Special Episode 9: Coalition & Collaboration Leaders

Episode 15 December 27, 2021 00:44:39
Special Episode 9: Coalition & Collaboration Leaders
The Water Safety Podcast
Special Episode 9: Coalition & Collaboration Leaders
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Show Notes

Join special guest hosts Will Koon & Tizzy Bennett for the 9th and final episode of a special podcast series as they interview coalition and collaboration leaders in drowning prevention. In this final interview they chat with Justin Scarr from Australia.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hi, Daisy. Hi. Well, this is our last interview, uh, and it's actually a bonus conversation. Um, that's going to take a little bit different form than our previous discussions. So tizzy and I are going to spend a little bit of time setting up this conversation. Um, and I'll just start with this. We have learned so much from each interview individually, and I, I think I've listened to all of them at least three times, and I take something new from, you know, every, every new listen. Um, and so individually we've learned a lot, but additionally, there's a really powerful themes and lessons from the interviews collectively. Um, and I, we just have to start here and say, we are so grateful for the time knowledge, expertise, experience, and advice and advice of those who chatted with fizzy and I, throughout the process, these conversations were so informative and so fun. Um, but it is important to note that there are so many more coalitions and leaders who are doing really meaningful work, but we didn't get to talk to, um, all that is to say that there's a lot left to learn in this space. Speaker 1 00:01:14 Well, you're so right. And I too want to echo my gratitude and appreciation. Uh, this has been an amazing journey that we've been on these last couple of months. So for this final interview, we are so pleased to spend some time with Justin scar. He's a true expert in drowning prevention, partnership and collaboration, as well as being a leader in drowning prevention efforts in Australia and globally. And for this conversation, we realized that instead of focusing exclusively on the Australian experience, we wanted to look more broadly at some of the takeaways we heard from all of the interviews and reflect on these topics with Justin as a thought leader in the space. We also want you to know Justin as our friend and colleague as well, and we've worked with him and we've had fun with him, and we just felt like this brought even more meaning to the conversation to be able to spend time together. All right, well, as we prep for this conversation with Justin, what else do we need to know? Speaker 0 00:02:27 Okay, so some logistical context, tizzy and Justin and I had several discussions, uh, before our conversation on how to frame this and what we wanted to accomplish, uh, in that process, Justin actually listened to every interview that we have done. So he's stepping into this, having already listened to all the interviews Speaker 1 00:02:54 And from there, he provided us with a really thoughtful, written reflection. And we based our conversation around a few major themes. And those include framing the issue from multiple perspectives, multiple stakeholders, leadership, and coalition architecture, and strategy. And while we focus more on these broader themes that we heard in the other interviews, Justin also brings in his perspective and a few examples from the Australian experience. Speaker 0 00:03:27 So any interview, you're going to hear a couple of things. Uh, Justin does briefly mention the UN resolution on global drowning prevention, which the United nations general assembly passed just a few months ago. Um, there has been years of advocacy around elevating drowning prevention on a global stage. Uh, and I I'd highly recommend that you, uh, look a little bit more into that process and how the UN resolution, um, has opened new doors for those working in drowning prevention. One other term that you're going to hear Justin use is, uh, ministry. So when Justin uses the term ministry and he's referring to a government department, so he might say something like the ministry of health, uh, for the, for us in the states, uh, just replace that word with department. So health department, transportation ministry, transportation department, the ministry is just a government department Speaker 1 00:04:20 And there's one other term NGO that stands for a non-governmental organization and basically refers to any organization. That's not part of government that could be a nonprofit, a community-based organization or foundation as examples. So now it is my great pleasure to shift us into our reflection conversation with Justin scar, Speaker 0 00:04:50 Justin tizzy. And I are so happy to spend some time with you today. Reflecting on lessons learned from the interviews with state water safety coalition leaders, we are so grateful for you and your work and your leadership and global water safety. Um, and for the time that you spent listening to the interviews and your willingness to chat with us today, uh, I'm really looking forward to digging into some of your insights and reflections from those interviews, uh, and more broadly your thoughts and perspectives on drowning prevention, partnerships, and collaboration. So for those listening, Justin scar is the chief executive officer of the Royal lifesaving society Australia. He is the chair of the Australian water safety council and has been the convener of multiple world conferences on drowning prevention. Justin is a leading advocate and an expert in the