Laurie Lawrence, Founder
Laurie’s learn to swim philosophies are the product of more than 50 years of successful swim techniques and coaching achievements. This includes 10 gold, 11 silver and 12 bronze medals from swimmers he assisted at Olympic level.
As a result, the Australian Olympic Committee make Laurie an integral part of the Australian team at all Olympic Games between 1996 and 2012. The culmination of decades of experience in the swimming industry has led Laurie to create World Wide Swim School.
Laurie is best known for:
- Sharing more than 50 years of successful swimming teaching techniques that have taken swimmers from beginners to Olympians and Olympic Medalists
- Educating parents on successful swimming teaching techniques used to teach babies and children
- Providing a quality resource for swimming teachers, coaches and swim schools
- Contributing to improving the quality of swimming teaching around the world.
Susan Carter, General Manager
Susan Carter joined WWSS nearly 3 years ago, having known Laurie and Ben for over 10 years in her role at AUSTSWIM National. She started in the aquatics industry as a Swim Teacher whist at university. She has an expansive career in the aquatics industry, starting at Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV), managing the VICSWIM ‘Learn to Swim’ Program, and AUSTSWIM Victoria, before joining AUSTSWIM National in a General Manager role.
Susan has 2 teenage boys, who help to keep her active. In her spare time she enjoys the keeping active running and hiking, getting away camping and spending weekends in the garden.
Over the last 12 months, WWSS have accomplished many things, including a partnership with ERR and Child Safeguard, which provides more opportunities for education in the aquatic industry. Susan is looking forward to the next 12 months for WWSS, which will see a further expansion to WWSS’s platform functionality, and content development, to provide greater support.
Ben Pedrazzini, Chief Executive Officer
Ten years ago, Entrepreneur Ben Pedrazzini joined forces with world-renowned Olympic Gold Medalist and Swim Coach, Laurie Lawrence, and Former Nine Network Head of IT, Steven Whyte, to establish World Wide Swim School.
Ben started swimming with Laurie when he was 8 years old, and worked for him after he left school, as a Swimming Teacher, and a Swim School Manager.
In 1991, Ben and his brothers bought The Madden Street pool in Townsville from Laurie, which he had built with his father Stumpy Lawrence.
In the late 90’s, Ben came back to Brisbane and helped Laurie get the Kids Alive Program up on the net with his business partner, Steve Whyte.
In 2004, Laurie approached Ben and Steve about sharing his Swimming Teaching methods online, and this was the beginning of World Wide Swim School.
First, they built an online player, which streamed teaching modules. After a couple years of Laurie and his team developing the content, and the dita Solutions team developing the player and payment gateway, WWSS was launched in 2006.
In his spare time, Ben enjoys camping, fishing and boating around the south East and when holidaying, prefers to take the RV route. His favourite thing to do is to catch up with friends around a fire over a few drinks.
Steven Whyte, Chief Operating Officer
Steven Whyte is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of World Wide Swim School, and has over 25 years’ experience in the Television, Publishing and Internet industries.
He was previously Head of IT for Channel 9 Entertainment Co., which saw him delivering large IT projects, such as the 2006 Melbourne XVIII Commonwealth Games, 2010 Vancouver XXI Olympic Winter Games, and the 2012 London XXX Summer Games.
Steve is passionate about helping organisations streamline and simplifying their workflow processes, and he really enjoys how WWSS can help deliver successful outcomes for our clients.
In his spare time, Steve loves taking long walks whilst listening to podcasts, and his favorite podcast right now is ‘Masters of Scale’ with Reid Hoffman.
He’s currently working on the next generation of WWSS products and is excited to share these over the coming months.
Vickie Barron, Customer Service Coordinator
Vickie has been part of the WWSS Team since February, 2021, as the Customer Service Coordinator. An opportunity presented itself to come onboard, which she was very excited to accept. She loves working with her new team members, and feels very supported in her new role.
She previously worked as a Swim Teacher for Laurie since 2010. She was also a part of WWSS’s Professional Development Training Hub, so she has a very passionate attitude to training & development, including personal growth benefits.
Vickie is married with two girls, aged 24 and 18 years old. She has been practicing hot yoga, and Vinyasa yoga, for 11 years, as it helps her to keep a more present and balanced lifestyle, both at work and home.
Vickie is very passionate about how WWSS can help transform Swim Schools and their teacher’s skills. She is looking forward to building strong relationships with her Swim Schools, as well as becoming the biggest online swim school training platform in the world.
Katie McCaffery, Digital Marketing Coordinator
Katie joined WWSS at the start of 2021, as the Digital Marketing Coordinator. Her career background, includes Journalism, Sales & Marketing and Business Development.
Katie has loved working at WWSS, and has found the Team to be so friendly, dedicated to their work and very easy to get along with. Research, writing and analytics are Katie’s passions, and she loves how expansive the WWSS platform is, as it keeps her very busy.
She has recently moved into her first home with her partner Jonathan, and their two fur kids, Bruce and Gigi, and enjoys walking with them along the waterfront every day. Another favorite pastime of Katie’s is to peruse the local area for great coffee shops and dinner spots.
Mark Skinner, Instructional Designer
Mark Skinner has worked for WWSS with Laurie, Ben and Steve since it started up in 2006. He was originally a technician for Telecom Australia for 18 years, and then started his own company, providing telephone, IT, and data services to the Nine Network, 7 Network, and ABC TV and Radio.
In his spare time, Mark likes to listen to good music and watch movies with his wife Gabrielle, and they’re slowly working on renovating their home.
Mark is most looking forward to the completion and release of upcoming WWSS products this year, which are sure to reach WWSS customers on a whole new level.