Meet our wonderful team of swimming teachers and trainers


HEIDI CRAIG

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor Sports Tourism Management
  • Bronze Swim Coach
  • Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • Austswim Assessor
  • Pool Lifeguard
  • CPR qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“I enjoy working with children of all different ages and abilities. I love seeing results and the enjoyment on the children’s faces when they learn a new skill for the first time, or move up to the next level. I also enjoy working with a great team of staff.”

 

ELIZABETH WATTS

Qualifications:

  • Deck Supervisor and LTS teacher
  • Austswim qualified
  • CPR qualified
  • Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • School Swimming Supervisor
  • Holiday Intensive Supervisor
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“Teaching children has always been a huge passion in my life. To watch a child grow and become more confident in themselves is so rewarding. Swimming does not come naturally to all children; many are crippled by fear. Working with these children through their fears is such an honour, while am also teaching them a skill for life.

From my youngest student to my eldest it’s an absolute joy to come to work and encourage, guide and teach each and every one of them.

I often say, ‘It is a bonus I get paid for what I do’.

Supervising and leading a great team brings opportunity for me, and it also allows me to know the parents on a more personal level. Bridging this gap between teacher and parent is an important role. It’s vital to keep communication flowing and it helps GSAC to provide better services for families.”

 

LINDIE SHRESTHA

Qualifications:

  • LTS Teacher
  • Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • Swim Australia Bronze Coach
  • Bachelor of Education (Secondary)
  • First Aid and CPR qualified
  • Member of Australian Swimming Teachers and Coaches Association
  • Member of NSW Swimming
  • Expertise in Learn to Swim 0-6, stroke development and coaching
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“I began teaching Learn to Swim after the birth of my first child. Previously, I had been working as a high school teacher. I wanted to combine my love of teaching with my love of swimming, and so made the perfect career change. I have now been teaching Learn to Swim for seven years, and coaching for nearly three years. As a teacher I have always been passionate about helping young people learn and develop their potential to achieve success. Learning to swim is an essential skill, and saves lives. It's also an amazing and fun way to keep fit and healthy.

I love competing in triathlons and running events. Training with a squad is a great way to learn new skills and drills, and stay motivated and focused on the goal/event ahead. After all, it doesn't matter how old or young, tall or short, big or small you are, swimming is something anyone can master (and get faster) if they get the right support.”

 

DAVID GALLPEN

Qualifications;

  • Swim Australia Teacher
  • Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Pool Lifeguard
  • CPR and First Aid qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being a LTS teacher?

"I love teaching kids to be safe and have fun in the water. Swimming is a skill for life and to be able to be part of the journey is so rewarding. Seeing kids grow in confidence and improve their abilities in the water is amazing to watch. I’m lucky enough to be able to teach from babies right through to squad, so watching this early age grow and build a love for the water is something I love the most."
 

 

PATRICIA BAILEY (TRISH)

  • Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • Teacher of Learners with Disability
  • CPR and First Aid qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“I see myself as a dedicated swimming instructor and I love teaching children to build confidence within a caring and friendly environment. Over the years of teaching I have developed great strategies in keeping a child’s attention to achieve at an appropriate rate. I am a proud team member of our award-winning program and I’ve enjoyed watching the achievements of our children.”


 

KIRBY EDWARDS

Qualifications:

  • Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • CPR qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

"I have always considered myself incredibly lucky to be exposed to the water at such a young age. After working on the ocean for a few years, I was reminded how important it was to be competent and comfortable with the water. This led me to become a swim teacher. In Australia, with water sports being a way of life, we have the opportunity to teach people to not only be comfortable and safe in the water but also to enjoy it! I thoroughly enjoy watching children and adults grow to love the water and feel comfortable and confident developing a skill that will stay with them for life. I have had the privilege to teach various ages from babies through to adults and I enjoy the challenge that each personality presents and look forward to many more."



BRIAN DEAS

Qualifications:

  • Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • CPR qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“Swimming is a huge part of my life and I have now been swimming competitively for over 30 years. I swim at least 15 kilometres every week. I have had some great coaches and mentors over the years and I am loving being able to pass on my knowledge and experience to the kids that do Learn to Swim at GSAC Swimsations. Teaching swimming is such a rewarding and important job and no two shifts are ever the same. Seeing the kids progress through the program and gain their confidence and independence in the water is a great feeling.”

 

KELLI WICKHAM

Qualifications:

  • Studying a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science at SCU
  • Austswim qualified
  • Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • CPR and First Aid qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“As a Learn to Swim Instructor, I love being able to see the kids enjoying their swimming lesson, as well as watching them improve!”