development of drowning prevention partnerships at local national and global scales, and has served in a variety of roles, advising global drowning prevention initiatives with the world health, uh, the Bloomberg foundation and other international non-governmental groups. On top of all of this, Justin is working on a PhD at the Georgia Institute of global health in Sydney. Uh, and his project is focused on drowning prevention partnership. So Justin, I'm hoping we can start off by having you describe quickly how you got into water safety and yeah. Kind of what your entry pathways, Speaker 2 00:06:23 Uh, look, thanks for the introduction. We'll, it's a, it's it makes me sound like I'm, my life is all about water safety and drowning prevention, but absolutely no fun at a dinner party. Right. Um, but it's, it's really, it's really great to join the podcast. I've really been enjoying, um, all of the interviews that you've been doing. But my, my drowning prevention story is, uh, um, is it's not really all that impressive. Um, I was a school teacher once upon a time. Um, I took off traveling around the country, around the globe. Um, when I was traveling, I went to some wonderful places, including Vietnam. Um, and then, um, when I came back to reality and needed to find another job, I decided I wasn't going to be a school teacher. Um, the Royal lifesaving society Australia, I had a friend, I had a friend working there and they had been approached by the Australian government to help with a lifeguard program in Vietnam, Indonesia, Vietnam, in fact. Speaker 2 00:07:13 Um, and so, uh, you know, the people that hadn't left the country, um, you know, and they needed someone who had some context to Vietnam. Um, and so I met with them a few times just to give them a little bit of background on the country and, uh, and all of its wonderful elements in, in those stages. Um, and they offered me a job and here I am probably 25 years later. Um, I've had some really wonderful experiences, both domestically and also internationally. Um, it, uh, the, the, the, the project that I thought I'd be working on back in 1998 was canceled. And it took me another 12 years to get back to Vietnam where we hosted the world conference on drowning prevention in Vietnam. Um, and, you know, I have a real energy for the global perspective that was, uh, certainly a real eye-opener was being introduced to, um, the work in Bangladesh from, uh, Dr. Speaker 2 00:08:00 Amina ramen at the center for injury prevention in about 2003 and four. And for me, that was a real game changer. Um, before that I thought I was very much a water safety guy, um, very passionate about swimming and water safety. I think the Bangladesh experience gave me a sense of the magnitude of drowning, um, but also a public health approach, um, working with, um, the Alliance for safe children over those years in building that program. And, um, and, uh, sort of opened up my eyes to the possibility for, um, working with a range of stakeholders and sectors to solve problems that we're all collectively very passionate about. Speaker 0 00:08:38 Well, thank you for that. And, yeah, thanks for your work in this space over the past. Yeah. That a couple of decades now, something that I've heard you say before that I'd like you to kind of describe a little bit is I've heard you advocate in other spaces that we a platform for drowning prevention. So I'm wondering if you would describe what is a platform for drowning prevention and why do we need one? Speaker 2 00:09:05 Yeah, I guess my, my version of a platform is, is it's more of a stage than table. I thought I heard many of your coalitions talk about this notion of a table and bringing people, uh, other stakeholders sectors to a table to debate and talk. Um, I think my version of a platform is a little bit broader than just a table to discuss plans. I think a platform includes, um, you know, clarity of vision and mission, and it includes, um, uh, some sense of strategy. And I see strategy different to planning. Um, I think lots of coalitions have plans, but they sort of lack a little bit of clarity around the strategy. Um, and then there's gotta be room enough on this platform for, for, um, for all of the groups that are currently playing in the water safety, drowning prevention world. Um, but all of those, not yet currently engaged or playing, um, and in many respects, those sectors are far more important than the ones that are currently engaged in the issues. Speaker 2 00:10:01 So, um, so when we talk about a global platform to reduce drowning, it was, uh, it was a solid foundation. It was a, you know, a stage that, that provided opportunities for everyone. We had clarity of vision and strategy and purpose. Um, and you know, there's a table there somewhere in that table. Ha you know, it's, it's a metaphor for the governance of, of this platform. Um, we've used, um, in many cases we've talked about a global partnership. Um, you know, you interviewed Steve BM and he's certainly, um, collectively, you know, very passionate about this idea globally to create an architecture where, um, all groups, irrespective of their, you know, the common thread is here. We're all, we all want to reduce drowning. We all want to prevent drowning, but we bring a very different, um, collection of, uh, experiences, um, a very different collection of sciences, um, a very different collection of ideologies in many respects. Speaker 2 00:10:51 And we need to create forums where, um, we can all get together and work and, and, and harness our energy and strengths. And, um, there's gotta be a good balance between the, the, the