July 13, 2022
Supporter of the Month (July) - Row

Introducing: Row Thompson

Building Inspector (Pool Safety) from North Vic Pool Safety Compliance

Row makes a donation to the Hunter Boyle Children’s Swim Program from every pool safety inspection her business does. This month we sat down with Row to find out more…

Why did you decide to support the Hunter Boyle Children’s Swim Program?

Hunter’s passing in 2020 touched everyone in the town of Shepparton. Even though I don’t know the family directly, it’s the old adage ‘6 degrees of separation’ also known in this regional town as ‘6 degrees of Shepparation!’

I want to be part of the change; the change that stops our littlest members of the community from death or permanent injury by drowning.

As a pool safety inspector, it’s not only my job to check pool barriers for compliance issues, my job is to help educate our community of the silent risks around pools and spas.

Compliant barriers only reduce the risk of unwanted entry to the pool area; if we look at reducing the risk of drowning, we need to start at the beginning and ensure our kids are confident enough to be able to get themselves out of trouble in the water.

Supporting the Hunter Boyle Children’s Swim Program made sense for me and my business. I want all children in our regional towns to have access to swimming lessons, to learn the skills that will potentially save their life.


What do you wish people knew about pool safety checks and what common issues do you see?

Regulations around Pool Barrier Compliance changed in 2019, where pool and spa owners are required to register their pool or spa with the council and have the barrier checked and a Compliance Certificate issued every 4 years.

There are many things that can happen over that 4 year period which could easily compromise the compliance of the barrier. Most commonly, we see trees and plants that have grown well beyond the “No Climb Zones” which provides a handy little step for curious and adventurous toddlers to gain direct access to the pool.

Gate maintenance is another common issue. Over time the springs in the hinges wear out or the posts move in the ground and gates don’t “self close” anymore, again providing direct access to the pool area.

Landscape designs can also impact the compliance integrity of the pool barrier. Before putting in new garden beds, water features, trees or cubby houses, it’s a good idea to have a chat with a pool inspector to make sure your changes will not impact the safety of the barrier.

Pools should be an enjoyable part of the family backyard, and used and maintained with safety as the priority.

Every pool and spa owner is responsible for eliminating the risk of drowning and near drowning accidents, and it starts in our own backyards.


Hunter Boyle Children’s Swim Program

The Program was established by Ash and Matt in honour of their 2-year-old son, Hunter, after he drowned in a dam in August 2020.

The Program provides children with free swimming lessons for 12 months, water safety education and swimming accessories for them and their parents. It is supported by a number of local community organisations including the Greater Shepparton City Council, Aquamoves and The Bridge Youth Service.

Learn More

Background on Hunter Boyle drowning incident:
On 12 August 2020, Ash Napolitano and Matt Boyle lost their beautiful 2-year-old boy, Hunter.
Tragically, he drowned in a Grahamvale dam while visiting his Grandfather’s farm. He was feeding the horses, when in an instant he went missing and was found unresponsive in the water a short time later. Hunter was rushed to Goulburn Valley Health in Shepparton where doctors, nurses and members of The Royal Children’s Hospital PIPER Unit spent close to seven hours fighting to save his life. Devastatingly, Hunter couldn’t be saved


Learn more about how to keep your kids safe around water: https://www.kidsafevic.com.au/water-safety/