2020/21 Committee – Appreciation and Farewells

Sharan Simmons recognises the work and dedication of the 2020/21 committee

We have a great team, skilled, hard working and passionate. We all want our members be recognised as professionals and see the Pilates industry grow and prosper.

Chris Lavelle – VP and Chair of Education sub committee has been very busy liaising with Training Providers and updating the PAA benchmark standards. Also completing review and assessment of a steady stream of online PD workshops and individual member PD approvals.

Robyn Rix – Treasurer and Chair of Research sub committee for her ongoing liaising with the NTREAP and leading the review and re-branding project.

Felicia Darbyshire-Pirie – held role of Secretary until February when stepped aside due to family and business commitments.

Karen Goh – took on the role of Secretary and has contributed to many ongoing projects behind the scenes including testing our conference platform.

Darren Vizer– whose passion was fired up with the recurrent Victorian lockdowns and worked on advocacy for Victorian members and businesses.

Bruce Hildebrand – has had a steep learning curve as he developed and launched the PAA Podcast.

Andree Lupton and Daniela Di Fabio– developed starter pack resources for students and new graduates and expanded resources for new studio owners.

Eve Fairbairn – worked on conference committee and initiated a conference partnership with The Pilates Link. She is also passionate about the Elders history project.

Thank you also to Deanne Castronini for supporting Chris Lavelle on the Education subcommittee.

Committee Farewells

This has been a difficult year for us all with the new demands restrictions have imposed.

Thanks to Felicia and Darren who have stepped down from the committee as their businesses now demand more attention.

The committee would like to thank them for their work, insights and perspectives that have helped us shape and direct many of our projects.

Thank you from the outgoing President – Sharan Simmons

I am also at the end of my 3yr term as President and a total of 9 years on the PAA committee.

I want to thank everyone that I have worked with over the years on the committee and on the many initiatives, projects and challenges that have come our way. We have always worked for the benefit of members and the support and growth of the industry.

I first became involved on the PAA conference sub committee in 2011 led by Olga Tamara, we worked together on the next 3 conferences as well. I learnt a lot from Olga.  That’s 6 PAA conference’s I have worked on with each one always striving to be ‘bigger and better’. To me that means:  reach more people and provide them with interesting, quality, professional development across all areas of our industry.

Covid-19 has proved the biggest challenge during my time on the committee with the unprecedented restrictions limiting our ability to work and open our businesses. The strong focus was to provide member support and advocacy for the Pilates industry.

One of my early projects on committee was to review the Professional Development program, this continued with the consolidation of the standards for education and training.

The drive for evaluation and improvement to internal and organisational processes, procedures and technology has been on an ongoing theme throughout my time on the committee. Services and support have evolved to cater to members’ needs and the changing landscape, and I’m sure this will continue.

Chris Lavelle farewells Sharan Simmons with a Special Message

I have never known the PAA without Sharan Simmons, so it feels very strange to be saying goodbye and to think about the committee without her.

Sharan, you have made an enormous contribution to the PAA and the Pilates Industry over the last 9 years. You have served in many roles on the committee, including education officer, vice president, and president. In each of these roles, your hard work and dedication have enabled many initiatives as well as keeping the organisation running smoothly on a day to day basis.

On top of your executive roles, you also took on the role of conference organiser for the 2019 and 2021 conferences.

You showed us all that there is nothing you cannot master – even pulling off an incredibly successful online conference, amid multiple state lockdowns and international border closures.

As president you have been steadfast, persistent and forward-thinking, particularly in guiding the PAA community through the pandemic whilst not losing sight of the bigger picture. You made sure members stayed informed and supported, lobbied for the Pilates industry but also ensured other projects did not lose momentum amidst the chaos.

You should be extremely proud of all you have achieved and the position you have guided the PAA to.

I am grateful to have served beside you for 6 years and I think I speak for everyone when I say: I will miss your clear thinking, no-nonsense approach AND I will miss your unwavering support.

Many members will never know the massive amount of time, passion and persistence you have poured into the PAA. So…. I am going to say thank you from all of us – from all of those who have served alongside you and all of those who have benefited from your dedication.

We wish you all the best and congratulate you on achieving lifetime membership with the PAA as recognition of your 9 years of outstanding service.

Now, Sharan it is your time to take a very well earned rest.

Chris Lavelle
PAA Vice President

Thanks again, from us all.