about the orcas

orcas history and committee structure

about the orcas

The Nunawading Orcas have had a constant membership of between 40-60 members since its inception, with an age range of between 20 to over 60. There are a wide range of standards in swimming. About twenty members train regularly, that is, one or more sessions per week. Training takes place at Aqualink Nunawading, Fraser Place, Nunawading.

Members come mainly from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, from Warrandyte in the north to Mulgrave in the south, Box Hill in the west to Wantirna in the east.

The Club has an active social program with both informal and more formal events occurring regularly throughout the year and organised by the Committee.

Members actively participate in still water competitions, open water bay (Port Phillip Bay), sea swim meets, and triathlon events. However, the focus of the Club is very much on fun, fitness and friendship.

New members are welcome and further information can be obtained by contacting the Club Secretary or talking to the Coach pool side during training times.

An application form and details about fees are available under the Training section of this website.


Click here to download the Nunawading Orcas Constitution as a PDF.

orcas history

Early in August 1994 Aqualink Nunawading called for expressions of interest from people who were interested in forming an Aussi Masters club based at the Centre. The Centre believed that an Aussie Masters club was needed to cater for adults who would like more organised and structured swimming and who were interested in improving their skills and fitness.

There was a good response from the public to the idea of the formation of a club and in early September 1994 the inaugural meeting of the Club took place. This was followed shortly afterwards with the first training session under the supervision of Club’s new coach Brett Gartner, a former Nunawading Club national squad member.

The Club grew steadily from these beginnings and soon had over 50 members including a number who competed in District, State, National and International level still water competitions as well as in many open water competitions held in the summer season in Victorian waters and further afield.

Over the years the membership has stabilised and the numbers training regularly have been consistent. However, there have been fluctuations in the numbers competing depending on the interests of members at any given time.

orcas committee

Larry Murray

Larry Murray


As a child I lived close to the bay but I did not start swimming until I was in my late 40’s. Initially I was “all-out” swimming 25m free-style but with regular coaching my proficiency slowly improved in free-style and also in the other competitive strokes of backstroke, breast-stroke and butterfly. Although I was making great progress for someone for whom swimming came late in life I wanted to increase proficiency, speed and intensity of my workout.

Late in 2010 I went to watch the Orcas Masters Swimming group at Nunawading. It was everything I was looking for with high quality coaching, an emphasis on continued, timed improvement and a regular, challenging fitness routine. As an added bonus the Orcas are a great bunch of people who are fun to socialize with at their various, regular events.

I am delighted to be president of a club that accommodates personal objectives of fitness, technical stroke improvement, pool competition and open-water events at all ages and all levels within a friendly, encouraging environment.

Mark Williamson

Mark Williamson

Vice President

Since I started swimming again two years ago I am fitter, have lost 15kg, feel healthier and look better. At secondary school I participated in a large amount of sport including athletics, swimming and football. Since that time with a full time job, marriage and a family of two children I thought that I would never have time to keep fit. As a result of training with the Orcas I am as fit now as I was at age 30 and I find I have more time and energy to live life to the fullest with my family and friends. When I first started swimming at the club it was with the idea of just swimming for fitness but the friendliness of the men and women in the club is such that I would never miss one of their regular social events and I am a frequent competitor in pool-based and open-water swimming competitions.

Greg Palmer

Greg Palmer


I had been a regular lap swimmer at the Nunawading Pool and was interested in participating in an evening squad to improve my technique and fitness.

I joined Nunawading Orcas when it was formed in 1994 and found it ideally suited my needs. The coaching has been professional and well structured to maintain interest while improving technique in all strokes. The intensity and distance varied to maintain a good level of fitness. Social activities and friendships have made swimming in a group most enjoyable.

Rafal Nowacki

Rafal Nowacki


I have learned to swim when I was about 20 years old and decided to join the triathlon club at Melbourne Uni ( A Decision made on a couch while watching Wide World of Sports!). Being totally out of breath after two laps of 25m pool was not a good start. I knew I needed to improve my fitness and technique. Over many years with practice I have built on my efforts and accumulated a treasure trove of bad habits and incorrect swimming techniques.

This all changed when in 2013 I joined the Orcas. A swimming club with a fantastic, friendly environment catering for a diverse swimming abilities. I am finding my fitness and swimming times improving and with better technique I no longer experience a shoulder pain after a hard session which was something that always held me back in the past.

Alan Godfrey

Alan Godfrey


Alan’s has been a registered (AUSSI) Masters Swimmer since 1982. His credentials include being a registered technical officer as inspector of turns, chief time keeper and check starter/marshal, so there’ll be no getting away with sloppy turns or false starts and he’s a gun on the stopwatch. He’s also been a Level 1 Swim Coach since 2007 and an accomplished masters swimmer, with some very respectable times that would make even our faster swimmers blush with embarrassment. A registered Fitness Professional with a certificate (IV) in Fitness, Personal Training, a Diploma in Remedial Massage (Member of AMT) and qualifications in Senior First Aid with current CPR, Alan is well placed to make recommendation both in and out of the pool to improve our general fitness and well-being. Alan has also held some notable club positions ranging from race secretary through to vice presidencies with a number of clubs in NSW and Victoria. As a swimmer he’s also set a number of National Records for his age group in 2007, some of which are still current today.

