Aquatics and Recreation Victoria Awards – Swim Teacher with a Disability Winner

Eltham Leisure Centre’s Annaliese McDonald has been announced as the winner of the Swim Teacher for People With a Disability at the 2020 ARV Awards. The award follows on from another Eltham Leisure Centre teacher, Hannah O’Shea, also winning the Swim Teacher of Babies, Infants and Preschool award this year.

Following the launch of Eltham Leisure Centre’s new Access and Inclusion classes, Annaliese has demonstrated her passion and commitment to her students. Anneliese is an adaptive teacher who uses her care and compassion to build a communication repertoire with each of her students, she knows how to communicate with them on a good day, a moderate day and a rough day to get the best outcome for her students.

Anneliese has been volunteering with young people and adults with intellectual disabilities since 2015, giving a week of her time every school holiday’s to young people with Disabilities and Trauma. This shows Anneliese’s commitment and love of working with the access and inclusion environment and her passion to become a leader in this sector. Through volunteering Anneliese has created and facilitated creative and engaging activities for groups of young people with different intellectual and physical needs.

Lisa Wilson, Head of Swim School, praised Annaliese as a deserving winner.

“Annaliese is invested in providing students not only the best swimming education possible but also larger plans to help students reach their personal goals. I am so proud of the Eltham Leisure Centre team with two of our team members receiving individual award wins at this years ARV Awards”, said Ms Wilson.

Anneliese holds other roles within the community, working as an educator for children in occasional care and on holiday programs. Throughout Occasional Care she has created events such as ‘sensory Thursday’ to encourage children to develop sensory play skills, specifically for children with Autism, to play and discover new sensory experiences.

Anneliese goes above and beyond to make sure she understands each students’ additional needs and any medical conditions that may affect them.

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