WaterSafe Auckland Inc (trading as Drowning Prevention Auckland) has appointed Nicola Keen-Biggelaar as its Chief Executive.

Drowning Prevention board chair Denise Atkins says Nicola brings business acumen in the commercial and ‘profit for purpose’ sector through her work in corporate social responsibility and general manager roles.

Dr Atkins says Nicola’s experience adds to the powerful work the organisation has underway across many sectors of Auckland’s diverse communities. Drowning Prevention delivers evidence-based water safety education from kai-gathering at coastal locations to water competence basics for youngsters in early childhood education.

“Nicola will continue to foster our partnerships both with funding providers and the Auckland Council – enabling our aquatic educators to continue ensuring the downward trend of our regional drowning statistics”.

Nicola Keen-Biggelaar says she’s looking forward to continuing the organisation’s work reducing the number of drownings in the Auckland region.

“As a region we are surrounded by water and I feel passionate about making sure every child and adult has access to the education they need to be competent and feel confident around water – whether they’re at the local pool, or at one of our many beautiful beaches and to know what the risks are and how to avoid them.”

She says while Auckland drowning statistics of 1.4 per 100,000 people is better than the national average of 1.8 deaths per 100,000, there’s still work to be done.

Ms Keen-Biggelaar says she’s looking forward to working with a team of committed educators running courses in schools, communities and workplaces to ensure no more lives are lost unnecessarily especially as the region heads towards a long and hopefully hot summer.

Nicola Keen Biggelaar begins her new role mid October.

Contact: Sandie Gusscott, Acting GM
T: 09 3060809
E: sandie.gusscott@dpanz.co.nz