About Us

ASSA promotes learning to swim on a Global basis, with a Local impact. We provide Member Swim Schools with products, services and professional development opportunities to significantly enhance their business operations.  We believe that Learning to Swim should be accessible to everyone, and the life-long health, safety, fun and fitness benefits of swimming are essential for all. 

The National Peak Industry Body for Swim School Businesses

Created by Swim Schools, for Swim Schools

The Australian Swim Schools Association Ltd (ASSA) is a not for profit organisation that aims to enhance the learn to swim and water safety industry, through its network of Member Swim Schools. ASSA is uniquely, solely focused on Swim Schools and is the only body in Australia with a Constitution where Swim Schools are the voting members.

Our Purpose

Leadership through Inspiration, Advocacy & Service

Inspiration

Methodology
Programs
Business Operations
Education

Advocacy

Consultation & Engagement
Inclusion
Legal
Industrial Relation

Services

Professional Development
Conferences
Webinars
Events

meet our amazing team

The Faces Behind our Association

We Couldn’t Do It Without Them

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Wayne Pollock

President

Wayne is the ASSA President since 2017 and Chairman of the International Swim Schools Association (ISSA). Formerly the CEO and Chairman of Paul Sadler Swimland (PSS) with locations in Australia, Vietnam, and Canada, he now owns several Swimland franchises. Wayne’s career spans diverse sectors, including engineering, education, retail, and sports administration. He has worked as a high school teacher, department head, human resources manager, and education manager, in addition to managing the Victorian Basketball Association.

Throughout his life, Wayne has been an avid sports enthusiast, engaging in basketball, Australian Rules football, cricket, softball, track, squash, and scuba diving. Although his high school swimming career was unremarkable, golf has become his current obsession. He has actively sought out golfing nirvana worldwide, before the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. With over 20 years of experience in the Learn to Swim industry, Wayne’s leadership in ASSA and ISSA demonstrates his commitment to the swim school community.

Reece Rackley

Vice President

Previously a swimming and triathlon coach, Reece took over his family’s company in 2004, at that point a single swim school in Burleigh Heads. Using this facility as a launch pad, over the next 12 years the business expanded under his direction to where it is today. Reece has a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from Griffith University to augment his industry knowledge. Reece’s family involvement in the Aquatic Industry spans three generations, and with that comes an immense ingrained knowledge of how to operate aquatic based leisure facilities.

John Coutts

Director

John is a Director/Owner of Carlile Swimming, Australia’s pioneering Commercial Swimming School. As an Olympian, he represented NZ in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and became the World Marathon Swimming Champion in 1981. With over 40 years of experience in aquatics, John has been instrumental in revolutionizing and systematizing Learn to Swim programs at Carlile Swimming. He has delivered presentations and consultations worldwide for nearly three decades.

Recognized for his contributions, John has received prestigious accolades such as the “Guiding Light Award” and the “Hall of Fame Award” from the US Swim Schools Association, along with the “Meritorious Service Award.”

Over the past 30 years, John has led the development of Carlile Swimming facilities, establishing them as the global standard for swim school operators in terms of capacity, efficiency, and quality.

Jon Harker

Director

As the CEO of Carlile Swimming, Jon has a unique set of skills developed in a career which has spanned an eclectic mix of commercial experiences in media, politics, the corporate world and sport. He has commentated elite athletes at the pinnacles of their careers and led teams to deliver great marketing and communications outcomes in complex stakeholder environments.

As the founder of successful media and consulting firm, Hark Attack, Jon was responsible for delivering strategic consulting services and has experience project managing and influencing stakeholders across multiple sectors.

Sue Mayo

Director

Sue Mayo is a learn to swim consultant and facilitator with over 40 years’ experience in aquatic education, recently completing a bachelor of Psychological Science Degree focusing on developmental psychology. Her background in business and teaching is extensive, commencing in 1970 in England, coaching and teaching in Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. She built her own purpose built 25m indoor heated pool in Hamilton New Zealand in 2001.

For 25 years Sue has presented nationally and internationally since 1998 on topics ranging from teaching & coaching of all ages, special needs, business management & development, more recently on trauma free research specifically targeting swimming lessons. Sue served on New Zealand Swim Coaches and Teachers Association Board for 10 years, receiving the Master Teacher Award in 2008 and was on the Board of Water Safety NZ for two years and is currently a Trainer and Assessor for AUSTSWIM.

Sue’s personal learning philosophy is that “The best teachers are the continual students”, and that “Your mind is a parachute. It only works when it is open”.

