Wiluna students take on first aid and water safety training

21 March 2022

school student holding an infant first aid training manikinLocal students in the remote community of Wiluna have been getting involved in training to be the future lifesavers of the small Mid West town, immersing themselves in a range of first aid and water safety focused training sessions. 

During the last week of February, aquatic trainer Katie Lindquist and Royal Life Saving WA's Talent Pool Manager Cameron Eglington delivered 12 workshops with the Wiluna students. The Talent Pool program provides skills development and employment opportunities for young Aboriginal people and is proudly supported by Principal Community Partner BHP.

The workshops included eight first aid and water safety sessions and four aquatic sessions based on survival and water rescue activities at the Wiluna Shire Pool. Local students in Years 6 to 10 were immersed in a fun and engaging learning environment, accessing quality training services to support community drowning prevention. 

Trainers focused on providing students with opportunities to develop necessary skills for CPR, bandaging, snake bites, allergies and anaphylaxis. Students also had the chance to access focused skills training in infant CPR and providing first aid in an emergency. One of the students, Salina, displayed strong leadership skills in her completion of the HLTAID011 Provide First Aid certification. 

Salina excelled at the opportunities handed to her over the week, exemplifying Royal Life Saving WA’s dedication to providing ‘swimming and water safety skills for all.’ Salina’s family background is from the Pacific Island nation of Tonga, however, she moved to Australia with her family when she was young before settling in the Wiluna community.

Wiluna student Salina with her peers at the Wiluna pool“Her generous and enthusiastic participation in all activities shone through and, as she aims to become a veterinarian in the future, she found these first aid skills and knowledge a window to the necessary skills needed for her future profession,” said Cameron. 

With 294 people drowning in Australian waterways over 2020/21, Principal Community Partner BHP supports the work of Royal Life Saving WA in delivering essential aquatic skills to reduce rates of drowning in the community. Providing this training in Aboriginal communities is even more crucial with Aboriginal Australians overrepresented in drowning statistics, accounting for 5.5% of total drowning deaths in Australia despite making up 3.3% of the Australian population. 

It's encouraging to see so many people within vulnerable communities getting involved in Royal Life Saving WA programs to improve their swimming, first aid and water safety knowledge. With 39 awards achieved during our trip to Wiluna, we look forward to seeing what the students of this community achieve next!

To learn more about the Talent Pool program and the impact it's having in regional and remote communities, visit the link below.

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