She's a lifesaver - Nikki

Hi Team Tama

Welcome back, even though the season has officially finished, we still have 2 more weeks left of our ‘She’s a Lifesaver’ profiles, so grab a drink, put your feet up, and enjoy this incredible read.

Michelle, our award-winning CTO, jumped at the chance to introduce our next special Tama woman, so over to you Michele, your way with words is second to none.

 “I randomly met Nikki a few years ago when my patrol was doing proficiencies and she was there. I'd heard her name from Marilee but hadn't met her. We got chatting and she said that she would be more than happy to help out with the Bronzies by giving them a defib lesson. For those of you that don't know, Dr. Nikki Bart is a leading cardiologist and all-round amazing woman. She has delivered her incredible defib talk to most Bronzie cohorts since I've been Chief Instructor, and each and every time I am totally riveted because, in addition to being a doctor extraordinaire, she's a pretty bloody good teacher as well. In fact, she inspired one Bronzie so much that he went out and bought a defib to keep in his car... just in case. Learning how to do good CPR is one of the most important parts of the Bronze course, and she always lays out exactly why, with a new and different example from real patients each time. She also loves ocean swimming and will do some Groper swims when she can. And oh yeah, she also summited all seven highest summits on each continent with her mum. She's pretty inspiring”.

Thanks Michelle and over to the wonderful Dr. Nikki Bart…

Thanks, Zoe - VP

Nikki (right) on patrol with Caz (left)

Tell us a bit about yourself? I am happiest when I am by or even better in the ocean! I try to fit too many things into a single day without a realistic calendar, so this keeps life interesting!

In three words? Water-loving, energetic, thoughtful

How did you get into Surf Life Saving? How did you join Tama? I wanted to do something different and meet some new people after a difficult time, so I decided to have a “year of yes”, and I am grateful that joining the Tama SLC was the beginning of that. I used to get up before my alarm in excitement to get to my bronze training every Saturday morning during the course. Outside of the bronze, when Marilee was still in Sydney, we started a Friday morning swim group, with coffee afterward, and the man at the coffee shop used to pack us snacks for work!

Rescue – photo courtesy of Alan Weedon (also a competition entry by him)

What are the best things about being part of the Surf Life Saving community? As the club is small, you feel very much part of the community. For me, this means always having someone to swim and have a coffee with, and there is always enthusiasm for spontaneous swim adventures or ocean swimming competitions. 

How would you describe our community at Tama? I love how warm, enthusiastic, diverse, and inclusive the club is. You can run into a clubbie anywhere in Sydney and they will treat you like family.

Bronzie training- Dan, Caz and Nikki

What has been your biggest achievement from being part of life saving? I absolutely love teaching basic life support and defibrillation. Each time I do, I am reminded of what skilled and capable bronzies we have, and how these skills might one day save someone’s life- either on or off the beach! 

Tell us what you do when not at the beach at Tama looking after people? I work as a cardiologist, and lecturer and lead a research group. Luckily, I find a great sense of purpose in my job. I am in awe of the mysteries of the human body. No matter how much we learn, there is always more to learn, and each patient (just like each rescue in SLS) is a teacher for me. When I am not at the beach, I also love to read, climb, play guitar and visit coffee shops that double as bike shops. 

Marilee, David and Nikki at the Mardi Gras swim competition

Favourite place to go for food in Sydney? Anywhere with dumplings or Pho. I like Happy D’s in Redfern, and Pho Bar in Bondi. 

Ideal holiday destination right now? I just got back from what feels like heaven for me,  a week climbing ice waterfalls in Banff, Canada.

Nikki climbing “Eagle” in Banff

What would be your advice to any woman thinking to give surf life saving a go? It is very easy to convince yourself why you can’t do something. I would recommend that if you are thinking about joining Tama, you should just say “yes” and give it a try. The program has experienced instructors who are all incredibly supportive, so you will never feel like you are thrown in the deep end. I am willing to bet that you will surprise yourself with what you are capable of!

What have you learnt from your time at Tama? What has been something that surprised you? To always be in awe of, and never underestimate the power of the ocean. Being in the water reminds me that there is something bigger than me, and that I am deeply connected to everything else. Equally, for me, there aren’t many problems in life that can’t be made better by a swim. Just take a stroke, and focus on your next breath, and everything else will work itself out.

Thank you Nikki, and to anyone thinking about SLS, as Nikki says “ I would recommend that if you are thinking about joining Tama, you should just say “yes” and give it a try”. 

Many of us share this sentiment too “ Equally, for me, there aren’t many problems in life that can’t be made better by a swim”, we love your work Nikki.

We hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we did, thank you Nikki for being part of our mighty Club.

See you all next week for the final ‘She’s a Lifesaver’ Profile!

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