A road trip for remote water safety

26 October 2017

With a new pool manager at Jigalong Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool, and a busy swimming season getting underway at Newman Aquatic Centre, a team from Royal Life Saving made a visit to the two communities recently to lend a hand.

Tony Head from LIWA Aquatics and Jennifer Mickle from Royal Life Saving working together to repair a shredded tyre on their 4WD on a red dirt remote WA roadRoyal Life Saving WA’s Trent Hotchkin and Jennifer Mickle, along with LIWA Executive Officer Tony Head, visited Newman’s pool managers Mark and Brittany Nelli, and Jigalong’s pool managers Dave and Candi Lucas, to share tips and exchange ideas for the season ahead. The trip didn’t come without the usual remote travel obstacles, including a severely shredded tyre!! That hiccup required some team work to resolve, as do drowning statistics in regional and remote WA.

Working together is especially important, as the Pilbara region has the sixth-highest rate of fatal drownings in Western Australia. Indigenous groups have been identified as a demographic at a high risk of drowning and non-fatal drowning in Australia, with Aboriginal children drowning at a rate two-and-a-half times that of non-Aboriginal children.Tony Head from LIWA Aquatics providing new Jigalong Pool Manager David Lucas with some tips of equipment use

By teaming up and working together, actions can be put in place to reduce these figures. Through swimming lessons, swimming and lifesaving carnivals, birthday parties, after-school and holiday swimming, lap swimming, lifesaving training and other community activities, it’s hoped that these figures will significantly decrease in the years to come. 

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Project is managed by the Royal Life Saving Society and is funded primarily through the Department of Communities with additional contribution made through BHP and the Telethon Kids Institute. It focuses on providing the remote communities of Burringurrah, Jigalong, Yandeyarra, Bidyadanga, Warmun and Fitzroy Crossing with recreational and educational swimming programs, to encourage safe aquatic participation.

Find out more about the program at the link below.

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