Dan has been in Germany for a couple of days now, contributing in the Rescue Commission meetings, and observing the Medical Committee meeting. Tom arrived directly from a project in Zanzibar last night, so it was great to catch up with him over a beer. We have already met up with the Lifeguards Without Borders, and the International Surf Lifesaving Association last night.
The conference has started this afternoon with the keynote speeches, and the technical presentations are taking place over the net two days. There was a marked difference in the content of keynotes in Germany when contrasted to the keynotes in Vietnam. The concept of drowning prevention was mentioned a lot less, and the theme of collaboration and sharing of ideas was mentioned a lot more.
In the keynote speech by Clive Holland, Deputy President of RLSS Commonwealth, we were held up as an example of a very successful drowning prevention project that the Commonwealth had provided support & advice. A proud moment for us to be mentioned in such a prestigious context.
The concept of international collaboration is an interesting one, and it is not really something that we talk about a lot. We simply do it. We have good relations with many different organisations that are actually on the ground DELIVERING drowning prevention programmes – such as Lifeguards Without Borders, and ISLA. Collaboration is not something that needs to be talked about, we just need to get on and do it.
We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s learn from the successes of others, and build on that.