passions of the NGO sector, their ability to mobilize, you know, people in the field, lifeguard, swimming instructors, um, with the interests of the academic sector. Um, and then of course, none of this will work without government buying in and leaning in for that matter, not just buying in, but leaning in, it's not just their money we want. Um, it's, it's their transformative power in terms of policy and, um, and making things happen at a, at a system level that's really valuable and important. I really sort of drew a lot of energy from your coalition interviews because, you know, a lot of my time is spent pondering this at a global level. Um, but I think you give some really good examples of, you know, the sort of transformation that can happen when, um, water safety planning and coordination is localized. So many of your coalition examples really had some power, um, were really strongly nested down at that local community. And they were doing the sorts of things we've been talking about globally, but doing it in the context of their local communities and then building up. So that grassroots approach, um, I found that I found that came out really strongly in a couple of the examples, podcasts Speaker 1 00:12:07 Think, gosh, that just really speaks to thinking about what the role is of a state coalition or network versus a local level. I wondered if we can stay on this platform concept for a little bit longer and talk about the actual stakeholders involved. And, um, you used a term when we were getting ready for our, our discussion today positionality. And I realized, I wasn't even sure what you meant by that. And was it around formal and informal positions or who may be coming in, who is, uh, an executive director versus the, the, the lifeguard who's there at the beach responding. And, and so it made me think of all kinds of things around those stakeholders who are involved. And I wondered if you could speak to that. Speaker 2 00:12:59 Um, yeah, look, I think I made the word up. I'm not sure I should Google it, but what I was trying to explain is that, that all of your podcasts, um, were really, the first thing I got from them was, um, an understanding that the, um, um, the, the position of the individual talking and I don't mean their role or title, or that they were the president of the water safety coalition, but, but essentially where they stood and where they looked at the problem and the solution, that position, um, was very, very different. Um, and so you, you know, you had Ralph Gotto with tremendous manner. Um, um, and, and, and, you know, he was adaptive in a sense that he, you know, he wanted his service to take, um, uh, adopt sort of a proactive preventional approach. So, um, and then you had like, uh, you know, uh, Tony, I think it was at a real public health perspective. Speaker 2 00:13:52 So, you know, w um, you know, Ralph, as an example of sitting there, sort of standing there watching water safety, he's, he's initially looking at it from a lifeguard perspective. Um, uh, Tony is looking at it from a very, um, uh, public health perspective. Um, and then you had some other examples where they were looking at it from a swimming and water safety perspective. So everyone sort of has a different position or take on, uh, the problem. And it also impacts on their perspective on what the solutions might be. And I think this is the water safety challenge or the drowning prevention challenges. We've got to recognize that our bag of tricks, um, and we all, we all come to these conversations with a bag of tricks and, you know, wills tricks. Traditionally, might've been, um, you know, lifeguard service and, and all of the tools of rescue. Speaker 2 00:14:40 And then with his public health background and experience. Now he's got a bag of tricks that are around, um, you know, data and analysis and, um, and, and, you know, Utz, you, you know, you've got a bag tricks as well, but so the positionality sense was just when coalitions are formed, um, those initial initiating vehicles, the people involved their leadership, bringing a perspective on the problem, and also probably are able to heavily influence the sorts of solutions that are the first solutions that are chosen. So the framing of the problem is incredibly important, and we should recognize that we all bring a different perspective on the problem. We kind of all come from very different perspectives and bring a different take on, on water safety. And I guess the key to whether it's a platform, whether it's a coalition, whether it's something formal, like a partnership, um, is, is to design some architecture that, that, um, I think focuses on, you know, the individuals and populations we're most trying to influence. Um, and, uh, you know, we all recognize we've got a bag of tricks, but collectively what's important is, uh, you know, our strategy and our, our cohesion and our leadership and what sort of impact we have at a community level. Speaker 1 00:15:51 I've always thought one plus one is more than two and keep bringing people together. And it's definitely more than Speaker 0 00:15:58 Your comments are so salient. I think for so many groups in the states right now who are, um, either looking at forming local partnerships or statewide groups, um, and again, thinking for the, the us national water safety action plan being released next year, what advice or guidance would you offer these groups as they come together from all of these different perspectives? Um, and for people listening and, and we'll just call this out, right. I am a ocean lifeguard and a public health data nerd. Like, what advice would you