Chinese community learns to keep little hearts beating

9 June 2021

A woman practising emergency response on another womanAlmost half of Australians were either born overseas themselves or have a parent who was, and, sadly, many of those coming to Australia from overseas lack the vital swimming and water safety skills required to fully enjoy our water-loving lifestyle, which can have tragic consequences. WA statistics show that over the past ten years 39% of drowning deaths in WA involved a person born overseas – that’s 134 multicultural West Australians who’ve lost their lives to drowning.

Royal Life Saving WA has taken a lead in reducing this statistic, by engaging with key multicultural community groups to ensure those coming to our state from overseas have an opportunity to learn vital skills to stay safe in, on and around the water. As a part of this initiative, the Chung Wah Association recently hosted a Heart Beat Club at their Northbridge headquarters.A group of women watching a first aid demonstration with a trainer

The Heart Beat Club is a community safety initiative that teaches basic first aid and CPR skills to assist parents and carers of children with skills they need to respond to common child accidents and injuries, including drowning, burns, scalds and cuts. These short sessions cover CPR skills and basic first aid.

Around 15 parents took part in the session, which was led by Royal Life Saving Trainer Liz Fowler and funded through the Uncle Toby’s Swim My Way program. 10 of the women then continued their water safety education by taking part in our women’s only swimming lessons at the Cannington Leisureplex.

Royal Life Saving WA Inclusion Coordinator Achol Madong says programs like these are vital to ensure multicultural groups can safely enjoy water activities. “These community groups are at high risk of drowning, and it is important they receive the appropriate swimming and water safety education to reduce this risk. Royal Life Saving prides itself on working hard to break down the barriers to participation, and Heart Beat Clubs are one of the many programs offered to these groups to do just that.”