Our people

People make Rainbow Club great

Rainbow Club would not be the success it is today without the efforts of all the people who bring their dedication, enthusiasm and hard work. To our Patrons and Ambassador, Board of Directors, staff, life members, Club Committees (managers, schedulers, treasurers), lead teachers and swim teachers, volunteers, fundraisers, organising committees, partners and supporters – thank you!

Our Patrons and Ambassador

Mark Speakman

Mark Speakman

Patron
Mark Speakman SC MP is the Member for Cronulla in the NSW Parliament. He is the NSW Attorney General, a Senior Counsel and experienced parliamentarian. Mark continues the work of his predecessor Malcolm Kerr as an advocate for Rainbow Club.

Louise Sauvage

Louise Sauvage

Patron
Louise Sauvage OAM is a renowned Paralympian representing Australia in 2000 and 2004. Louise is a sportswoman with a disability, World Record holder, and winner of four Boston Marathons. Come and say hi to Louise at Rainbow Club events!

James Pittar

James Pittar

Ambassador
James Pittar is a blind marathon swimmer, is inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, and in 2001 became Rainbow Club’s first ambassador. A great believer in people with a disability achieving their goals, meet James at the Malabar Magic!

Our Board Members

 

President: Alexandra Finley joined the Board of Rainbow Club Australia in May 2009 and became President in June 2010. Alexandra is the General Counsel and Company Secretary of Spark Infrastructure a specialist infrastructure investment fund listed on the ASX. She has many years of corporate governance, legal, and commercial experience gained in both private practice and the corporate environment. 

Vice President: Philip Holt OAM is an original Board Member of Rainbow Club Australia, joining at the request of Rainbow Club’s Founder, Ron Siddons. Philip has been an integral part of the Board holding various positions, including President. He is recently retired from the position of Managing Director of The Holt Group, which has strong connections to the Sutherland local area where Rainbow Club commenced.

Vice President: Rob Lloyd joined the Board of Rainbow Club Australia in 2004 and was elected Vice President in 2010. He was involved in establishing the Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim and is both the Event Director and the energy behind The Magic’s huge success. Rob is the Managing Director at The Breckenridge Property Group, is a Director of LBW Trust and has previously sat on the Board of the Australian Direct Property Institute and The Pathways Foundation.

Board Member since 2008: John Taplin is a retired business man with experience in the financial sector, most recently working for Goldman Sachs JB Were as a Futures Managing Director and Partner. John and his family have personal experience with Rainbow Club in action as his son attended Cronulla/Miranda Rainbow Club from an early age.

Board Member since 2010. Mark McCormack recently retired from the role of Australian Operations and Managing Director of Koppers International. He brings extensive business experience and contacts with Surf Life Savers to the Board.

Board Member since 2014: Bob McCotter served on the fundraising committee of Rainbow Club for two years before joining the Board in 2014. Bob is a professional engineer and a founding partner of ERM Australia. He has had more than forty years commercial experience in the services sector, with particular experience in professional consulting, the environment, architecture, engineering and manufacturing in Australia and Asia.

Board Member since 2014. Ally Cox ran a swim school in Buxton and through that school she formed Buxton Rainbow Club. She is currently a member of the the Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim Organising Committee.

Board Member since 2017. Dipen Dhruv is the Services Sales Director (APAC) at Salesforce. Dipen is a technology evangelist and his background covers a wide range of technology practices including technology assessment and implementation, outsourcing strategy development, vendor selection and management, and technology transformation.

Board Member since 2018. Ernie Cirignano is the Founder and Executive Coach of Prime Coaching, an organisation that develops people and grows business. With extensive experience in aviation in senior leadership roles and more recently working with a large global corporate entity, Ernie’s expertise includes: aircraft engineering, professional development and training, human resources, leadership development, executive coaching, change and transformation. Ernie is the Manager for Cronulla/Miranda Rainbow Club where his son  attends swimming lessons.

Board Member since 2018. Tracey Raso is the Regional Managing Director for Revlon Australia and New Zealand. She has extensive marketing, strategic planning and retail experience across various consumer packaged goods companies.

