Women Walking on Water

The Inaugural Women Walking on Water seminar will be held on International Womens Day (Sunday 8 March 2020 in Melbourne). This event is a first for SwimSchoolers in Australia!

Primarily, it is for women wanting to enhance their career path and life balance in the Swim School Industry and those who are responsible for developing/nurturing such women in their Swim School. Sunday evening will see the Final of the Women’s T20 World Cup.


Women Walking on Water Seminar

Sunday 8th March 2020 – International Women’s Day & Final of Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup

Pre-event Networking-Social, Saturday 7th, from 5.00pm – 6.30pm @ the (tbc). Dinner on own.

Pullman Melbourne on the Park

MC: Jasmin Forsyth, Media Force Productions

Time Activity
8-8:30am Registration over Coffee
9:00am Welcome to Country
Women Walking on Water, Leigh Russell, CEO, Swimming Australia
Lead Like a Woman, Elena Gosse, CEO, AIS Water
Creating Delightful and Engaging Career Pathways for Women in our Swim Schools Workforce. Nicky Sloan, Rackley Swimming; Sue Mayo, Australian Crawl; Juanita Farrell, Paul Sadler Swimland; Camilla Merrilees, Carlile Swimming.
11:00am Networking over Refreshment Break
11:30am Redefining Success, Katrina McCarter, Marketing to Mums
My Swim School – Life Balance Journey, Lesley Rudd , Blue Dolphin Swim School

Group/Panel: Katrina McCarter, Marketing to Mums; Lesley Rudd, Blue Dolphin Swim School; Tracey Ayton, Little Heroes Swim Academy; Julia Ham, Hampton Swim School & Shona Pallas, Paul Sadler Swimland

1:00pm Networking over Lunch
2:00pm Young Guns Take Stage.
Make it Happen, Saskia Kirby, KirbySwim

Group/Panel: Saskia Kirby, Tara Hanias, Blue Dolphin Swim Centre; Dani Colosimo, Swimland; Jess James, Swimland; Emily McNeill, ASSA. Successful Mentoring Ross Gage, ASSA & Carlile Swimming; Adam Luscombe, YMCA; Julie Zancanaro, Hills Swimming; Saskia Kirby, KirbySwim

3:30pm Finish


ASSA MEMBERS (Tiers 1 & 2)

Pricing per person (includes sit down lunch);

1st person $250

2nd person $200

3rd person $150


Pricing per person (includes sit down lunch);

1st person $350

2nd person $300

3rd person $250


The Pullman Hotel, located across the road from the picturesque Fitzroy Gardens, is offering our Women Walking On Water Seminar guests a special rate! Click below for more information.

Special Rate


Since 2002, Saskia and her husband Bill have been running Kirby Swim in Perth, Western Australia. Kirby Swim currently has 5 locations and about 250 staff at any one time, and teaches around 5000 lessons per week. Saskia has a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, as well as  a post graduate degree in Marketing. Her passion and experience lies in Team Culture, Service delivery and marketing and communications.



Elena Gosse is the charismatic CEO and owner of Brisbane’s AIS Water, a multi-million-dollar turnover manufacturing company with over 40 staff.

She is recognised as a rule breaker and change maker in the male-dominated swimming pool industry. Her company’s water disinfection technology saves trillions of litres of water from being wasted from pools every day.

Through her authenticity, strength and vulnerability, Elena has overcome significant challenges to emerge triumphant as a leader and successful businesswoman.

Elena’s reputation as a disruptor extends beyond her professional life.

From her early years as a Russian immigrant, to her passion for public speaking, and being an advocate against domestic violence, she believes in championing the changes she wants to see in the world by leading the discussion AND leading by example.

Elena has won over 35 business awards, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds two university degrees.


Katrina McCarter 

Katrina McCarter is the CEO of Marketing to Mums, a marketing and research consultancy she founded in 2015. Katrina is a marketing strategist, best-selling author, award-winning speaker and business advisor who specialises in helping brands sell more effectively to the world’s most powerful consumer, mums. She has more than 18 years sales and marketing experience and she works with brands providing strategies, research, advice and board briefings to help them gain a competitive edge. Katrina is a data-driven marketer who regularly engages in research to deeply understand mothers across the world. She is the author of The Mother of All Opportunities and Marketing to Mums. In December 2018 she launched the world’s first podcast about marketing to mothers and it debuted at #6 on the Apple Podcast Business Charts in Australia. Katrina is a sought-after media commentator and global conference speaker. Katrina holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and an MBA. She is a mother of three teenagers and lives in Melbourne, Australia.


Leigh Russell 

Leigh Russell GAICD was appointed as Swimming Australia CEO in April 2018. She is an accomplished sports leader, having developed a successful career building, growing and leading across challenging high performance environments, including working with a number of AFL teams, the AFL Players Association, Melbourne Vixens, and a number of national and state sporting organisations. She was the first woman to hold a senior executive position within an AFL Club (working across football and administration) and the youngest CEO appointed in Netball Victoria’s history.

Leigh also built a successful management consultancy and coaching practice – Inspired Heads, working with sport and corporate organisations around leadership, high performance, governance, building positive cultures and executive coaching. She established ‘The Ignition Project’ – an online leadership and personal development program for women. With a deep understanding of governance, she has previously served as Chair of Tennis Victoria’s Nominations Committee, a Director of the State Sport Centres Trust, and is a former Chair of Women’s Health West and Director of AFL SportsReady.

Leigh serves as a Special Advisor to the Male Champions of Change (Sport) and is also a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW). Founded in 1985, CEW represents more than 560 of Australia’s most senior and distinguished women leaders, whose shared vision is ‘women leaders enabling other women leaders’, which Leigh lives by mentoring and advocating for women in sport.

Leigh holds a Bachelor of Arts, Graduate Diploma Social Science (Education), Graduate Diploma in Career Counselling for Elite Performers, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business. She is a professional member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Human Resources Institute. Leigh is also a Myers Briggs Practitioner and an Extended DISC® Accredited Consultant and Trainer.

Cancellation Policy. Refunds will be granted based on the following date schedule:

  1. Cancellations received by 8th February 2020:  refunds will be processed with a A$50 service charge applied per person of cancellation.
  2. Cancellations received after 8th February 2020, but before 23rd February 2020: refunds will be processed with a A$100 service charge per person applied.
  3. Cancellations received after 23rd February are not eligible for refunds.

Substitutions. Substitutions will be allowed at any time.  If you are unable to attend, registered attendees can change the name of the registration to a substitute at no charge.

No Shows. There will be no refunds for no-shows.



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