Martu children learn to Swim and Survive

30 November 2017
Students at the Martu Education Centre are throwing themselves into Royal Life Saving WA’s after-school Swim & Survive Access and Equity Program.

Martu Education Centre provides literacy and numeracy support to Martu students from primary schools in Newman. Students particularly enjoy the Swim and Survive swimming lessons delivered in partnership with Newman Aquatic Endorsed Swim School, which are designed to build confidence and teach essential water-safety skills that can be applied in aquatic environments.

Aboriginal children sitting along the edge of the swimming pool at Newman Aquatic CentreThe Swim & Survive Program is of huge importance in remote and regional communities, as 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. A review of drowning data indicates limited water safety awareness combined with alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs as key factors.

The 12 students participating in the after-school swimming lessons are making huge progress, and enjoying every moment. The lessons are also motivating the children to attend and participate at school.

Swimming instructor Emily Bastian has a great rapport with the students: “I have a passion for seeing the students’ water skills progress,” she says. Student Gus adds: “I was second in the swimming race. I go to the deep side and come back”, while fellow student Sebastian says: “I like catching the little ring under the water. I like swimming lessons and doing the rocket.”

This after-school Swim and Survive Access and Equity program at Newman will continue until early December, and is proudly supported by Principal Community Partner BHP.