Important relationship building positive futures

6 July 2021

As we celebrate NAIDOC Week, Royal Life Saving WA is proud of the important relationships it has developed with Aboriginal organisations right across the state as we work to ensure all Western Australians have an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills. One of those is the Clontarf Foundation, an organisation that exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and by doing so equips them to participate more meaningfully in society.

During the past financial year Royal Life Saving WA has conducted 12 extended Bronze Medallion programs for students at a range of Clontarf Academies across the metropolitan area, engaging 117 Aboriginal young men, along with a water safety talk at the Ellenbrook Academy. Our hope is that through the Bronze Medallion programs these young men have learned vital skills for their future.

Clontarf Foundation State Manager Gavin Greaves, who is a member of the Royal Life Saving WA Multicultural Steering Committee, agrees that these programs with the Clontarf students are making a real impact for these young men. “The benefits of the interactions the Clontarf lads have with RLSSWA are multi layered. They provide them with opportunities to develop their social and leadership skills. They also importantly learn a lot about staying safe in environments where the risk of drowning is present. Finally the courses they do can help to build their resumes which can enhance employment opportunities for them.”

Royal Life Saving WA looks forward to continuing this important relationship with Clontarf Foundation, and has immediate plans to engage students from the Ellenbrook Academy in further training, with a group completing the theory components of their Bronze Medallion course, using the diving boards at HBF Stadium, and touring the WA Institute of Sport. Students from the Clontarf Academy at Cecil Andrews are also completing their Bronze Medallion program during the first five weeks of Term Three.

Mr Greaves says he looks forward to seeing this relationship continue, as he’s seen the impact it has on these boys. “They have grown in confidence because of the experiences. Not only because of the water safety skills they have picked up but also because of the opportunities to develop their social skills.”

You can find out more about our work in engaging Aboriginal communities across our state at the link below.

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