Matthew makes splash

Full bottle: Matthew Bishop has become the youngest person in Australia to receive the Royal Life Saving Society pool operator certificate. Picture: Bruce Huntd400301
Full bottle: Matthew Bishop has become the youngest person in Australia to receive the Royal Life Saving Society pool operator certificate. Picture: Bruce Huntd400301

After two days of intensive training and 30 hours on-site practical work, the Kalamunda local became the youngest person in Australia to receive the Royal Life Saving Society Pool Operator Certificate.

His father and The Pool Shop Kalamunda owner Courtney Bishop said he was incredibly proud.

‘He’s been working behind the counter since he was 11 and has truly become the heart of the shop,’ he said.

‘We didn’t even ask him to do the course, he just came to me and said ‘I’m here, I’m available and I’m going to do it.”

Royal Life Saving Society senior trainer and assessor Eleanor Lee said the course was usually attended by people aged 18 to 60, so Matthew initially took her by surprise.

‘He came into the class looking and acting very professional and was completely prepared for every challenge we gave him,’ she said.

Matthew is now qualified to test the water in any pool in the State.

‘It was wonderful that he was able to absorb so much knowledge so quickly,’ she said. ‘Honestly, the only difference between Matthew and the adults was that he ate the most biscuits at break time.’

A Year 8 student at Mazenod College, Matthew said he didn’t make a big deal about getting the certificate to his friends.

‘Dad and everyone at the shop had theirs, so I thought I should as well,’ he said.

‘It was definitely worth taking time out of my holidays, I’ve learnt heaps.’

Mr Bishop said to achieve a commercial qualification at 13 was remarkable.