Meelup Beachfest 2020

27 November 2020

Teenagers on the beach playing games in front of a Beachfest signA perfect day saw 5000 kids attend the Royal Life Saving BeachFest at Meelup Beach on Wednesday, as part of this year’s Leavers Celebrations in Dunsborough. Beach cabanas, pool inflatables, lawn and beach games were offered to the 2020 school leavers who attended on the day.

Teenagers behind a mermaid sign

With COVID-19 affecting many events across Australia this year, it was uncertain a few months ago whether Leavers week in Western Australia would go ahead. However, after 50 days of planning, over 8000 young people from around the state travelled to Dunsborough and Busselton to celebrate the end of their school year. With travel restrictions in place, Bali was not a Leavers destination this year making the South West the most popular place for young people to spend the last week in November.

A teenager having their face paintedRoyal Life Saving staff and volunteers attend Leavers Week each year to promote safe swimming behaviours, handing out resources to the Leavers and being available to assist where needed. Our Be A Mermate campaign is promoted as part of Leavers week, encouraging the Leavers to help their mates out when around water and to lure them away from danger if they do decide to drink and swim.

Youth Water Safety coordinator Georgia Eaton said the annual Meelup Beachfest was a huge success, with all the kids having a great time. “We changed the layout of the event this year to encourage all Leavers to come down to the beach, play some games and hang out with their friends. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and participating in safe water activities which is what we like to see.”Two RLSSWA volunteers at Beachfest

The event gets Leavers out of their accommodation and provides an opportunity for support services to check in with them. Red Frogs, Hope Community Services, WA AIDS Council, Cancer Council and Lamp Inc. all attended the event to provide support and promote harm minimisation messaging.

White tents on the beach at MeelupIn the lead up to Leavers week, Royal Life Saving WA’s Youth Water Safety Coordinator attended six high schools to deliver presentations to over 1,000 students. The presentations provided Leavers with information enabling them to make informed decisions throughout their week in the South West.

To find out more about what Royal Life Saving’s involvement in Leavers Week click on the link below.

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