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New website highlights community water safety efforts

October 4th, 2022

A new interactive website will link community water safety efforts across the country to highlight the efforts of communities large and small.

The Australian Water Safety Council designed the website watersafety.com.au to connect community groups that promote water safety initiatives.

Convenor of the Australian Water Safety Council and chief executive officer of Royal Life Saving Society - Australia, Justin Scarr, says the website recognises that targeted, local community action is an important element in preventing drowning.

“The Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 promotes local approaches to water safety and drowning prevention. This means policies, programs, services and campaigns tailored to local conditions and in partnership with community groups, councils and local businesses,” he says.

“All drowning is local. We recognise that the biggest impacts are born by families, rescuers and those living where the incident happens. So, we are encouraging local groups to commit to the Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030, to feature what they are doing to make a difference or to promote water safety. The website is a chance to highlight and encourage meaningful partnerships at all levels.”

Helping peers learn to swim

One example of a community-driven learn-to-swim program is the Bambigi Indigenous swimming program, founded by Gulidjan school girl Piper Stewart. At just 12 years old, she recognised many of her Indigenous peers hadn’t learned to swim because of financial barriers. More than 300 children from the region around Griffith in NSW have now benefited from the program.

The new website will encourage organisations to share knowledge and expertise through the promotion of organisation actions, including project overviews, goals, key steps and impacts to date.

Any organisation providing water safety lessons is invited to upload information about their work to the website free of charge. Organisations and individuals are guided through a few simple questions to upload their activities. Photographs can be included.

By Chris Maher
SPLASH! Magazine
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