Hedland Follow the Dream students take the plunge for their Bronze

21 September 2021
Hedland student jumping into a swimming pool wearing a PFDFive female students from the Hedland Senior High School Follow the Dream program have been taking the plunge weekly to progress towards achieving their Bronze Medallion.

Follow the Dream is a program provided through a partnership between the Department of Education and the Polly Farmer Foundation that provides educational opportunities and experiences for Aboriginal students in WA public schools.

The Hedland students have been participating in an Extended Bronze Medallion program which is tailored for Aboriginal youth as part of the Royal Life Saving WA Swim and Survive Access and Equity program. The program is sponsored in Hedland by Principal Community Partner BHP. 

The Extended Bronze provides additional training in the lead up to the formal assessment to ensure participants are comfortable performing all components of the course. 

“The young ladies were very apprehensive to take the plunge,” said Royal Life Saving WA Pilbara Development Officer Lauren Thompson, “but now they have increased confidence, resulting from training for their Bronze Medallion.”

Lauren has been impressed with the girls’ commitment to completing the course. “These young ladies are dedicated to improving their swimming abilities and advancing their knowledge in relation to swimming and water safety. They have been training weekly and will continue to progress towards attaining their Bronze Medallion in Term 4.”

Hedland SHS students wearing PFDs in a pool“The students were lucky enough to experience automated inflatable PFDs, kindly donated by some of the ships that frequent our local port.  This experience was vitally important for the students as many of them are under a school-based traineeship that sees them on board these huge vessels.” 

After their initial trepidation, the girls have been really getting into the training and have greatly improved their confidence in the water. So much so, Lauren says that now “the ladies feel empowered to support their peers through the process of gaining their bronze medallion too.”

Learn more about how the Royal Life Saving WA Swim and Survive Access and Equity program is helping Indigenous youth at the link below.
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