Vital skills for Gilmore College Clontarf Academy

17 June 2021
Royal Life Saving WA has partnered with the Gilmore College Clontarf Academy to deliver an Extended Bronze Medallion program for Academy students.

Clontarf Academies are an initiative of the Clontarf Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve the education, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men by building on their enthusiasm for sport to encourage them to achieve academically.

The Extended Bronze Medallion program takes participants through the various components of the Bronze Medallion course over several weeks, giving participants a great chance to successfully complete the formal two-day Bronze course on their first attempt.

Royal Life Saving WA data has shown that Aboriginal children are 14 times more likely to be involved in a fatal drowning incident than non-Aboriginal children in WA. Limited water safety awareness and alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs have been identified as key contributing factors.

With the standard Bronze Medallion course requiring a certain level of prior swimming ability and water safety skills, it is placed out of reach for many Aboriginal Australians who lack sufficient water safety knowledge and the swimming ability to successfully complete the course in its standard form.

Thanks to funding from Principal Community Partner BHP, ten Gilmore College Clontarf students have been able to participate in the extended version of the course. They attended a series of one-hour training sessions at Kwinana Recquatic every Wednesday for seven weeks from 5th May to 16th June, which were delivered by Royal Life Saving WA Talent Pool Coordinator Pida Bule-Turner.

These boys now have the skills that could save their own lives and the lives of those around them, after learning a variety of swimming skills and rescue techniques throughout the course. 

Learn more about the work that Royal Life Saving WA is doing to help reduce the drowning rate among Aboriginal communities at the link below.
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