Kalumburu KindiLink kids to learn vital water safety skills

16 February 2021

Babies and toddlers from the Kalumburu KindiLink program are experiencing important water familiarisation and aquatic safety skills as part of an ongoing series of ‘water play’ sessions at the Kalumburu Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool. The KidiLink program runs every Friday during terms one, two and four, and targets children aged 0 to 3 years of age and their parents.

Kalumburu is WA’s northernmost settlement, a remote Aboriginal community in the Kimberley region, home to around 400 people. The community is also home to one of the newest Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools managed by Royal Life Saving WA and supported by the Department of Communities.

The Kalumburu pool has been welcomed wholeheartedly by the local community since it was completed in late 2019. Pool Manager Ryan Ingley arranged a trial run of the KindiLink pool sessions last year which proved extremely popular with families and children.

KindiLink is a WA Department of Education initiative that provides a play-and-learn environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 0 to 3. Children attend sessions with a parent or carer who are encouraged to actively participate in the activities with their children.

Pippa Thorsby, teacher and KindiLink Educator at the Kalumburu Remote Community School, said between five and 25 children and families attend the program each week, acknowledging “the importance of children of all ages in Kalumburu learning to ‘swim’, but more so to be safe and confident in the water.” Pippa and her team want to encourage more families to attend and “educate more of our younger children on the importance of water safety and the basics of learning to swim.”

“Due to Kalumburu being surrounded by the ocean and rivers, it is a foundational skill that children learn to be safe and comfortable around the water whilst learning the basics of swimming. The aim of attending the Kalumburu Pool every Friday is for parents and their children to explore, learn and play in the water in a safe manner. Although this program is not compulsory, we have seen a significant spike in our attendance from families and children since introducing ‘water play’ on Friday mornings which is fantastic!” says Pippa. “We believe this is an extremely important foundation for the children in Kalumburu.” 

“It is also a nice time for our parents/carers to use the pool with their child/children in a safe and calm environment. Families are supportive for this program to continue and really appreciate the ongoing support.”

Learn more about the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool Project at the link below.

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