Karratha girls go for Bronze

11 February 2021
11 girls from Karratha Senior High School have undertaken their Bronze Medallion qualification as the final component of an extended Bronze Medallion course they completed during Term 4 of 2020.

The Bronze Medallion is considered the pinnacle of lifesaving awards in the community; however, completion of the course requires a certain level of prior swimming ability and water safety skills. With swimming and water safety education often more difficult to attain in remote and regional areas of WA, this precludes many people in these communities from achieving this award.

The ‘extended’ Bronze Medallion course has been tailored for Aboriginal youth and provides additional training in the lead-up to the final assessment. This ensures that participants are comfortable and have the necessary skills and fitness to perform all components of the course. 

The girls first undertook a condensed Swim and Survive program of 10 lessons at Karratha Leisureplex to develop their swimming, water safety, survival and basic rescue skills. The lessons helped to prepare them in readiness to attempt the final Bronze Medallion component of the course. 

Royal Life Saving WA’s Senior Manager of Education, Trent Hotchkin, says the extended program was developed in response to the range of factors that are influencing Aboriginal communities’ lack of participation in swimming and water safety education. 

“Half of fatal drownings of those under 18 in WA over the past ten years were Aboriginal,” says Trent. “Limited water safety awareness and low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs have been identified as key factors in the over-representation of Aboriginal children in these figures. We are committed to leading the efforts to breaking down the barriers and providing solutions to the problem.”

Royal Life Saving WA has been delivering the extended Bronze program in priority regional areas throughout WA thanks to a Move it AUS participation grant from Sport Australia.

Well done to the girls for all their determination and hard work in completing this extended Bronze Medallion course and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish next!

Learn more about Royal Life Saving WA’s work in regional and remote communities at the link below.
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