offer to people like me or people in the swimming safety sector, or people in coming at this from sport or recreation or government, how can we best stand on the platform together, um, acknowledging and bringing our own bag of trips, but also be ready to learn from others and advance a collective multi-sectorial agenda. Speaker 2 00:16:59 Um, look, I, I mean, I think that the last bit is key here. If it's a multi-sectoral agenda, um, you've kind of got to recognize that, um, you, you you're, um, you know, what, you know, coming into that conversation is really important. Um, but the links you're able to make and how quickly you can make links to others in that coalition or in that room, or in that discussion, um, how quickly you can build bridges to their interests and experiences or the resources they bring. Um, but potentially the more effective the quicker, the more effective you're going to be collectively at identifying the, what the, how, um, of, of, of what needs to done to be done and what might make a difference. So, you know, I think the people that are having real impact in these coalitional contexts, whether it's nationally or local level, um, other people that are able to build bridges between sectors. Speaker 2 00:17:51 Um, and I, you know, I think we misuse the word sector quite quite often, but, you know, the bridges might be between the lifeguards and the public health, um, groups. So, you know, the, the, the Hawaiian examples, a really good example of those two, those two expertise, you know, the, the, uh, the expertise of the ocean lifeguards, um, matched with a public health expertise that both speaking very different languages, but in your podcast in Hawaii, it was very difficult to tell the two apart. I mean, um, you know, Ralph was, was talking a language of public health, and you could hear, um, you know, sort of a, a warmth and a, and a shared commitment. So, you know, I, I really think that people that are making a difference in these conversations are, are those that are able to meet in the middle of the room. Speaker 2 00:18:35 Um, they're not the ones that are sitting in the, in the, in the corners, just talking to their life gut friends or their swimming instructor, friends, or their academic friends, or their public health friends. Um, but those people in a room or in a conversation or in a system, um, that are able to build bridges between the two. Um, and so I think, you know, if you think about the great people, um, you know, in all of our communities, um, you know, they're the ones that are able to talk to languages and bring groups together. I think they're the ones that are having, you know, a huge amount of impact. I mean, you know, you interviewed Steve, Dr. Steve beam, and he's a bridge. Um, you know, he's a bridge between his, his tremendous sort of life saving life guard pedigree, and his, uh, his medical expertise in public health. Speaker 2 00:19:18 Um, David Walker is a bridge. Um, he's a bridge between the injury prevention science. So most of his day job is not water safety. It involves road traffic and, and child safety. And he's bridging to water safety and finding links across the traditional water safety sector across the UK to create some, some great energy and, you know, tizzy you've been, uh, you know, you've been a wonderful bridge, lean the client as a bridge. Um, if you think about the Dr. Klein, you know, she's got that tremendous grounding in public health. Um, and, and, you know, she's certainly led the way in terms of recognizing, um, that, you know, water safety is not about Speedo wearing swimmers. It's actually about the people who don't wear Speedos and canyons come from cultural backgrounds that are not, don't have the water prowess that so many of us in the conversation, uh, you know, hold dear to our heart. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:20:09 That bridge building aspect is so key to leadership. And we clearly heard about leadership and leadership structures in these interviews and where each of the people that we spoke to saw themselves in that role. And also in thinking about the way the, the leadership aspect of these coalitions, whether it was a committee or a person, or all of those pieces that create leadership. And, um, Justin, can you, uh, talk about what reflections you have from listening to these interviews and from your own, um, all the work that you've done in your own experiences? Speaker 2 00:20:54 Um, yeah, there were, there was some really great examples of, um, of, of leadership. Like there was some really strong individuals, um, in, uh, and I'm, I'm struggling for, for names, whether it was Arizona or perhaps Florida, but just this idea that there were already these community coalitions, lots of little layers at a community level, probably with, uh, you know, with great passion and interests and, you know, probably go, I don't know. But, um, and that somehow this coalition had been successful in bringing those groups together, lots of little leadership cells. So, you know, I think sometimes, um, you know, people have a, uh, you know, a false assumption that, you know, the leadership is up and you look at the top of the triangle and there's the leader, but actually the community leadership is probably, um, you know, an organizational leadership is, is, you know, I mean, leaders within organizations that are prepared to accept their organization will not have all the answers. Speaker 2 00:21:49 Um, one plus a month, they'll, they'll be stronger by forming links with others that sort of humility and leadership I think is, is really important when we're talking