Royal Life Saving WA welcomes water safety funding boost

13 November 2018

Royal Life Saving Society WA has received a welcome funding boost ahead of the summer months, which will assist us in providing vital water safety and drowning prevention initiatives across our state.

Approximately one person drowns every fortnight in Western Australia, and every 4.5 days a person is hospitalised following a non-fatal drowning incident. People are 3.7 times more likely to drown in regional WA than the Perth metropolitan area, and more than 25 per cent of drownings in WA involve people who were born overseas.

The State Government has provided Royal Life Saving WA with a $405,000 funding grant to support Water Safe WA programs focussed on reducing the rate of multicultural, Aboriginal and regional drownings; improving children’s swimming skills; and creating safer places to swim.

Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray visited Royal Life Saving WA headquarters to announce the grant saying it's an important contribution towards water safety in our water-loving state. 

“Water safety is always vitally important, but with summer approaching more people will be out and about enjoying WA’s pools and natural waterways. It is timely that we remind everyone how to keep safe. Higher-risk groups and young children need special attention to make sure we keep them as safe as possible near water. This State Government funding will help fund programs that save lives and reduce the terrible impact drownings and near-drownings have on families and the community at large.” 

Lotterywest is providing $245,000 as part of the grant, with an emphasis on delivering inclusion programs for Aboriginal, multicultural and regional populations, who experience higher rates of drowning. That funding will provide equipment, support for volunteer safety trainers in regional and remote communities, and the development of water safety plans and programs to meet local needs.

The additional $160,000 comes from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, to support initiatives including foundation skills for children, youth leadership and personal development pathways, and creating safer aquatic locations.

Royal Life Saving Society WA CEO Peter Leaversuch says the funding is vital and will benefit at-risk community groups across our state. “As a community the challenge we face is to ensure that every generation acquires water safety skills and that vulnerable sectors of our community; from multicultural backgrounds, disadvantaged circumstances and regional areas, do not miss out. Today’s funding announcement is significant. It will result in the delivery of more programs to at-risk communities and greater service integration, it will make a real difference. Royal Life Saving thanks Lotterywest and the WA Government for its support."

“Royal Life Saving is also excited to be pursuing an innovative approach with the impact of our activities extending beyond drowning prevention to delivering a range of health, education, youth engagement and social inclusion outcomes for the at-risk communities we help.”

You can find out more about our work with at-risk communities across WA at the link below.

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Royal Life Saving staff and stakeholders with Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray and representatives from Lotterywest and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural industries by the pool at HBF Stadium