Shawn Read

Director

Shawn started teaching swimming in 1986 and opened his own swim school, Shawn’s Swim School, in 1994 and is a graduate from Melbourne University with a Bachelor of Commerce. As of April 2013, Shawn’s Swim School take 2000 students per week and have 40 staff. He has attended many conferences, both in Australia and overseas, including the WABC conferences in Oaxaca, Mexico, Wellington , New Zealand and Vancouver, Canada. Also, the USSSA conferences in Las Vegas and Hawaii, and the International Swim School Conferences in Fiji. Shawn has been a speaker at WABC conference in Vancouver as well as several conferences around Australia both at national and State Levels. Shawn’s Swim School has won several awards of Excellence as well as the VAIC swim school of the year and the city of Wyndham business of the year.

Melissa Rickwood

Director

Mel with her husband Neil, are the driving force behind Aquatics Down Under, and bring together a strong combination of aquatic and management experience.

As Director of Aquatics Down Under Pty Ltd, Mel’s 25 plus years of accumulated knowledge and networking have provided her with extensive experience and contacts within the aquatic industry.

Mel is a highly regarded industry expert, qualified to provide education, guidance and assessment of swimming teachers and course presenters.

Theresa Stewart

Director

Theresa is the Operations Manager of Healthways Recreation and Aquatic Centres in Melbourne.

With a Bachelor of Business, where she graduated with a dux of her class, she started her career in corporate management, finance and marketing roles overseas.  In 2002, Theresa moved back to Australia and began working in the family’s health and fitness business.  After working throughout her high school and university years as a senior gymnastics coach, her focus naturally became the swim school side of the business and she quickly grew the business and a second aquatic centre was opened.

In 2006 she won Victoria’s Swim School of the Year, and in 2010 she was elected President of Victoria’s Branch of Swim School Owners Association (Victoria’s industry association prior to ASSA).  She is a mother of 2 primary school aged children, and is a sitting member of school council, elected in 2019 after coordinating the massive school fair in 2018.  She is looking forward to contributing to the Australian swim school industry via ASSA’s board as of 2020.

Always looking for opportunities and innovations to expand business operations, she has overseen Healthways’ growth to two swim school locations, launched a highly successful government approved Children’s Education and Care service at the centre, launched highly successful collaborations with an onsite Karate Club and an onsite Dance School, oversees a fully equipped health and fitness suite of services (gym, group exercise classes, personal training), and collaborates the management of Australia’s longest running Ten Pin Bowling Alley at the centre.  Most recently, she has been involved in the complete construction redevelopment of Healthways’ Mont Albert North centre, due for completion in 2021, and is currently studying her Diploma in Early Education and Care.

Emily McNeill

General Manager

Emily has extensive experience in the Aquatics Industry, is passionate about Learning to Swim and Water Safety, and thrives in supporting businesses, enabling them to run the best operations possible. 

Her skills in stakeholder management, business & strategic planning, and operations, coupled with Industry knowledge, allow Emily to continue driving ASSA forward alongside a strong team of dedicated directors.

If you have any questions about partnerships or your membership or you simply want to say ‘hello’ you can contact Emily at emily@australianswimschools.org.au

Janina Geraghty

Marketing and Partnerships Manager

Janina brings her extensive marketing expertise and hands-on experience as an active Learn to Swim (LTS) instructor to her role.
Janina’s love for the water led her to relocate to the beautiful beachside city of Wollongong, where she quickly became an enthusiastic participant in the local ocean swimming community.  In her search to find a swim coach for ocean swim events, Janina discovered an interest for teaching and became a LTS instructor.  Teaching babies, children, and adults how to swim on Saturday mornings for nearly two years has  brought Janina immense joy and a sense of purpose.
Outside of work, Janina actively contributes to the community as a patrolling member of the North Wollongong Surf Lifesaving Club.  Additionally, she serves on the committee in the capacity of PR and Promotions Officer, showcasing her dedication to promoting the importance of surf safety and drowning prevention.

If you have any questions or you simply want to say ‘hello’ you can contact Janina at marketing@australianswimschools.org.au

Hollie Johnson

Member Experience Specialist

Hollie hopes to build authentic and lasting relationships with all ASSA members and partners.  She believes open communication is key to positive and enduring relationships.  Hollie wants members to feel supported and to gain value and enjoyment from their ASSA membership.

If you have any questions or you simply want to say ‘hello’ you can contact Hollie at admin@australianswimschools.org.au

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