Aboriginal children receive vital water safety education at Fitzroy Crossing

26 November 2020

Dozens of children from two remote Aboriginal communities outside Fitzroy Crossing have enjoyed learning vital swimming and water safety skills this term, through our delivery of the Department of Education’s Interm Swimming program atStudents with their instructors holding their Swim and Survive packs the Fitzroy Crossing Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool. The program is part of a service agreement between Royal Life Saving WA and the Department of Education to ensure children in remote communities have access to learn to stay safe around the water.

Recent data shows that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in our state. Overall, half of children who fatally drowned over the past ten years were Aboriginal. Limited water safety awareness combined with very low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs have been noted as key factors in these statistics, so Royal Life Saving and the Department of Education are working together to ensure Aboriginal children have opportunities to take part in swimming and water safety lessons.

12 children from Djugerari and 35 from Wangkatjunka, communities about 110 kilometres from Fitzroy Crossing, travelled into town to take part in the recent program. The swimming lessons were facilitated by Pool Manager Adele Caporn and swimming instructor Zoe Ross, who’s travelled to the town from Perth this term to assist the Fitzroy team.

Adele and Trevor Caporn with Brenton receiving his thank you giftThe pair also received assistance from Brenton, who has been working at Wangkatjunka Remote Community School for eight years, and assisting Adele to run swimming lessons at Fitzroy Crossing for the past five years. Brenton and his wife are soon transferring to a school in Perth so Pool Manager Trevor and Adele presented him with a voucher and Swim and Survive pack to thank him for all his help, and wish him well for the future.

Children from Pre-Primary right through to Year 6 took part in the swimming lessons, learning basic swimming and survival skills along with enjoying a special swimming carnival and raft building. All those who took part received Swim and Survive packs and certificates for their participation.

Our Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools are supported by the Department of Communities and Principal Community Partner BHP. You can read more about the impact these pools are having in remote areas of WA at the link below.

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