Water safety education for Girrawheen Clontarf boys

1 November 2019

Students from the Girrawheen Senior High School Clontarf Academy are undertaking a Swim and Survive program this term as part of the Pathways Swim and Survive program. In a partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, the Girrawheen Clontarf Academy and Royal Life Saving WA will run the program for Aboriginal youth living in the cities of Stirling and Wanneroo at Leisurepark Balga on Tuesday afternoons during Term 4 2019.

The aim of the program is to improve access to swimming and water safety lessons for Aboriginal youth and increase their awareness and knowledge of water safety issues. Research has shown that Aboriginal Australians are three times more likely to drown than non-Aboriginal Australians.

group of students learning about aquatic rescueIn preparation for the program, students visited the head office of Royal Life Saving WA on 15th October for a workplace tour and career development day. Royal Life Saving WA CEO Peter Leaversuch and General Manager of Operations Ian Brown spoke to the boys about the organisation’s role in the community as well as the training opportunities and employment pathways available to them.

group of male high school students touring a public pool facilityThe students then participated in a Water Safety Talk, an interactive workshop covering various aquatic environments, dangers and key safety actions as well as safe rescue techniques and resuscitation and basic first aid skills. The workshop was followed by lunch and a tour of Royal Life Saving WA and HBF Stadium.

The boys commenced their Swim and Survive program on 22nd October, which is running for eight weeks. The program identifies 12 critical stages, with the lower stages focusing on efficient support and movement in the water and the higher stages including skills and knowledge in safety, survival and rescue. The program is being funded by Lotterywest and Royal Life Saving Australia's Uncle Toby's Swim My Way.

To learn more about Royal Life Saving WA’s Access and Equity program to engage Indigenous Western Australians please click the link below.

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