about water safety, because, you know, let's, let's be Frank like individually. Um, as organizations, we have strong, strong passion that we, you know, and a great strong conviction that we know the answer, and we know the solution and we've been robbed, you know, organizations like YMCAs and, um, you know, surf, lifesaving, Australia, Royal lifesaving, Australia, the swim teachers association. We have strong conviction that we ha we know the problem and we know the answers. Um, but there's lots of leadership I think is important in, in coalition building is, is, is those leaders that recognize perhaps they don't have all of the answers nor all of the solutions. Um, but what's more important is that the group comes up with a shared understanding of the problem. Speaker 2 00:22:40 Um, and some suggestions on, on a solution. I did think, I mean, one of the great challenges of leadership of course, is, is knowing when to step back and step away. Um, and I, I, I do think it was probably Arizona where the initiate, uh, Texas, maybe where the initiation of that coalition, um, was described as a, as a, as a, I think it was Texas, but if it wasn't, it was one of the others that wonderful woman, um, uh, you know, from a swim teacher background that had initiated the coalition that we've got to a certain point recognized that she needed to step back in order to fruit to, to grow and prosper. And, you know, I think there are a couple of examples where the coalition was nested within a particular organization that didn't have the organizational energy and resources, or they'd been a leadership change. Speaker 2 00:23:28 Um, and therefore the coalition secretary, it needed to move and adapt to somewhere else. So, you know, I think when I think of individual, we never think of leadership. You've got, you can't look past the individuals that are critical to making these things happen. You've got to look at the sort of the small L leadership. Um, that's, that's constantly working to make it successful to buy in groups together. Um, and then of course, we've got to be confident enough to step away and watch these things grow because in some respects, leadership can be stifling to a coalition and, and recognizing when it's stifling. Um, you know, I think that's sort of key to navigating this sort of adaptive, uh, requirements. Particularly everyone talked about COVID impacts and zoom, and everyone, someone said the F word funding, everyone was worried about how, where do you get money? How do you make this happen? So, um, these coalitions, we're not talking about bill gates here and that, you know, he's his form of, of global partnerships. Um, we're, we're talking about low resource, everyone leaning in with their volunteer effort and energy. Um, and so I think it's really important that we have a shared sense of leadership rather than this sort of top down approach. Speaker 0 00:24:38 Hmm. Say that. And I'm wondering if you can share with us some reflections on architecture and structure of how these groups operate, because in the interviews, we, we saw eight different examples of how these partnerships happen. Um, in your experience, you know, in Australia and globally, you've probably seen a hundred different ways that these groups are organized. Um, earlier in one of your answers, you commented on how important architecture was to facilitate some of that. Multisectoral collaboration. Very curious for your thoughts on architecture, structure governance. Speaker 2 00:25:22 Yeah. Like if, if you listen to all of the podcasts, if we listened to presentations at world conference on drowning prevention, um, everyone, everyone is trying to influence government at some level. Um, you know, whether it's the water safety people, they want some, some funding for lessons to be compulsory, whether it's the public health types you're talking about system change. Um, and so w we're all sort of influencing government, but coalitions can, can often, um, initiate and be successful just as an NGO vehicle. Um, that's, that's actually has significant, um, distance from government government might sit in some contexts at some tables. Um, um, but, but my sense is the ones that are, that are generating traction at the moment, particularly with the UN resolution that puts a little bit of pressure on governments, hopefully to get organized. Um, they're, they're the ones in the middle that are successful in getting government, not just to the table, um, but to validate that there needs to be a table, there needs a strategy, there needs a plan. Speaker 2 00:26:26 And when they're at the table, they're bringing some energy and some resources and some confirmation that the issue is important and needs to be addressed. Um, so, you know, I, I, I do think that, um, there was some really good examples of NGOs working together very much focused on, on local, lots of events, lots of education, education, education. Um, and then you've got some examples that were very much focused on the table being about the system and influencing the system, changing policy, measuring impacts at a system level. Um, so, uh, you know, and actually it's interesting because, uh, you know, the us is probably a little bit similar to Australia and the UK for that matter Canada, um, where the NGOs have enough, um, enough capacity to get on and create energy and opportunity. And in some respects, we can do most of this without government, but if we ultimately want to impact at a system level, we've got to draw government into the table. Speaker 2 00:27:28 The other thing on architecture that I, I, I, I'm interesting, I'm really watching