LJBC Year 9s are Rescue Ready

25 November 2023

group of students with kayaksThe Year 9 students of Lake Joondalup Baptist College pulled out their tents last week and dove into water safety as part of their camp beside Wellington Dam and Collie River.

Royal Life Saving WA Community Trainers, Cathie Calleja and Isabel Franzoni, jumped on board to share the importance of inland water safety and River Ready skills as part of the camp which has now been successfully running for five years.

Cathie emphasised that learning aquatic survival and rescue skills as part of the River Ready program is not only fun but also especially important heading into the warmer months with 54 per cent of all WA inland drownings occurring in summer.

students wearing hard hats preparing for an abseiling activity“It’s important to us [Royal Life Saving] that the activities we provide to the kids are engaging, practical and valuable,” she said.

During the camp, over 100 students participated in a variety of activities. They not only learned what it means to be ‘River Ready’ but also engaged in kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, raft building, mountain biking, and abseiling.

Lake Joondalup Baptist College places a high value on emergency response training too, with all their staff qualified in first aid and some regularly also participating in our START course which is designed specifically for teachers in aquatic environments. 

Royal Life Saving Community Trainer Sallie Watson, who also works with the school, encourages students interested in furthering their qualifications to attend the camp as graduates.

students kaying on the Collie RiverDean of Students, Helen Del Frate, highlighted how this creates opportunities on all sides.

“It’s great for the students and it allows ex-students who have previously attended the camp and pursued obtaining their water qualifications, to give back and be a part of the valuable experience again,” she said. 

Head of Health and Phys Ed, Ben Allsop, agreed commenting, “We’re trying to create a legacy program that includes as many as we possibly can.”

camp students practising first aid techniquesThe River Ready program encompasses many skillsets and can be tailored to suit participants and the surrounding aquatic environment accordingly. The program is part of Royal Life Saving Australia's Respect the River initiative, funded by the Australian Government.

Whether you’re new to water rescues or need to brush up on your skills, it’s a great way to ensure you’re well equipped for a day by the river or dam. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our River Ready program or would like to involve your club or school, see below. 

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And for teachers needing to brush up on their own aquatic rescue skills, our School Teacher Aquatic Rescue Training (START) courses are ramping up with the warmer weather!

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