University students learn to Be a Mermate

3 March 2020

Over the past month, the Royal Life Saving WA Don’t Drink and Drown program attended five University Orientation Days at Edith Cowan University, Notre Dame, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia educating students on the dangers of drinking alcohol when around the water.

Students attending the Don;t Drink and Drown stand at O DayAttending the University Orientation Days provided an opportunity to promote the new Be A Mermate campaign, which was launched in December 2019. The Don’t Drink and Drown team were able to provide university students with the tools to “lure their mates away from danger” if they have been drinking and are getting too close to water. Feedback from the students about the campaign was positive with many saying they will now “Be Mermates” if their friends are participating in risky behaviors around the water.

This year was the first time Don’t Drink and Drown attended the Notre Dame Orientation Day. It was a great way to recruit new university students to become ambassadors for our program and promote our messaging.A volunteer at the Don't Drink and Drown stand during O Day

Don’t Drink and Drown Coordinator Georgia Eaton says attending orientation days is a great way to have conversations with young people her team may not have reached in other areas. “We get to talk to people from all over Western Australia and the World as they head to Perth to begin or continue their university studies. We had some meaningful discussions with students who would be classed as high risk in this age group. These students now have the skills to keep themselves and their mates safe if participating in risky behaviors around the water.”

The five orientation days saw over 1000 university students engaging with the Don’t Drink and Drown stall, taking resources or signing up to our newsletter. The 500 university students who signed up to our newsletter will receive regular updates about how to remain safe when involved in activities around the water while their mates might be drinking.

To find out more about the Don’t Drink and Drown program you can click on the link below.

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