relations Officer of the Point Cook Action Group (PCAG), a role I perform in my “spare time”, I was happy to volunteer my image and comments, as this is something I am very passionate about. The PCAG is currently lobbying all levels of Government on the unsustainable and “unhealthy” development that is taking place in our neighbourhood without adequate infrastructure to support it. [Read more…]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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Potential Of Cogeneration In Aquatic Centres

C2K Aquatic Centre in Castle Hill is one of the Sydney’s largest multi-purpose aquatic and leisure centres. The aquatic centre has four indoor pools including a 25-metre pool, an aerobics pool, a program pool, and spa pool.

The centre is open all year and offers facilities for everyone, ranging from toddlers to fifty plus groups, participating in activities covering swimming to fitness classes to gymnasium activities and fitness training.

The need was identified to improve the energy efficiency of the club’s aquatic centre in order to reduce current and projected energy costs and reduce the Club’s carbon footprint. As a result of extensive research, a Cogeneration system was decided on. This would provide the C2K Aquatic Centre with enough power to cover base load electricity demands while utilising waste heat to provide hot water for all of the centre’s swimming pools, and domestic hot water storage tanks was designed and installed by Simons Green Energy.

All of these pools were previously heated by costly electric heat pumps, while domestic hot water was supplied by gas fired hot water units.

What is Cogeneration?

[Read more…]

How To Get The Most Out Of Your ALFA National Commercial Supplier Membership

The word is out!  And ALFA is experiencing an unprecedented level of interest from companies of late wishing to become National Commercial Supplier (NCS) members.  These are exciting times and whilst I have been happily espousing the many benefits that our NCS membership now offers to these prospects as I field the various telephone enquiries, respond to emails or discuss the benefits in person, I have been thinking more and more that many of our current NCS members just aren’t making full use of all the benefits we have on offer to them and I want to change this.

So here are the benefits of NCS membership and my advice for accessing each of these benefits to get the most value out of your membership for your company:

Australasian Leisure Management Magazine Discount Advertising

The Australasian Leisure Management magazine is the premier magazine for decision makers and professionals in the leisure industry in Australia and New Zealand, with a circulation of over 10,500 industry personnel: academics, business owners, governments, investors, managers, manufacturers and suppliers, students and others. The magazine also has a growing readership in Asian countries. Australasian Leisure Management includes news, features and debate covering Aquatics, Attractions, Entertainment, Events, Fitness, Parks, Recreation, Sport, Tourism and Venues.  All ALFA members receive the Australasian Leisure Management magazine for free as part of their membership (annual subscription usually $70).

ALFA NCS members are entitled to a 15% discount on advertising rates in the Australasian Leisure Management magazine.  This equates to a discount of $150 for a quarter page casual rate advertisement (normal cost $1,000 – ALFA commercial members cost $850); and a discount of $450 for a full-page casual rate advertisement (normal cost $3,000 – ALFA commercial members cost $2,550).  So if you haven’t done it already, contact Australasian Leisure Management and discuss an advertising package that would best suit your needs (don’t forget to mention that you are an ALFA member to gain access to the discount). [Read more…]

Loren Bartley

Loren Bartley is the Executive Officer of ALFA and a life-long aquatics enthusiast. A former competitive swimmer and lifesaver, Loren has never been far from the pool. Loren's employment history has included the roles of Lifeguard, Duty Manager, Swim Teacher, Aqua Instructor, Lifeguard Trainer, Aquatics Manager and even CEO of Masters Swimming Australia, not to mention all the other sports she has worked with. These days Loren has swapped her goggles for the gym, but still gets to the pool once a week to watch her three kids in swimming lessons.

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