Jigalong youth build skills for the future

14 February 2019

Jigalong youth with trainer Cameron Eglington demonstrating rescue with a spine board in the poolYouth in the remote community of Jigalong made some significant achievements recently, taking part in Bronze Medallion training at the Jigalong Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool as part of a “Skills For Life” Youth Summit held there.

Royal Life Saving National President Cameron Eglington spent the week in the community training the youth and was able to share his valuable expertise in the areas of Aquatic Rescue and First Aid with them.

The training was part of Royal Life Saving’s Talent Pool program which aims to see young people in remote Western Australia complete qualifications to gain employment in the aquatics industry as pool lifeguards, aquatic trainers and swim instructors.An aboriginal youth with a police officer in the pool attaching a rescue tube to a lifesaving manikin

Cameron says 18 youth took part in the recent training, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. “We had a good number of local Jigalong Community kids join other participants from Roebourne, Port Hedland and Perth to engage in resuscitation, swimming, lifesaving, spinal management and rescue activities. When we used footballs and kicked them out to our patients to help them float we all had a great laugh and everyone joined in this fun yet meaningful activity.”

The Jigalong Youth Summit was sponsored by the Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation and Royal Life Saving WA, with the aim of engaging local youth in a variety of activities to improve their future employment prospects and the general cohesion of the local community. Cameron says it was fantastic to see the real collaboration that took place throughout the three-day summit. “The highlight for me was the positive and embracing engagement of the teenagers and young people, together with the pool manager, police officers and doctor - working hard to build swimming and aquatic knowledge and skills all while experiencing the structure and discipline required to complete such a course. It was great to see the youth build these routines into habits while also showing a growth in their own self-confidence.”

Aboriginal youth standing around trainer Cameron Eglington as he explains CPR skills beside a CPR manikinWhile all participants achieved their Bronze Medallion certificates several also qualified as Aquatic trainers - including local Pool Manager David Lucas and Police Officer Mark Williams - which means they can continue to qualify Jigalong residents in their Bronze Star and Bronze Medallion into the future.

Cameron says he sees a very bright future ahead for those who engaged so positively in the challenge of the week’s activities. “Swimming, lifesaving and rescue are activities that help to explore both our weaknesses and strengths and encourage us to train more. Lifesaving skills can give younger and older people alike employable skills and experiences in a wonderfully useful and important way. These training activities go a long way in making people job ready in a wonderful aquatic environment beyond the pools and into the local rivers, lakes, oceans and water holes. Building these individual skills develops confidence and with some experience and mentoring these ongoing experiences can change lives.”

For further information on the Talent Pool program contact Royal Life Saving Senior Manager, Workforce Solutions, Travis Doye at the link below.

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