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.


Tanya Carmont, President

I have been a swim instructor for number of years and have volunteered to teach swimming at Narrabeen and Collaroy rockpools. 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 Vietnam experience, I had an urge to be able to help others and so Water Skills for Life began. I have a very dedicated Committee who share the same passion as I do.


Mandy McKay, Vice President and Assistant Registrar Collaroy Turtles

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.


Noeleen Ellevsen, Secretary and Registrar Collaroy Turtles

Having grown up near the beach, I have always loved to swim and surf and snorkel. Now as a mum to two teens 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 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 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.


Sue Bennett, Treasurer, Administration Officer and Swim and Survive Coordinator

Having done volunteer work helping others for many years on land, and after moving to the beach nearly 10 years ago, soon followed a big change in my career. I’ve always loved the water, so became a swim teacher/coach for children and adults. That’s when I contacted WSFL to become a volunteer to help those from all walks of life be safe in and around the sea, and have never looked back. It’s so rewarding, and I simply love it!


Nicki McLachlan, Website & Multimedia Manager

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.


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