Our Team | Carlile Swimming

Michael Yeomans

Manager of Operations

Michael joined us in 2002 as a swim teacher at Norwest. He made an instant impression and quickly progressed at Carlile. As Afternoon Coordinator at Cherrybrook and Operations Manager of Norwest, he was pivotal in building strong teaching teams and growing the reputation of each centre.

Michael’s outstanding leadership skills saw him promoted to Manager of Operations in 2017. In this role, he develops and supports our team of Operations Managers to successfully lead our swim schools.

“I love my role as I enjoy working with people. Everyday I experience something new, a different centre, a different group of people and a different set of challenges.

“At Carlile, each pool is like a family. The people, the comradery, everyone working towards a common goal. It’s great to be a part of this.” Michael says.

Jesse Cahalan

Area leader

To say Jesse Cahalan was born into Carlile Swimming is no exaggeration, he first hit the water with us at just ten days old! He spent his childhood either in the water or on pool deck with mum Patty and former Carlile director Richard, then managing operations at Castle Cove. 

Jesse loves people and teaching kids, he started at just 13 teaching skateboarding. In 2011 he bought his passion back to Carlile, teaching at Castle Cove before progressing with stints at Killarney Heights and for two years the manager of operations at Freshwater. 


“I love the impact we have on the lives of children, being able to help them with a skill for life. Either to be competitive swimmers or just to enjoy themselves at the beach,” Jesse says. 


” It’s such a rewarding job, the atmosphere is great, I love dealing with so many diverse personalities and really being part of the community”. 


To swim well is an asset for life and Carlile is proud that in 2024 Jesse’s career took another step up when he became the northern beaches Area leader.   He is a shinning example of the benefits swimming can provide. 

Darren Long

Area leader

Darren has been part of the Carlile family since he walked onto the pool deck as a ten-year-old Marlin. He went on to captain the Ryde-Carlile Swimming club at the Olympic trials.

Darren joined us as a teacher in 2006, working alongside our founders Forbes and Ursula Carlile. Progressing through all the key roles, Darren became the Operations Manager at Carlingford in 2019 and in 2024 took the next step in his career as an area leader.

“I’ve lived in the area most of my life and love my role, Carlile really cares about their people and it shows. Seeing a child’s confidence and love of swimming grow from lesson to lesson is so rewarding. Sharing their successes is such a joy,” Darren says.

“I love getting to know people and connecting with our families, it’s amazing how much I learn from them.”

Karen Potter

Operations Manager, Norwest

Karen, the ‘baby whisperer’, has lived in the Hills district all her life and began teaching with us in 2003 where her nickname was quickly coined. Time and again Karen would have a nervous bub smiling and giggling in the water.

Karen spent three years as Operations Manager at Carlingford, before taking over at Norwest in 2019.

“I love working with my team, creating an environment where children feel comfortable and develop a love of the water. I also really enjoy being part of the local community. Each day brings new conversations, greater connection and learning,” Karen says.

“Teaching kids is so rewarding. Seeing their smiling faces, hearing about their days. I feel so proud when they have mastered a skill and are rewarded with a promotion, knowing we made it happen together.” Karen says.

Carlile is proud to have such a caring and dedicated manager leading the team at Norwest.

Kim Purnell

Operations Manager, Killarney Heights

Kim first swam with us at the old Bridge Street pool in Pymble and still gets in the water today, having achieved outstanding results, including making a world masters final.

Joining Carlile Swimming, Killarney Heights in 2002, as a Preschool Learn to Swim and Waterbabies teacher, Kim progressed through all the Coordinator and Supervisor roles and became the Operations Manager in 2014.

“The role of Operations Manager has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I have enjoyed making Carlile Killarney Heights a place where people feel comfortable, welcomed and safe.

“I love teaching kids to swim because the difference you make in their lives is incredible. I love that sense of fulfilment when a child is so proud to have mastered a skill you have been working on together.” Kim says

Carlile is proud to have such a dedicated swimmer and teacher leading the pool at Killarney Heights.

Ginny Shanley

Operations Manager, Cross Street Ryde

Ginny, our longest serving leader, was born to swim and grew up water skiing and playing water polo. Joining us in 1993, Ginny has worked in all the key roles, becoming the Operations Manager at Ryde in 2008.

Ginny worked closely with our founders, Forbes and Ursula Carlile and still maintains a close relationship with Ursula.

