Multicultural Pilbara men learn vital skills

11 March 2020

We’re excited to see multicultural families in the Pilbara having an opportunity to learn vital swimming and water safety skills so they can enjoy water activities together!

The latest family members to get involved are the dads, who are taking part in our Men’s Only Swim and Survive lessons this term at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre. The program is a partnership between the Pilbara Legal Service, Town of Port Hedland and Royal Life Saving WA.

Multicultural men in the pool learning swimming skills with their swim instructor12 men have registered for the program, but due to their shift work between 6 and 8 attend the classes each week. Some of the men in the group were encouraged to take part in the lessons by their partners and wives who have participated in our Women’s Only Swim and Survive program at Port Hedland over the past 18 months. They’ve also actively observed their children's Swim and Survive lessons at the local Swim School so they understand the importance of all the family members being water safe.

Research shows that of the drowning deaths that occurred in WA over the past 10 years, 40% involved people who were born overseas, the largest proportion of any state or territory. Limited water safety awareness combined with alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs are contributing factors in this over-representation of multicultural community members in drowning statistics, so its great to see these Pilbara families learning these vital skills.

Swim Instructor Nicolette Simic says the men are making excellent progress. “They work very hard during their lessons and it’s a real buzz to see them overcome their initial fear of the water and take on new challenges. In chatting to the group they say their biggest motivator and main goal is to get confident enough to go to the beach or the pool with their kids and enjoy time in the water and not be fearful.”

Royal Life Saving WA would like to thank Nicolette, Victoria Maylek from the Pilbara Legal Service and the team at the Town of Port Hedland for their assistance in making this program such a success. We look forward to seeing these men continue to build their swimming skills in the coming months.

You can read more about our work with multicultural communities across the state at the link below.

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