Warmun kids loving in-term swimming lessons

15 November 2019

45 students from the Ngalangangpum School in the remote Aboriginal community of Warmun have been enjoying swimming lessons this term thanks to a partnership between Royal Life Saving WA and the Department of Education. The partnership is delivering swimming lessons to 15 schools in remote communities of WA. 

Aboriginal students participating in a swimming lessonSwimming instructor Susan Reeve has travelled up to Warmun to deliver the 10-day swimming program. The Ngalangangpum School is a co-ed Catholic school with around 100 students from Pre-Primary to Year 10. With assistance from local teacher Ken Dillon, Susan has been teaching the students valuable swimming and water safety skills, which are so vital to remote communities such as Warmun.

Warmun is a tiny town in WA’s Kimberley region on the Great Northern Road between Broome and Kununurra. Research has found that the drowning rate among Aboriginal Australians is three times higher than other Australian children, and those living in remote communities are at even greater risk. 

Warmun is part of the Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Project, a Royal Life Saving WA initiative to provide educational swimming programs and encourage safe aquatic participation. The lessons have been taking place at the Warmun Remote Aboriginal Pool, which is managed by Royal Life Saving WA through pool manager Jamie O’Donohue.

Jamie says the lessons have been going really well, with the students having a lot of fun in the pool. “The lessons are going along fine and are well organised. With Renee and Ken being at the pool for all the lessons, things run so much smoother and quicker. Susan even did the Bungle Bungles helicopter flight this morning and loved it.”

Find out more about the work Royal Life Saving WA is doing to promote Indigenous participation in swimming and water safety programs at the link below!

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