Aboriginal Steering Group to guide activities in indigenous communities

23 October 2017

Royal Life Saving Society WA has been working in Aboriginal communities across our state for many years, as we aim to address statistics that show Aboriginal Australians are four times more likely to drown than other Australians.

As we look to continue to progress this work in the most effective and culturally sensitive manner possible, we recently formed an Aboriginal Steering Group. The group is made up of six representatives, coming from a variety of Aboriginal interest organisations including youth, industry, government and community.

The group members include Vaughan Davies - Assistant Director General at Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, Tim Turner – Department of Aboriginal Affairs Regional Reform Unit, Gningala Yarran-Mark – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Co-ordinator at UGL Limited, Dennis Simmons – Consultant and Traditional Cultural Education GCC Personnel, Thierra Clanton – AIME Mentoring, and Libby Ferrari – Manager Indigenous Affairs at BHP.

The steering group met recently, with staff from Royal Life Saving, to discuss opportunities to further develop our current impact in remote aboriginal communities and ensure the organisation continues to challenge itself to also support the broader Aboriginal community.

Royal Life Saving Society WA’s General Manager Community Relations, Greg Tate, says “We want to collaborate with those who have a good understanding of Aboriginal culture and heritage to ensure we develop strong policies, practices, programs and relationships with and for Aboriginal people. We believe those we have engaged to take part in this group will be able to provide expert advice as we develop further organisational resources and programs for Aboriginal people.”

Close to 30% of Royal Life Saving Society WA’s activities specifically target and service Aboriginal participants. We believe this newly formed Aboriginal Steering Group will make a significant impact in the continued success of these programs, and we're excited to see what the future holds.