Lestair Sailor with Jigalong Pool Manager David Lucas and three aboriginal boysRoyal Life Saving WA and Jigalong Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool welcomed a new team member in 2018, Lestair Sailor!

Lestair has been a local resident of the Jigalong community for over 20 years, and is trained with Jigalong Pool Manager David Lucas to learn about Pool Plant Operations. He also hopes to become a fully qualified Pool Lifeguard in the near future.

Jigalong is an Aboriginal community located 170km east of Newman and is on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert in our state's Pilbara region. The town and surrounding area is home to the Martu people, where the population fluctuates between 100 and 500 — depending on the time of year and activities in the community.

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools project (RASP) has delivered significant positive outcomes for communities like Jigalong, including health and social benefits and education and training opportunities. Mentoring and training is being provided for community members with a view to passing management responsibility and ownership back to the community in the longer term.

Along with management training, Royal Life Saving also runs a Pool Lifeguard training course and approximately 45 Aboriginal trainees have progressed to pool lifeguard standard across the six remote pools. Part of the training is completed at the community pool, with the remainder undertaken at the nearest regional centre. The partnership covers all accommodation and travel costs incurred by the trainees.

Greg Tate, General Manager Community Relations at Royal Life Saving WA says the course is a modified version, designed to be more accessible for the Indigenous learner. "We have found that a more hands-on training approach works well and because of the changes most Indigenous students who commence training achieve a successful outcome and meet the standards required by industry for employment."

Royal Life Saving is continuing to work closely with the remote communities to develop new and innovative programs which ensure we are adequately servicing the community’s needs. We congratulate Lestair on his new position and wish him all the best with his lifeguard aspirations!

You can learn more about our Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pool program at the link below.

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