Drowning in Multicultural Communities

An African mum and baby in a pool 

A recent report - A National Study of Overseas Born Drowning Deaths - reveals that 762 drowning deaths across Australia over the past 10 years involved people who were born overseas, including 137 in Western Australia.

Australia is a very culturally diverse nation, and Western Australia is one of the most diverse states and territories, with almost one third of our population born overseas and more than half having at least one parent born overseas.

Unfortunately in many countries swimming and water safety education is not seen as a priority or is simply not accessible, which means that many migrants come to Australia unaware of drowning risks and without the same level of experience when it comes to water safety that those born in Western Australia often take for granted.

Royal Life Saving Society WA is working hard to address these issues, providing culturally appropriate swimming and water safety classes for men, women and children from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. However, the statistics in our report, which can be downloaded at the link below, highlights that more needs to be done to ensure migrant communities can develop the skills to safely participate in aquatic activities.

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Children in Mirrabooka enjoy swimming lessons, some for the first time!