Member Spotlights 

Brendan Watkins

Chief Executive Officer 

Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA)

AuSAE Member: December 2012 

What We Do 

Established in 1961, the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria is the peak body of the pool and spa industry. Our mission is to represent both SPASA members and the broader swimming pool and spa industry to the general public, government and relevant statutory bodies. The Association strives to enhance its profile as a means of promoting the significant health and social value of pool and spa use. Our core goals are to ensure the viability of our members’ businesses and to promote the highest levels of professionalism, ethical behaviour and standards within industry. Among others, we liaise closely with the Planning & Water Ministers’ Offices, DSE, Lifesaving Victoria, Water Authorities, Builder Warranty & Liability insurers, WorkSafe, Kidsafe and the Consumer Affairs Victoria – all of which shape legislation and establish standards of workplace practices, safety, energy and water use. We also produce Australia’s largest Pool & Spa Expos, consumer magazines, Industry Training programs, trade events, publish member OH&S training and resource materials. In truth, for a small organisation, we probably do too much! 

Number of Members
We have 310 corporate members, representing around 5,000 business owners, employees and their direct contractors.

Staff Size
Three f/time and two p/time, plus an external event manager, a retained trainer and a technical advisor.

Years in Association Management
Twelve years at SPASA, five consulting to organisations such as: Australian Driver Trainers Association, Lottery Agents Association of Victoria & the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and prior to that five years at Radio 3RRR.

How I Got Into Association Management
Like most that I meet, somewhat by accident!  

What I Like About My Job
Helping. Relationships with members is the core of our activity, our ultimate goal is to make their businesses better. Also, when we improve the consumer experience we indirectly assist the viability of residential pool and spa ownership, and in turn enhance the prospects of our members. I personally derive great satisfaction from our Mandatory Barrier Safety Campaign (regular pool checks for Victorian residential pools and spas) and our various water and energy conservation campaigns. 

My Biggest Challenge
The distraction of a failed single-entity merger has led to much disquiet in our industry. While federated vs centralized arm wrestles are nothing new in the sector, the distraction from day to day business is unfortunate. What I am most proud of at our Association. A 95%+ member retention rate - we must be doing something right!    

Favourite AuSAE Event  
The LINC Conferences, the Networking lunches – it’s very important to make the effort to get out of the office and network, to continually grow. 

What I want to learn from other AuSAE members 
It’s the shared-experience of other CEOs/EDs provided by AuSAE that assists me the most. I think many long-term CEOs can find it too easy to deliver outcomes in the “established process”.

How AuSAE Has Helped Me 
I’m always invigorated by attending gatherings and engaging with other AuSAE members.

Reasons to Join 

Community of association professionals


Professional Education 


Member only on-line Resources


Leadership Growth Opportunities



Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software