We founded Live Learn Survive in 2018 after learning that the World Health Organisation commissioned its first-ever global report dedicated to drowning in 2014. The recommendations from the WHO were, that other than installing barriers or keeping children away from water, the leading point of action was to teach water safety to school-aged children, and that’s where we started.
The last time I wrote for the amazing Business Chicks, Live Learn Survive was gaining momentum, and my business partner Trent Maxwell (better known as Maxi) and I had met face to face with about 10,000 children. 20,000 in 2020 was our goal, now we are all smart enough to guess how that went so we’ll move quickly on.
A year’s program was lost overnight, Maxi and I sat on either side of locked borders, Maxi in New South Wales and myself in Queensland, and that border stayed closed for a good while.
Did we give up, like hell we did!
Using social media, we started with live streams and set mini challenges; $10 quizzes helped to keep the lights on, we started a podcast and we networked with our contacts like life depended on it because our business life actually did. All whilst Maxi, with his day job as a Firefighter and Lifeguard, was out in the thick of it on the frontline in Sydney.
My tip is never to say no to a coffee because a pre-covid coffee with an amazing lady gave me the opportunity to later pitch to a team of lawyers sitting in my car on the phone. I have no idea what they heard, but they liked it, I can honestly say the support we have had from the team at McCullough Robertson lawyers kept us afloat during the pandemic – they are our kind of people.
Their help and guidance allowed us to step back and work on the business so we would have the right foundations in place for 2021; you know, the year of amazing recovery when everything will be normal … how wrong we were! Life was delivering us yet another lesson in patience- just what we needed.
What lockdown did give us was time to think, plan, dream bigger dreams and ultimately meet people from all over the world. Maxi and I knew they were following us, but lockdown meant we were able to put faces to names, and learn their story; social media really did become social.
At Live Learn Survive we were building a community that was there all along, we just didn’t know them; teachers, parents, students, future first responders, young carers and even a biologist became part of our community – more of our people.
The name, ‘The Club’, had been scribbled on our whiteboard for ages, we knew we needed a name for our initiative, but it needed a catchy cool name. The Club was going to bring people together, share life lessons, and give young people the connection we knew they needed in an era when social media was leaving young people feeling more disconnected, even inadequate, than ever before.
Now we know that we alone are not going to change social media, but if our corner of it can be a positive and uplifting space for young people to hang out for a few minutes a day, then we have done our job. If we take the opportunity to use each platform for good and take our work really seriously, kids will be on there, if they are with us they hopefully will be guided away from some of the toxic content on the internet.
4am is the time for my best ideas. Live Learn Survive Club, The Survive Club, Maxi’s Survive Squad morphed into Maxis Rescue Squad within about 20 minutes, I knew we had it, Maxi was lucky as I nearly rang him there and then told him, but I thought I’d let him sleep.
For less than the price of a coffee a week, anyone can sign up their whole family and learn life skills, to not only look after themselves but to help others too. Fire and Water Safety, First Aid and Health and Wellbeing are all covered, with simple information that will help everyone on the days in life when things go wrong.
Every month we have a squad zoom where we all come together to say hi and ask any questions on the weekly video lessons we release. Now with members in over 25 countries, in every zoom, we have at least 3 continents represented, and we didn’t even leave the house!
Anyone who knows Maxi and I knew that doing nothing or folding was NEVER an option back in 2020. We know the impact we are making, the lives we are changing, we are a pair of quiet achievers that get on with the job, no fuss or fanfare, but you never know who is watching, and our lawyers were and stepped up again.
2022 saw us launch Live Learn Survive Ltd, our new Not for Profit committed to supporting programs and organisations that teach life skills, keep children safe, and provide them with opportunities.
The legal team helped us write our constitution alongside our fellow board member and Treasurer, accountant Tiffane Anderson; I think it is the most important document you can write. The constitution sets the vision and the rules for all the valuable work that will follow and will make sure we not only survive but thrive as initially intended.
A new business plan, and as I write this, we await confirmation of our listing on the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission and that will be a huge milestone for us. With bated breath we are still looking for boundaries we can push, we have an Intern Teacher in Los Angeles working on developing the curriculum and we are currently about to head to the USA to attend the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in Washington DC. Our mission to get our educational books to every child, no matter their background or location.
Why? Because we want to build resilient kids and teach them the skills so they have the confidence to cope with what life throws at them. At the time of writing, this week alone, Maxi has had 2 resuscitation situations where people immediately on the scene did not know CPR or what to do. We have much work to do, and simple things can be taught young.
You can help us by following our story on social media, subscribing to our podcast, and sharing anything that is of interest to your network. If you are in a situation where you can do more, you think you are also our kind of people or want to work with us, we’d love to hear from you- you won’t regret it! After an incredible first career, this second one is quite simply the most rewarding thing I have ever done, and Maxi and I are only just getting started.
In 2018 Trent Maxwell and Leigh Mason founded the social enterprise ‘Live Learn Survive’. An interactive, fun, education program teaching Fire & Water Safety and First Aid skills to children and young adults, teaching skills that save lives whilst making learning fun.
In 2021 they launched Maxis Rescue Squad an online, global community of kids learning life skills together in a fun, safe space. Lifeguardmaxi’s books purchased through his website supports the work of Live Learn Survive. The books are in more than 20 countries worldwide.