closely. Um, one of the, um, I guess one of the instincts of a small group sitting around a table to say, how do we make this happen? Um, you know, one of the, one of the right things is say, well, it's got to be inclusive and we've got to invite anyone who wants to be involved. Um, and I think sometimes the rooms too big, um, it takes a lot of energy to coordinate, um, partnerships, uh, coalitions, a lot of energy. Um, and so sometimes I fear that we fill the room with too many groups and you spend too much energy coordinating groups and not enough energy on getting things done. So most of these coalitions influence a lot of control, very little, um, it's logical that you've got to navigate some key players to the table or to the platform. Speaker 2 00:28:20 Um, but I just fear sometimes that, um, you know, we overwhelm by being too consultative. And so, um, you know, uh, you know, separating decision-making from consultation, I think is important. Um, you know, one of the, one of the failures in the Australia water safety strategy, and if I can talk about failures is we, we control very little it's very much, um, uh, it's a, it's a document of framework of influence. Um, and in that consultation process each year, we, sorry, each cycle, we determined that we're going to be more focused. We're really going to drill down on the things that will make a difference. And we initiate our process. Uh, we send an invitation far and wide. We get lots of views and interests and research into the process. And then at the end of it, we have a lot of trouble sorting back down into those three or four priorities, and we ended up with 15. Um, and so we go inclusive. We include everyone's views. We do a little bit of filtering of those views. We develop a plan, um, but it's largely too broad. Um, and so like, you know, I, I, I do think it's interesting in an architectural level of where's the sweet spot between, um, having the right people in the right room at the right time, but also signaling to the broader sector that, um, you know, what you're, what you're initiating is something that's ultimately going to empower, collect and harness their energies as well. Speaker 1 00:29:45 Wow. There's a lot there. And you really pulled forward some of the big challenges around how big, how small, how broad, how narrow, um, you also used the term plan and you talked about plan early on and wondered about your thoughts related to plan versus strategy versus vision, and, and to continue to keep waving in, how do you figure out who needs to be closely at the table without leaving anybody out where they feel like, wait, why am I going to help? Because you didn't want me at the table. You know, just again, I think that if we keep kind of pulling that thread as well, around how you make from plan and strategy and vision happen, where you actually make something happen and have the right people there to do it. Speaker 2 00:30:48 Yeah. Like, I, I, and I think one of your podcasts, it might've been a great lakes. Um, most water safety groups when they get together. And I say, let's have a vision. Um, it ends up being, um, a world free from drowning, a California free from ground zero drowning. You know, I think everyone agrees that we're all trying to reduce and eliminate drowning. So, um, the vision part I think is, um, is, is, um, very common across the globe. Um, it's sort of the, the, the, I guess the tactics that come next that matter most, and, and, and, and asking yourself whether the coalition is about control or influence, but, you know, tactics or, or, or mobilization. And I, and I think that's kind of a, you know, that's a discussion about, um, about, um, about the resources and the capacity of the initiative, right? Speaker 2 00:31:41 So w the, the, the Australian water safety strategy started as a plan. Um, and it, it had lots of columns where this person will do this, and this organization will do that. And this, you know, this thing will be achieved within two years. Um, and at the end of the review of that, um, it was pretty difficult to track because actually the power to implement those plans, those activities was not the water safety council, the water safety strategy, many of those activities were nested in the plans of others. Um, and so the next set of tactics in 2008, we shifted from plan to strategy, putting forward an architecture of all of the key areas where activity action influence, change needs to happen. Um, and so, um, the Australian water safety strategy now has 15 areas where we think that change needs to occur. We describe that change. Speaker 2 00:32:36 We signal the sorts of in the indicators and, and, uh, actions that will add value to the overarching strategy, but it doesn't delegate those tasks to anyone. Um, and that's twofold, right? Once you start delegating, um, you, you create some responsibilities, you start to get into the argy bargy of who does what and how, um, and, and the, there was that counselor has no resources. So, um, we've deliberately chosen, um, an approach, which is to create a framework. This sort of says, this is what needs to happen. Um, and then in other places, we work out how that happens and who does it. So in the case of the Australian water safety strategy, what it's trying to do is influence the plans about others. Tizzy. If I can make that a little bit more tangible, so it's not a plan itself, but it's, it's kinda signals some, some, uh, some important areas of science and activities and prioritization. Speaker 2 00:33:29 Um, but the ultimate measure of that strategy will be whether or not Royal lifesaving embeds those activities