Agreement to boost aquatic skills and training in Hedland

15 November 2021

Royal Life Saving WA has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Town of Port Hedland as we work together to design, develop and deliver training and programs that maximise community participation at aquatic facilities, strengthen the provision of aquatic services, and improve employment opportunities for the Hedland community. Drowning statistics show that people in regional parts of WA are 3.8 times more likely to drown than those in the Perth metro area, so ensuring families and individuals in regional areas have access to aquatic education and training is vital.

Through this new MOU a number of important projects will be undertaken including collaboratively designing a Junior Lifeguard Club program for children aged 10+ to provide training opportunities and future employment pathways for young people, the co-funding of training events and development of a training calendar to ensure aquatic training opportunities are provided for the local community, and the development and implementation of a North-West Lifeguard Challenge which will encourage all north-west aquatic facilities to participate in order to provide training, development and networking opportunities for aquatic staff.

Royal Life Saving WA will also work together with Town of Port Hedland to maximised community participation in Swim and Survive programs, Access and Equity multicultural swimming lessons and the Swim for Fruit program. The Town will also provide up to $8,000 annually to help fund major events including the Spirit Swimming and Lifesaving Carnival and Community Rescue Club.

Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Community Development, Tim Turner, says it’s an important agreement. “The newly struck MOU has been driven by a desire to create a partnership that delivers training, provides employment, and promotes water safety education for the community. Key features of the agreement have been free entry for Royal Life Saving students undertaking training, a commitment to real jobs, and the desire to host a north-west regional lifeguards championship. The agreement provides a good example of what can be achieved between Royal Life Saving and local government and we hope this becomes a template for the North-West as we expand our services over the next 12 months.”

As part of the agreement Royal Life Saving is committed to assist in mitigating the current shortage of swim instructors in the region by assisting in the delivery of aquatic education and providing a minimum of four candidate Swim Instructors per year who are supported by the organisation to apply for employment with the Town of Port Hedland. We will also work collaboratively to deliver a range of training courses including Bronze Medallion, Pool Lifeguard and Requalification, Pool Operator, Swim Teacher and First Aid.

We hope to see this important partnership successfully build the engagement of the local community with the Town’s Gratwick and South Hedland Aquatic Centres, while developing a strong aquatic workforce in the region which in turn will provide important employment opportunities for Hedland youth.