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.”


 

ASHLEY WAIN (COACH)

  • Bronze Swim coach
  • Austswim qualified
  • Senior First Aid
  • CPR qualified
  • Working With Children Check

What do you love about being a swimming coach?

“I love working with children and watching them grow as individuals through swimming and sport. Helping them with their technique and watching them get satisfaction out of improving themselves is something I really enjoy. Guiding each individual to their own personal best is what it’s all about - even if that doesn’t mean first place. It’s gaining skills and confidence that really matters. Of course, as a coach, having a bit of a competitive edge helps too!”

 

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."

 

 

JAYDEN GOOLEY

Qualifications:

  • Teacher of swimming and water safety.
  • CPR qualified
  • Working with Children Check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

"I love the satisfaction that comes when a child finally learns something I've been trying to teach them, especially if it took a long long time, and I love how to children look up to you."

 

 

 


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!”

 

 

SARAH BRANSGROVE

Qualifications:

  • Austswim Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety
  • CPR and First Aid qualified
  • Working with Children’s Check (NSW and QLD)

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“I have been involved in swimming for many years, giving me a lot of opportunities to represent swimming and waterpolo at various levels. This has taken me all over Australia, allowing me to experience and learn for a variety of highly experienced coaches.

I love being able to bring what I have been taught to the kids I am teaching, seeing them progress and achieve new challenges. I believe learning to swim is an essential skill for everyone and it is very rewarding and a great feeling when you can see a child become confident and safely independent in the water.”

 

 

DANIEL LANGE

Qualifications:

  • Swim Australia (ASCTA)
  • Teacher of toddlers
  • CPR Qualified
  • Working with children check

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“Growing up on the beach, I learnt to swim at an early age and made it a way of life – surfing, swimming regularly and competing at a state and regional level. I’m very passionate about teaching kids swimming and I love to see kids learning new skills and growing in confidence. I also enjoy teaching my own kids how to swim and I feel it’s a necessity as we live so close to the ocean.

Fitness is a big part of my life and I’m passionate about health, wellbeing and good food. Here at Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre, all our staff are well trained in water safety, very friendly and will greet you with a smile, so come and introduce yourself and find out more about our learn to swim program.”

 

 

RACHEL PAULL

Qualifications:

  • Surf Lifesaving Patrol Member
  • Bronze Medallion
  • First Aid Certificate
  • Working With Children Check
  • Swim Teacher ASCTA qualified
  • Bachelor of Social Science

What do you love about being an LTS teacher?

“I enjoy teaching Learn to Swim as I want to be part of the solution in ensuring more children are safe to enjoy our beautiful region’s waterways. Swimming is a recreational and competitive activity that my family and I participate in regularly. I love being part of my students’ reward when they ‘get it’. Their newfound confidence leads them to want to swim more and is what makes me want to continue teaching Learn to Swim.”

 

 

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.”