Bundaberg Swim Academy's Terry Clark has been named Swim Australia‘s Teacher of Learners with a Disability: Teacher of the Year 2020.
Passionate about the role, on most week days you will find her in the pool teaching people with special needs how to be be more confident in the water.
Terry said she was nominated for the award by her employer Michele Watson and was over the moon to find out she had taken out the title.
“I am extremely honoured to receive this award in recognition for the work I do with my students with special needs,” she said.
Terry has been with the Bundaberg Swim Academy for seven years and said her main goal was to help learner swimmers progress with their confidence.
“With my students I endeavour to work with each individual to achieve results for improving their emotional, mental and physical capacity to gain strength of character,” she said.
“Learners with a disability are an extra welcome challenge I enjoy working with.
“Whatever their disability, introducing them to water enriches their existence and opens up a whole new world of capabilities and experiences.”
Terry grew up with a love for water
Terry said she had always had a love for swimming and at a young age, could not be kept out of the water, much to her families worry.
“Growing up on the Tweed River northern NSW I had a couple of mishaps and my mother was always beckoned by my older siblings who would call out ‘Terry’s in the river again!',” she said.
“Twice my mother saved me from completely drowning.”
Terry said she began working as a swimming instructor in 1995 and, as a mother of three children, was determined to give them every opportunity to relate to the aquatic world.
“It was initially to respect and enjoy the water,” she said.
“This followed on with all of them having a love for swimming and water-related activities.”
Terry said her role at the Bundaberg Swim Academy was one that she loved because of the people she worked with each and every day.
“I enjoy working here for many reasons, the most rewarding is to have the support and recognition I receive from fellow staff and management that have faith in me to function in my role as a teacher and supervisor,” she said.
“Also the children and adults I connect with daily give me a lot of satisfaction.
“Its wonderful to be a part of building their confidence, self esteem, and safety around water.”