Our Committee Members
Members of the Water Skills for Life Committee bring a range of skills from varied backgrounds – all driven by the one mission, to reduce the number of deaths by drowning, both here in Australia and overseas.
Maria C Porter
Tanya Carmont - President and Treasurer
I have been a swim instructor for over 20 years and started with volunteering to teach swimming and water safety at Narrabeen rock pool in their learn to swim program. In 2010 I created a program at Collaroy rock pool now known as Collaroy Turtles. I have a passion to empower people no matter what age or ability to be safe around the aquatic environment helping them to enjoy the water experience.
I feel that giving back to my local community as well as helping developing countries in water safety techniques and swimming is an important role I have to play.
After my first volunteer experience in Vietnam with Swim Vietnam, I had an urge to be able to help others and so Water Skills for Life was born in March of 2011. I have a very dedicated Committee and volunteers who share the same passion as I do. In 2016 and 2019 I travelled again to Vietnam to assist Swim Vietnam under the Australian Governments AVI program. As WSFL already had a working relationship with Swim Vietnam and now as a partner organisation of AVI it was a good fit. We have achieved so much from our humble beginnings.
Mandy Mckay - Vice President
I joined Water Skills for Life as they have the same ideals and passions as I do about water safety and learning to swim. Helping the association achieve these goals, to assist those who are unable to afford lessons is important for our local community. Without programs like these and our volunteer swim instructors giving up their valuable time to teach water safety and swimming they would miss out on how to be safe around water bodies.
I was born at Manly and my mother came from UK where she never learnt to swim and was very fearful of the water. As a result my mother knew how important learning to swim was. Growing up on the northern beaches as a child I was taught to swim at Dee Why rock pool. Knowing the dangers at the beach and in our backyard pool I felt it important to have my children taught swimming and water safety at a very early age which they embraced. I am very excited to be involved with the association and I look forward to being part for a very long time.
Maria Caluya - Porter - Secretary
Having grown up near the beach, I have always loved to swim and surf and snorkel. Now as a mum to two adult children our family are involved in everything from swimming, surfing, snorkelling, water polo and lifesaving.
Our family believe it's important that everyone has the opportunity to learn how to swim and we love nothing more than to see WSFL participants achieve their goals of being water safe and enjoying the wonderful Northern Beaches.
Mary Houten - Assistant Secretary
After teaching swimming for 8 years I wanted to use my skills on a different level which resulted in volunteer work. I could see the great work Tanya Carmont was doing and decided to give her a hand as I knew I had a lot to offer to her organisation. I love teaching swimming and seeing the progress of each student is so rewarding.
My children are grown up so I now have more time to volunteer and hopefully make a difference.
Joanne Ritchie - Assistant treasurer
I joined water skills for life 8 years ago and trained as a swim teacher. I have a passion for teaching others to swim and supporting them through each step. I have been an active committee member for the past few years and enjoy the commitment that the team has to help with the prevention of drowning and teaching others less fortunate to be able to swim.
I live on the northern beaches and have two adult children and as a family we all enjoy the aquatic environment and know the importance of being safe in and around the water. I really enjoy being with a committed team and supporting the mission of the organisation and being part of this important initiative for our local community.
Nicki McLachlan - Website Admin
I have lived on the Northern Beaches all my life and Water Skills for Life is very close to my heart. As a child I was at Narrabeen Beach and got caught in a rip current, if it was not for the surfboard rider who was nearby and saw I was in trouble I don’t think I would be here today.
Since this time I have developed a very healthy respect for the ocean and understand how easy it can be to get into difficulty when swimming. My skills and experience as a web designer has allowed me to help Water Skills for Life get the water safety message out. I am also an AUSTSWIM qualified swim instructor and volunteer to teach swimming for Water Skills for Life Swim Programs.
Sandi Edwards - Social Media Admin
I’ve been with WSFL since it started, 2010 I’m a volunteer Swim Teacher. I’m also a part of the team that helps to develop the swim programs for WSFL & I’m one of the Social Media Administrators – creating content & photographing the programs that we run.
I believe in the need to make swimming lessons, & water safety, accessible to all people, no matter their age, cultural background, or financial situation. WSFL does this. I love what WSFL offers the community. I continue to enjoy teaching people to swim, & become safe around the water.
Social Media Admin