past coaches, committees and life members

YearPresidentVice PresidentTreasurerSecretary
2017Larry MurrayMark WilliamsonGreg PalmerRafal Nowacki
2016Larry MurrayPablo PizzutoGreg PalmerRafal Nowacki
2015Emilio BadoerPablo PizzutoGreg PalmerFriedo Ligthart
2014Emilio BadoerPablo PizzutoGreg PalmerFriedo Ligthart
2013Emilio BadoerPablo PizzutoGreg PalmerFriedo Ligthart
2012Mart HagelMargaret LoweGreg PalmerFriedo Ligthart
2011Mart HagelAnnette BruntonGreg PalmerFriedo Ligthart
2010Mart HagelAnnette BruntonGreg PalmerPeter Rush
2009Mart HagelAnnette BruntonGreg PalmerPeter Rush
2008Mart HagelBrenda CameronGreg PalmerPeter Rush
2007Mart HagelBrenda CameronGreg PalmerRoss Brimer
2006Mart HagelBrenda CameronGreg PalmerRoss Brimer
2005Mart HagelBrenda CameronGreg PalmerPaul Bunker
2004Mart HagelRoss HibbinsGreg PalmerAnne Cole
2003Rod ClarkeTrevor JacksonGreg PalmerAnne Cole
2002Rod ClarkeTrevor JacksonGreg PalmerKim Rea
2001Rod ClarkeTrevor JacksonGreg PalmerKim Rea
2000Rod ClarkeJoanne MuracaGreg PalmerSandy Broadhead
1999Mart HagelJoanne MuracaGreg PalmerSandy Broadhead
1998Paul BunkerMart HagelGreg PalmerMike Smith
1997Paul BunkerMart HagelGreg PalmerVicki Smith
1996Terry FosterPaul BunkerGreg PalmerAine Walsh
1995Terry FosterPaul BunkerPaul ThompsonAine Walsh
2014-currentAlan Godfrey
2011-2013Rose Nunn
2009-2011Matthew Armfield
2005–2008Justin Angerer
2000–2004Sarah Pollett
1998–1999Shane Sanderson
1994–1997Brett Gartner

The following members have been awarded honorary life membership for outstanding services to the Club.


YearNameReason for award
2011Mart HagelFor services to the Club for over a decade.
2006Greg PalmerFor services as the Club Treasurer for over a decade.
1998Brett GartnerOutstanding services as inaugural coach and in helping to get the club up and running.


Each year our members are awarded trophies in three categories; president’s award, coach’s award and the best competing swimmer.

The Best Competing Swimmer’s Award

At the Club’s AGM and Presentation night a trophy is awarded to the best competing swimmer of the Year. This is determined on a points system which is maintained by the Committee.

The aim is to recognise the best competing swimmer of the year and to encourage members to compete. It is awarded to the swimmer who has accumulated the most points during a swimming year. To encourage slower swimmers to compete and stand a chance to receive the Best Competing Swimmer Award the club introduced ‘participation’ points that count toward a swimmer’s total point tally. Member’s receive one additional point for each pool race entered and two points for every open water event, irrespective of distance.

In the event of a swimmer being a member of multiple clubs, that swimmer must nominate Nunawading Orcas as their club for each swim meet they want included in the count. In addition, a swimmer must attend a minimum number of training sessions and be an active participant in club training with at least 15% of training sessions attended by the swimmer to be eligible for the Swimmer of the Year award.

If there are swimmers who finish the year on equal points then the swimmer who has the best placing at the higher level receives the award. This will be determined in consultation with the Club’s Coach.

Points System

1. State or National meets
Ten points for first place, down to one point for tenth place.

2. Club meets
Three points for first, two points for second and one point for third.

3. Participation points
One additional point for each pool race and two points for every open water event.

2016Mark Williamson
2015Ben Grollman
2014Andrew Fisch
2013Pablo Pizzuto
2012Patrick Mohr
2011Annette Brunton
2010Peter Rush
2009Friedo Ligthart
2008Anna d’Alberto
2007Ross Brimer
2006Justin Angerer
2005Margaret Lowe
2004Anne Cole
2003Greg Palmer
2002Trevor Jackson
2001Sarah Pollett
2000Charmaine Lee
1999Shane Sanderson
1998David Pope
1997Sandy Broadhead
1996Peter Rush
2016Rafal Nowacki
2015Yaron Shamir
2014Friedo Ligthart
2013Brenton Edwards
2012Craig Williamson
2011Friedo Ligthart
2010Suwito Linoh
2009Suwito Linoh
2008Friedo Ligthart
2007Annette Brunton
2006Mitch Lawson
2005Anne Cole
2004Kevin Furlong
2003Emilio Badoer
2002Wendy Masters
2001Anne Cole
2000Mart Hagel
1999Trevor Jackson
1998Margaret Stanley & Greg Palmer
1997Jo Muraca & Trevor Jackson
1996Charmaine Lee & Brian Peakin
2016Victoria Greenham
2015Friedo Ligthart
2014Craig Williamson
2013Craig Williamson
2012Chris Muir
2011Suwito Linoh
2010Suwito Linoh
2009Johannes Achilles
2008Margaret Lowe
2007Anne Cole
2006*Anne Cole & Patrick Mohr
2005Anne Cole & Neomal Jasinghe
2004Robyn Gillespie & Rod Clarke
2003Margaret Lowe & Rod Clarke
2002Nicole Galea & Michael Drake
2001Robyn Gillespie & Rod Clarke
2000Robyn Gillespie & Ross Hibbins
1999Linda Stewart & Mike Smith
1998Vicky Smith & Terry Foster
1997Linda Stewart & Kim Rea
1996Sue Williams & Kim Rea

* Prior to 2007 there were two competing swimmers’ awards, one for the best male and the other for the best female.


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