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the moniker #WDP36, to find a list of 36 leading women celebrated for their contribution to Drowning Prevention across the globe. Amongst these change makers was Surf Life Saving Australia’s very own National Learning and Development Manager, Pamela Simon.

International Lifesaving Services from all around the world contributed nominations with one key criteria; that they play an active role at the forefront of drowning prevention.

The number of finalists, 36, reflects the work that is being contributed to reduce and prevent 360,000 drowning deaths that occur globally each year.

It’s a significant step internationally to increase the visibility of women working in drowning prevention and highlight the contribution of women in advancing both research and practice across the globe. By celebrating the leading female voices, and their work the campaign offer role models to young women in the industry.

The nomination took Pamela by surprise, she was put forward during the twitter campaign by Dan Graham of Nile Swimmers who sits on the ILS Rescue Commission and Education Committee along side Pamela.

Pamela has worked for Surf Life Saving in Learning and Development since 2007, and been involved internationally since 2012. She is the Chair of the Education Committee for ILS and sits on the Rescue Commission for ILS.

Speaking after she was announced on the #WDP36, Pamela said “I was shocked to be nominated, but totally surprised to get on the list. I saw the article announcing the 36 names on Facebook not realising that I had made the list. I’m totally humbled to be on there with these other amazing women who do so much more than me, and the many others who are not on there that deserve to be.”

“What we have now is a list of accessible females who are experts in their individual field within the drowning prevention arena, an historically male dominated area. Women have a different voice.” Pamela continued.

The #WPD36 (in alphabetical order) are:

Elizabeth “Tizzy” Bennett

Oversees the Drowning Prevention Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital with expertise in preventing drowning in at-risk immigrant populations

Jennifer Blitvich

Australian professor with expertise in injury prevention and risk management in aquatic environments

Ruth Brenner

American expert on portable pools and child drowning

Barbara Byers

Public Education Director of Lifesaving Society in Canada

Tessa Clemens

Canadian Researcher at Sick Kids Hospital leading on non-fatal drowning

Kathy Collingsworth

Founder of Joshua Collingsworth Memorial Foundation, drowning prevention charity in Nebraska, USA

Shelley Dalke

Canadian Red Cross Director of Swimming and Water Safety Programmes

Joan Duncan

Canadian long-time advocate for women and youth representation in drowning prevention

Mai Elamin & Sabrina Kashif

General Secretary and Vice President at Nile Swimmers working together to promote women and water safety in Sudan

Christina Fonfe

Founder of Women’s Swimming Project in Sri Lanka

Suchada Germongkolgam

Programme Manager for National Drowning Prevention Programme in Thailand and advocate for nationwide drowning prevention strategies

Fiona Gosling

Founder of Josh the Otter Foundation, drowning prevention charity in Nebraska, USA

Emma Harrison

Operations Manager at Royal Life Saving Society – Commonwealth

Natalie Hood

Australian doctor with focus on drowning physiology and treatment

Rebecca Ivers

Director of Injury Division at The George Institute

Jagnoor Jagnoor

Head of the Injury Division at The George Institute, India Office with focus on drowning prevention in LMICs including Bangladesh

Olive Kobusingye

Ugandan doctor and researcher with focus on LMIC injury and drowning prevention

Justine Leavy

Australian academic with focus on collaboration for evidence, research and impact in public health

Caroline Lukaszyk

Public health researcher working on community drowning prevention programmes for different cultural contexts

Jo-ann Morris

Co-founder of Samuel Morris Foundation and water safety advocate with focus on improving understanding of burden of non-fatal drowning

Helen Morton

Royal National Lifeboat Institute International Head of Advocacy

Lauren Nimmo

Senior Manager for Promotion and Research at Royal Life Saving Western Australia

Joan Ozanne-Smith

Australian public health researcher with focus on injury prevention

Amy Peden

Researcher at Royal Life Saving Australia leading on non-fatal drowning and river drownings in Australia

Linda Quan

Emergency medicine doctor and drowning prevention researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital with an interest in at-risk immigrant communities

Ana Catarina Queiroga

Portuguese drowning prevention researcher and co-founder of the International Drowning Researchers’ Alliance

Nadina Riggsbee

Children’s health advocate who initiated the Swimming Pool Fencing Law in USA after her toddlers drowned in a backyard pool, one fatally and the other non-fatally

Rebecca Wear Robinson

American drowning prevention advocate and CEO of Make The Minute Matter

Colleen Saunders

South African researcher and chair of Lifesaving South Africa’s Scientific Advisory Committee

Bhagabati Sedain

Nepalese social scientist collecting drowning data in Nepal to identify appropriate interventions

Pamela Simon

National Learning and Development Manager at Surf Life Saving Australia

Jenny Smith

UK lecturer in sport and exercise psychology who consults for Amateur Swimming Association and Royal Lifesaving Society UK

Carolyn Staines

Australian researcher in forensic medicine

Teresa Stanley

New Zealand researcher with focus on water competence and drowning risk education

Elizabeth Towner

Expert advisor to the World Health Organisation’s Panel on Injury and Violence Prevention

Asma Ul Hosna

Training Coordinator for Saving of Lives from Drowning at Centre for Injury Prevention and Research, Bangladesh

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