into its plans, or whether the state government of Victoria actually develops a strategy and a plan and aligns that to the, to the framework that's signaled by the strategy. Um, and I, I suspect that it probably can, it really depends on what sort of resources you've got and whether you have that mobilizing capacity. Then if you have that, have a plan, um, if you don't have that, and you're actually trying to influence others, um, then I would skew towards the strategy side, build a framework that says this needs to happen. Um, let's focus on what needs to happen, not necessarily how it happens and move your plan downstream a little bit, because, um, the ultimate sort of measure of success, I mean, you know, drowning happens at a community level. So the action needs to be in many cases at a community level. And so, you know, our strategy is going to need to mobilize people and activate them, motivate them locally, you know, where we're not trying to influence government or policy level. Of course, Speaker 0 00:34:32 This perspective is interesting because we have heard a lot about plans and those working in water safety in the U S are going to be hearing a lot more about plans in the coming 6, 8, 10, 12 months. Um, the, the framing that you've provided of a strategy, um, and the purpose of that strategy being to influence others, other groups in people's plans is I think, a different perspective than what we've heard. So it is helpful for you. Speaker 1 00:35:01 I like, I like to the, that feeling of ownership, you know, back to how you engage and how everyone is part of the solution, this strategy around, um, how, how it fits within others plans. That's really helps to build ownership and accountability and engagement and multiple places versus it's centralizing out of this one place. And then it's like, Hey, I have my own goals and objectives within my organization. I only have so much time for this versus it being a Speaker 2 00:35:37 Part of your work as well. Yeah, I think that's really important, particularly in a, in a, in a multi-stakeholder model where you've got, um, where you've got sort of NGOs and government and, um, and, uh, you know, counties and the, like, I think there are so many layers in the planning process all the way through those organizations that the best you can hope for really is to influence, influence others. And so, you know, so make that tangible though, if you've, we've got an Australian water safety strategy, um, our vision is that the local swim school can align its commitments and activities to the Australian water safety strategy, um, or the, the local council, um, you know, they, they can adopt this sort of perspective on reducing drowning. And, and for us, we, you know, our drowning rights are, um, are tragic, but they're, you know, they're incredibly low by world standards. Speaker 2 00:36:28 Right. Um, and so we're pivoting to the promotion of a love of water, you know, and that's that definitional issue between drowning prevention or water safety, you know what, uh, you know, you know, some of the groups like, um, uh, the great lakes we're talking about tourism and the tourism sector, um, not wanting to talk about drowning initially, because it might discourage people from coming to the great lakes, but actually realizing that potential, uh, Hawaii was talking about this as well in terms of sector. So we're pivoting to, um, promote getting people wet and enjoying the water, enjoying those recreational activities, but just providing some sort of some, some risk measures that may, will keep people more safely. Um, I, I think the other thing that's challenging, um, so the, the, the community mobilization and the influence of local actions, I think that's a great space for all of us to play in. Speaker 2 00:37:22 Um, the other area is upstream and just working out. Um, if, if, if the, if the ultimate objective here is to influence government, um, what we're seeing in Australia, what we're seeing globally is, um, that there is no one ministry for drowning prevention or water safety for that matter. Um, and so this is a real problem, whether you're working globally, nationally provincially, uh, locally, probably, maybe it's there, maybe it's clearer locally, I don't know yet, but it's like, where does it sit within government? Um, and remembering that, um, government is central as well. Like each arm of government has a different, codifications a different language, a different speak, a different set of priorities, um, a different minister that has their own sort of values and perspectives. So I'm, uncoding sort of, you know, unpacking that language of drowning prevention and linking it, um, into, uh, in ministry. Speaker 2 00:38:16 So, you know, if you could run around the globe, um, you know, there's a big push we world health organization to make this a public health issue. Um, but actually when you look at who's driving drowning prevention outcomes at a national level, and those governments that are mobilizing, um, you know, so yeah, Thailand is very much public health. It's linked to their public health strategy. Um, in Vietnam, it's a, it's a, um, a ministerial panel that's led from the perspective of social development and welfare. Um, if you listen to all of the, could have seen in Uganda, um, you know, it's, it's transport and it's agriculture, um, that are coming together. So, um, so I think we've kind of got to work out when your coalition sit and ponder and look up at government architecture and work out, how do you embed? How do you get them, those people over there to do the sorts of things we want them to do? Speaker 