Work experience for a bright future

22 March 2016

Having lived in the Yandeyarra Remote Community all their lives 17 year old Jessica Gordon and 15 year old Shonoah Coppin have grown up with the Royal Life Saving Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool in their community, including all the programs related to it; Swim and Survive, Lifesaving Have a Go Days, swimming carnivals and after school aquatic and Swim for Fruit programs.

When their school teacher Ms Jessica Albers asked if the girls could complete their Workplace Learning at the pool, Pool Manager Jacqui Forbes jumped at the opportunity to take them on and help further their work training skills in the aquatic industry.

Over the past few weeks Shonoah and Jessica have been working two days a week, from 1pm to 3pm, learning about pool management and supervision.

Shonoah says “I have enjoyed working at the pool, keeping watch of the children and helping at the kiosk. However, I’ve learnt there is more to working at the pool than just watching the activities in the water and serving at the kiosk.”

Jessica says "I’ve really enjoyed doing the water sampling and serving people at the kiosk.”

Other duties the girls have undertaken include vacuuming the pool, cleaning the  changing rooms, maintaining sports equipment, monitoring “no school no pool” entry bands and recording daily attendances.

“They are proving to be excellent role models and now the younger pupils keep asking if they can help too. There is a lot of community pride in the girls taking on these roles” says Jacqui Forbes.

As well as working, the girls have started training for their Bronze Medallion Lifesaving qualifications. This will enable them to progress towards completing Pool Lifeguard and Swim Instructor courses, which could lead to paid employment for them.

Local School Principal Graham Boyd says "It is wonderful for these students to have the opportunity to work with Royal Life Saving. Jacqui Forbes has been a wonderful Workplace Learning Supervisor, providing outstanding training and support for the students. The successful completion of this program will not only develop important skills for work, it also counts towards student achievement of their WA Certificate of Education, and is developing authentic pathways for community based employment with Royal Life Saving."

Mr Boyd says this is especially important for these girls living in such a remote community; "in communities with few work opportunities, work experience is absolutely essential to develop young people's understanding of the nature of work. Royal Life Saving, and Jacqui in particular, are to be commended for offering this experience."

Here at Royal Life Saving we wish Jessica and Shonoah all the best for their future endeavours, and look forward to seeing them make a real difference in their community should they choose to complete their Pool Lifeguard and / or Swim Instructor training.

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools project, is supported by Principal Community Partner BHP Billiton, the Department of Housing and Works and Healthway.

Royal Life Saving Society WA is thankful to these organisations for their valued support, which is making an impact and remote regional communities in our state.

Find out more at the link below.