Geraldton Clontarf Academy members embark on Swim and Survive

5 November 2018

As part of the Clontarf Academy, 15 boys from Geraldton Senior College are participating in a six-week Swim and Survive program this term.

The program, funded by the WA Swim and Survive Fund, will see the boys learn vital swimming and water safety skills every Friday at Geraldton Aquarena, in preparation for summer.

The Swim and Survive Fund is designed to increase access to swimming and water safety education for children and young people experiencing social or economic disadvantage. This includes children in regional and remote areas of WA who may otherwise have missed out on learning these vital skills due to a lack of access to classes or financial hardship.

Aboriginal boys in the pool swimming with kickboards while their instructor watches onRoyal Life Saving WA Inclusion Coordinator, Emily Balcombe, says it's pleasing to see these young people in Geraldton learning these vital skills. "Our strong partnership with the Clontarf Academy has been able to provide children in the metropolitan, and now regional areas, the necessary skills to learn to Swim and Survive in case of an emergency."

Research has 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. Data from 1 July 2007 – 30 June 2017 shows there have been 111 drowning incidents recorded in WA involving Aboriginal Australians, making up 5.1% of total drowning incidents.

The City of Greater Geraldton Aboriginal community makes up 9.7% of Geraldton’s population and Royal Life Saving is committed to enabling more community members to learn to Swim and Survive. 

Working with the Clontarf Academy at Geraldton Senior College, the Royals aim to engage Aboriginal youths in not only learning swimming skills, but also taking part in further training opportunities such as their Bronze Medallion which will assist them in working toward the pool lifeguard or swim instructor qualifications in the future.

For more information on our commitment to enabling Indigenous participation in Swim and Survive and other programs, please click on the following link.

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