Nicole Seeto 0

Keeping our beloved swim coach here in Australia

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This is a petition of Ironside and extended community families, who would like to keep the Zerbini family (Stefano, Lucia, Leo and Anna) in Australia – this is our contribution to their last plea to stay in Australia. If you would like to assist, please sign the petition below.

Dear friend

  • Stefano and his family have been part of our Ironside SS community since 2017 when they moved here from Italy.
  • In these years Stefano has worked at the school swimming pool both at Georgie Parkes Swim School and as Physical Education Swimming Teacher. This made him to be known by most of the children and parents who attend the swimming pool daily.
  • After spending almost his entire life in Italian swimming pools, he managed to convey all his experience as an international athlete and long-time coach. In particular he introduced all of us to finswimming, a well known sport in Europe, Asia and America. Coordinating with the Australian Underwater Federation he organized the Nationals Championships at the University of Queensland in January. Many children from our newborn St Lucia Finswimming Club became National Champions and we also had some adults qualified for Masters Finswimming World Championships that should have taken place in Italy in June, but was cancelled because of the risks associated with COVID19.
  • Lucia is a researcher at The University of Queensland. She is really appreciated at work, where she is a good team player and, because of her uncommon profile, a precious resource for the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Her supervisor is trying to find a solution to extend her contract, but they still do not know whether it will be possible, given the restrictions caused by COVID19.
  • Leo is a bright student and, according to his teachers, Leo consistently takes responsibility for his actions in all contexts. He cooperates well with others and is supportive, encouraging and inclusive. Leo acts safely and responsibly and proactively models the Ironside Way.
  • Anna has just begun prep, but her previous kindergarten teachers believe she is happy, confident, and friendly young girl.
  • Stefano and his family arrived here with a 457 skilled visa, which until April 2017 provided automatic entitlement to apply for permanent residency (PR). They applied for PR two weeks after the rules had tightened up and because of that they could no longer apply for PR. Furthermore, their 457 skilled visa was granted just for the first two years, since they applied in the middle of the transition, they had to apply for another visa, her current 408 visiting academic visa.
  • At the moment, only an extension of two years of Lucia’s UQ contract could help them stay here and reapply for PR, but given the disastrous circumstances with the current economic crisis that seems highly unlikely.

We all have appreciated his knowledge, passion, kindness and energy, which his “Italian” style brought to us.

In view of Queensland’s candidacy to host the Olympic Games in 2032 Stefano would be happy to support the introduction of finswimming as a new event. Creating a big movement in the State in the next years could be an important boost.

Beyond the finswimming, all of the children and adults, have appreciated Stefano as an instructor and coach. Coordinating and motivating the adult classes with fun, challenging and unusual workouts.

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