“The community we work in at Ryde is rich in Carlile history. Forbes and Ursula are legendary, and I’m proud to say we continue their legacy,” Ginny says.

“There is so much research and expertise behind everything we do. Carlile has developed an outstanding swim program that is backed by science. I love teaching this program and watching the children progress.

“I also respect Carlile’s core values and I’m often thanked by previous employees for the role Carlile has played in their lives.” Ginny says.

Carlile is honoured to have such a loyal and dedicated manager leading the team at Ryde.

Madeleine Burke

Operations Manager, Five Dock

Maddie was a representative swimmer at school and if you head to our beaches in summer, you’ll still find her competing in ocean swims and run/swim events.

Joining Carlile Swimming in 2013, Maddie progressed through Customer Service and all the teaching and supervising roles, before becoming the Operations Manager at Five Dock in 2018.

“It’s so rewarding, working with others who love teaching kids to swim and supporting them in their professional development, and I really enjoy getting to know all the local families and meeting lots of new faces,” Maddie says.

“At Carlile there is a culture of continual improvement in everything we do. From developments in technology that help us provide better feedback, to best practices in teaching to ensure children learn more effectively.”

Carlile is proud to have such a caring and consistent leader at the Five Dock pool.

Nick Hodgers

Operations Manager, Cherrybrook

Nick’s life in the water has come a long way from his days as a toddler playing in our first indoor teaching pool at Cross Street, Ryde. He swam competitively with us, toured the world with water polo and is a life member of the Ryde Carlile Swimming Club.

Nick began teaching at Norwest in 2004, where he also worked as the School Swimming Coordinator and Facilities Coordinator. In 2006 he moved to Cherrybrook as the Operations Manager.

“My role is very rewarding, especially working with a team of people who are passionate about swimming, either having been swimmers themselves or who love teaching kids to swim,” says Nick.

“I also love being part of the local community. There is always a family atmosphere at the pool and teaching children to swim is incredibly fulfilling.”

Carlile is proud to have such a dedicated and conscientious leader at the Cherrybrook pool.

Operations Manager, Lane Cove West

Shauna’s love of swimming started in the backyard pool and led her to compete with the famed Ryde Carlile club through out her school years. 

“Swimming for me was such a freeing experience, it brought my family together, it bought friends over to play in the pool, it created a community and boosted my confidence at school. Swimming cemented my love for physical activity and sport and taught me lifelong survival skills”, ” My love for swimming has only grown stronger watching it through a professional lens, seeing that sense of community and watching children’s confidence grow each week” 

Shauna started her teaching career at Ryde spending six years at Carlile’s original home before accepting the opportunity to be the coordinator at a large inner city swim school. We were lucky enough to entice Shauna back to lead our operations at Lane Cove West “the role has been fantastic, still being front of house teaching, managing customer experience, while working with the team to provide the best quality service.” 


Duncan Vincent

Operations Manager, Castle Cove

Duncan is another of our water babies. He started at the famed Cross Street pool at three months. His mum was teaching in the pool that Forbes and Ursula Carlile had built in their backyard. The first indoor teaching pool in NSW, where they pioneered teaching babies. Duncan went right through with Carlile and eventually swam competitively with Carlile while also returning to teach with us in 2013. Duncan loves music and was studying a degree in composition and production at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM), but it turns out he loves teaching children to swim even more.   Duncan paused his degree and jumped in full time with Carlile Swimming.

“It’s been a great experience working for Carlile. The people I work with have been welcoming, respectful, and dedicated to their job. On top of that, the families that come through are lovely and it’s been great watching them grow through the years,” he said. Carlile is delighted to have Duncan heading operations at Castle Cove.

Melissa Plakidis

Poppy Devitt

Zac Foster

Nat Linder

Operations Manager, Carlingford

Nat is a classic water baby, starting swimming with Carlile at one and going on to be an elite competitor distance freestyler, you will still find her competing in triathlons.  In 2016 Nat started as a casual teacher, while completing a degree in business.

“It’s such a rewarding experience. Building connections with the kids and their families, celebrating their successes, watching their confidence grow and being a part of their journey is truly special.”

“When you see kids that haven’t been taught properly it shows you how important our program is. Carlile produces swimmers that are so much more balanced and comfortable in the water.” There is no doubt Nat’s degree has helped her progress and we are lucky to have her passion and leadership at Carlile.

“Delivering the highest quality possible starts with ensuring our teachers understand Carlile’s passion. I love helping them to find the joy in teaching kids to swim,'.

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