 

 

SIAN SMITH

Qualifications:

  • Australian Swimming Coaches and Teaching Association credited Swim Australia Teacher
  • Senior First Aid Certificate
  • CPR qualified
  • Working with Children Check
  • Cert III Children Services

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“The role of being a Learn to Swim teacher is an incredibly rewarding one. I love the improvements in confidence and skill, big or small, each student achieves week to week. I believe that learning to be a confident, aware and safe swimmer is incredibly important and a vital life skill. Especially since we live in such a beautiful part of the world, being lucky enough to be surrounded by rivers, lakes, dams and beaches.

I love all the different types of personalities I get to teach. Each child is unique and responds to different types of teaching styles and approaches. It’s great engaging with the children, finding the best way I can to teach them to improve as individual swimmers.

I not only get fulfilment in teaching such an important life skill, but I also learn something new each time I step into the water that helps me improve as a teacher – I am a big believer in lifelong learning and for me, being a Learn to Swim instructor encompasses this.”


 

JESS THODEY

Qualifications:

  • Swim Australia Teacher
  • First Aid
  • Advanced CPR
  • Accredited Lifeguard
  • Working with Children Check
  • Diploma of Sport Development
  • Studying a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

"Swimming has been my passion since I was young. I grew up swimming both competitively and for fitness so becoming a swim instructor felt like a natural progression. I enjoy teaching children of all ages and abilities, and helping them grow in confidence and skill. I love the dynamic nature of lessons and being able to incorporate the many different personalities into each class to make learning to swim fun and engaging for everyone."

 

 

BRONWYN HALLER

Qualifications:

  • LTS teacher
  • Surf Lifesaving Australia Bronze Medallion
  • First Aid and CPR qualifications
  • Member of Australian Swim Teachers and Coaches Association
  • Working With Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

"I grew up by the Murray River, and have always believed that swimming is an essential life skill that everyone should learn. When we moved to the Northern Rivers, I joined our local surf lifesaving club as A continuation and expansion of my family's love of swimming. I am an active surf lifesaver and help out with Nippers; I also coach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so becoming a Learn To Swim Teacher was a natural progression. Teaching people to swim is very rewarding, and it's wonderful to see their skills and confidence grow."

 

JAKIRA TONIELLO

Qualifications:

  • Austswim Qualified swimming teacher
  • Working with Children Check
  • First aid and CPR qualified

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“Sport has always been a huge part of my life, actually it’s my entire life. From a young age I was always told I would be a great teacher. So I combined my love for sport and my passion for teaching, allowing me to do a job that I love which involves both.”

 

 

 

CLAIRE MCCULLOCH

Qualifications:

  • LTS Teacher
  • Teacher of Learners with Disability
  • Bachelor of Sport & Exercise Science (final year)
  • First Aid & CPR
  • Working with Children Check
  • Member of Australian Swimming Teachers and Coaches Association

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“Being an LTS teacher has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. Everyday I get to see students of all ages discover new ways of moving; teaching them how to go faster, how to become stronger, how to push through. Seeing the smile that overtakes their face when they finally master the skills they’ve worked so hard on, makes me feel incredibly proud of them and inspires me to keep learning and improving as a teacher.

My experiences and the knowledge I’ve gained from studying sport and exercise science has increased my understanding of human movement, development and psychology, giving me the tools to create an environment that is challenging, dynamic and supportive of their individual needs. It’s also fun teaching them about the biomechanics of body position in the water.

Swimming is a skill that everyone should have the opportunity to develop and I love that I have the privilege to introduce students to a whole new world where, with a little bit of practise, you even get to 'fly'.”

 

 

ELLY MOOSBERGER

Qualifications:

  • First Aid and CPR qualified
  • Working with Children Check
  • Austswim qualified

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“I have been swimming and loving the water for as long as I can remember, and I have always felt grateful that I have had the confidence and the skills to enjoy many activities that involve the water. I love that being a Learn to Swim instructor enables me to teach kids these certain skills that could potentially save their lives, which is something that they will never forget. The kids and staff at GSAC create a fun work environment that makes teaching thoroughly enjoyable.”

 

 

NARELLE CHILDS

Qualifications:

  • Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety 
  • Teacher of Infants and Toddlers 
  • CPR Qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“As the newest member of the team, I am still in training. I love the friendly approach of all the staff and their dedication and care towards the children. Teaching babies and young children how to swim has always been a career that interested me. I also am a passionate and competitive endurance horse rider and intend to utilise the commitment I have for my sport for this new career path I have chosen."