2 00:39:08 Um, I think it's tremendously challenging workout, which door to knock on and what language to use. And, you know, and I think that's important in the coalition is that you've got a diverse stakeholder group. It might be that you've got a good into injury prevention. Plus you've got the public health types at the table. Um, it's important to have, um, you know, uh, the, the lifeguards, maybe I think that Hawaii example was usually they interface with the fire brigade, but the transformation there was because they were all of a sudden nested in the EMS, which gave them a much more direct route to data. And the like, so, um, you know, so I, I do think that, um, influencing down, um, influencing up in a sense is, is just as important. Speaker 0 00:39:49 Th this is bringing our conversation, I think, full circle, because the very beginning we talked about a platform for drowning prevention. And one of the things, two things you said, you said one, there needs to be enough room on the platform for everybody that's currently working. There also needs to be enough room for those who aren't working in this space yet. And the other thing that you said was, um, you know, building bridges and you gave some great examples of building bridges between kind of what we think is a traditional water safety spaces, but there's also this whole element of building bridges to those sectors or those parts of government that don't even know that they're aligned with water safety yet. And, um, we had, we had several great examples in the interviews of, um, people discussing, you know, uh, speaking the language of climate change. Speaker 0 00:40:36 We're speaking the language of disaster risk reduction or, or health promotion or sport development, right? There's so many avenues and ways to, to approach this. So, as people are thinking about partnership and this whole idea of multi-sectoral partnership together, um, you know, is there anything else you want to add or any further guidance that you would offer to somebody listening to this potentially leading potentially participating, really thinking about participating in a group of people moving forward for drowning prevention, water safety, that doesn't necessarily look only like them? What advice or final thoughts would you offer? Speaker 2 00:41:16 Uh, like I think be realistic. I think this is easier in a high-income recreational setting than it is in, um, leading agendas in, in, in places with much higher drowning rates, but no, uh, system capacity for it. So, um, so, so I think it's less of a problem in Australia, or you probably in the U S in terms of casting a broad vision about all of the possible groups that could come to the table. Um, my, my, my inclination is, um, uh, these things will still be built around those whose feel a day-to-day passion for reducing drowning. Um, and it's just that they then need to bridge to those groups that they think can spend a good deal of their time, effort, and energy to make that mission, mission, or vision, or the plan come to fruition. Um, change is kind of best done in small doses, unless you've kind of got some sort of transformative event and activity that is a great catalyst for significantly frogs, but in a water safety sense, the change is likely to be incremental. Speaker 2 00:42:19 Um, and so focusing on those small steps and those groups that are, uh, where there's a plausibility, that they could believe they involve make a difference, start there, um, rather than filling the room with everyone, like, I think this, we have the, we, we drown ourselves in consultation. If you cast too broad a net in the first instance. So, you know, um, you know, talk about tactics and start, start, start small, establish a call, make sure that your call fully understands that the objective here is not building an empire. It's not building a new organization, but it's actually to grow the core. Um, but you know, I think one of the, one of the unline final sort of thing, it's all different, they're all different, they're all energetic, they're all passionate. Uh, they're full of committed people doing wonderful things. Um, there is no expert in the room in any case, there's no one way to do this. Speaker 2 00:43:13 It's, multi-sectoral, it's all going to be different. Um, it's, it's, it's more art than science. Um, and, uh, and be aware of the person that stands in the room, calling themselves an expert because, um, you know, this is art, this is sort of navigation really. There's, there's no one way to do this. I think, um, all power to you. If you've got the energy to pull groups together, um, to, to motivate them and stimulate them with podcasts, like the ones you've been doing to give them the right data at the right time. Um, and, uh, you know, get it, get it moving and see what emerges. Speaker 1 00:43:48 Thank you so much, Justin, this has been an incredibly rich conversation. And just like with all of our interviews, we feel like we could go, we could just be continuing this conversation for the rest of the day and onward from there, like you said, we're all learning. And every little piece that we, um, take away is another opportunity to grow and to, um, learn from each other and keep getting better in this work. Speaker 0 00:44:21 All right, Justin, well, thanks so much again for your time. We're grateful for you and, um, for your reflections on, on this project and your really salient remarks on how we can do partnership well together. Speaker 2 00:44:34 Thanks bill. Thanks. Kizzy Speaker 1 00:44:35 Thanks, Justin. Thanks. Well,

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