Board Member since 2018. Steve Langan-Stark is a former investment banker from New York who has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, debt capital markets, and treasury. He has strong foundations in balance sheet management with an emphasis on liquidity and capital efficiency. Steve also serves on the Finance Committee of Rainbow Club and has a son that is a member of Maroubra Rainbow Club.

Our Staff

 

 General Manager: Catriona Barry oversees the day to day operations of Rainbow Club and reports to the Board. 

Swimming Officer: Nicola Davies-Cooke is responsible for ensuring that Swim the Rainbow program is embedded in all our Clubs and our teachers are supported to deliver this program to all children with a disability.

Administration Officer: Heather Nadilo is responsible for all matters relating to our swim teachers and Rainbow Club’s online management.

Membership Officer: Min Strauss is responsible for liaising and supporting Rainbow Club Committee members, ensuring all members are paid up to date, and for claiming NDIS funds for Club members.

Events Coordinator: Emma Baldwin coordinates all Rainbow Club events and promotions including the Family Carnival, Malabar Magic, Rainbow Connect, as well as other training and fundraising events.

Our Life Members

 

 Gary Bradshaw was always enthusiastic, the one with the plan, running, golf, and “Bertha”. Gary is a man of action.

Tony Williams is renowned for his tireless ‘collection’ skills and provided our fundraising events with lots of ‘goodies’.

Philip Holt is the man who gave Rainbow Club direction and guidance from day one. Ask Philip and he says “yes”. His generosity is legendary. He has asked all the hard questions and found the answers.

Malcolm Kerr arranges what needs to be arranged. He loaned Rainbow Club his people, his meeting rooms and his valuable time. Malcolm is a quiet achiever who works towards finding solutions. 

Suzanne Stanton has the history of Rainbow Club at her finger tips from her ten years as President. Suzanne was tireless in her passion to make Rainbow Club a success through her breadth of experience, network of friends and colleagues, fundraising, and her heart for volunteering.

Margaret Taplin raised funds for Rainbow Club over 20 years with the annual fundraiser now running like a well oiled machine. Her enthusiasm, energy and efficiency never waivered. From numerous events, Margaret has contributed in excess of a quarter of a million dollars to Rainbow Club.

Rob Lloyd exudes energy and enthusiasm and his commitment to the growth and future of Rainbow Club never varies. His passion for the Murray Rose Malabar Magic Ocean Swim makes it the successful annual event that has become a corner stone of Rainbow Club fundraising.

Our Teachers

Our supportive teachers ensure our Club members feel safe both in and out of the water. Our teachers are qualified, passionate, dedicated and each Club is led by teachers with AUSTSWIM Access and Inclusion or Swim Australia Learners with a Disability accreditation.

When building rapport with a child, our swim teachers work out what does/doesn’t work to achieve good outcomes. Our teachers follow our unique Swim the Rainbow program and use specially designed visual aids when needed to reinforce important goals and instructions.

If you love what Rainbow Club does, you may be interested in being an inpool volunteer or becoming a Rainbow Club swim teacher via our Train to Teach program. If you already are a qualified swim teacher – apply to teach and enjoy the rewards of teaching children with a disability how to swim.

Our Volunteers

To all our volunteers, thank you. Thank you to our Committee members, inpool volunteers, fundraisers and event volunteers. With your dedication and support, you have helped make Rainbow Club a successful network of social swimming clubs throughout Sydney and NSW. Our many children with a disability and their families are grateful beyond words.

Every second year, Rainbow Club presents the prestigious Aqua Awards which include the Aqua Committee Volunteer and Aqua Inpool Volunteer Awards to recognise and honour outstanding people and their achievements. We look forward to seeing you nominated!

Member stories

At Rainbow Club we encourage each child at their own pace, to best of their ability. Discover the Rainbow Club community.

Our people news

 

Locations

Bexley, Bondi, Byron Bay, Campbelltown, Cherrybrook, Cronulla/Miranda, Hornsby, Hurstville, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Maroubra, Mt Pritchard, Newington/Stanmore, Northmead, Orange, Penrith, Revesby, Southern Highlands, Seven Hills, Sutherland, Tamworth, The Ponds, Villawood, Warriewood, Warringah. See details