Creating opportunities for Aboriginal youth

9 February 2018

Throughout this month Royal Life Saving WA is offering an extended Bronze Medallion course for Aboriginal participants from the KOYA Aboriginal Corporation. The course is being held at the Swan Park Leisure Centre with the aim of assisting these young people to develop their skills and open up new work opportunities.

The 15 participants will complete two training sessions each week. This will prepare them for a two-day course at the end of the month, with Royal Life Saving Trainer Kylie Angelheart, in which they will have the opportunity to achieve their Bronze Star or Bronze Medallion qualification.Aboriginal youth in their education session with their trainer

These qualifications are a stepping stone towards enabling them to complete Lifeguard or Swim Instructor qualifications, opening up employment opportunities at local aquatic centres.

Drowning data indicates that 44 people were hospitalised following a non-fatal drowning incident in the City of Swan between the 1st July 2006 and the 30th June 2016, the third highest number recorded in any metropolitan local government area. For this reason Royal Life Saving is determined to ensure swimming and water safety education is made available to disadvantaged communities in this area, with a focus on Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse families.

Research has also found that the drowning rate amongst Australian Aboriginals is three times higher than other Australian children aged 0–14 years, and is ranked the second most common cause of injury death. By enabling this group of Aboriginal young people to learn skills to provide employment pathways in the aquatic industry, Royal Life Saving WA hopes they can become mentors to other young people in their community, ensuring that swimming and water safety skills become a priority for Aboriginal children.

This training is being funded by the Department of Local Government , Sport and Cultural Industries and is being provided as a partnership between KOYA Aboriginal Corporation, Swan Park Leisure Centre and Royal Life Saving WA.