Tassie women inspired at LSV leadership course

Tuesday 25 June 2024

Earlier this year Surf Life Saving Tasmania sought expressions of interest from women interested in attending Life Saving Victoria’s Ready To Lead Program.

The six-week program combines both face-to-face and online sessions to assist participants in emergency services and aquatics industries to recognise the impact they have as leaders, and take newfound skills back to their organisations.

One of the four women selected by SLST was Janelle Kingston from Kingston Beach SLSC who was joined by Jacqueline de Jonge, Courtney Beswick and Laura Dixon in the program.

As the Junior Activities Coordinator for her club, Janelle wears a number of other hats and is involved in “anything else that happens to be volunteer-based at the club”. Given her heavy involvement in many senior roles, Janelle entered the program with the aim of being able to better contribute to the club.

“What I wanted to get out of it was to better my leadership skills as part of those roles that I have as a patrol captain and as a leader of the junior program,” she said. “But it ended up being more than that; it ended up being something that I can really value in my actual profession and my work role, and being able to take all the lessons I’ve learned out of this journey because they apply everywhere - be able to harness those additional skills to become a great leader.”

The Ready to Lead program brought together women from a multitude of organisations across Victoria and Tasmania including Life Saving Victoria, the Country Fire Association, Fire and Rescue Victoria, Ambulance Victoria and SES Victoria.

Janelle said that she was inspired by both those who facilitated the program and also those who she went through the program with.

“We were there with all of these amazing women who are already amazing leaders in their own right,” said Janelle. “I met other junior coordinators from clubs in Victoria so we now have a connection where we can collaborate - what works for you, what works for me - and create a big network.

“You also had all of these subject matter experts that are either volunteers in their own right or they were in a profession that was able to help with the content that was being provided.

“These speakers that spoke to us and told us their stories were just unbelievable. They were so awe-inspiring - it was a really great experience to understand where they’ve come from - the majority of them in volunteer roles, some of them were professionals, but where they’ve got to from being a humble little volunteer to where they are now is just incredible.”

Having gained so much from taking part in the program, Janelle hopes more women from Tasmania will want to take part in the future and take the skills back to their clubs where they already play a significant role.

“I see in my own club where we have more female members than men, our general committee is made up of eight women and two men,” she said. “The majority of our leadership roles are females and we have a youth committee coming through which is run by two of our young females.

“There are definitely so many opportunities and I think what we want to be able to achieve is to show these young women that there are these opportunities.”

Tassie women inspired at LSV leadership course