[by Samantha Vigus]
Pilbara Kids Dive Into Swim and Survive
Royal Life Saving WA wants to see all Western Australian children able to swim a minimum of 50m freestyle by the end of primary school. Unfortunately, some children miss out on the opportunity to learn these vital swimming and water safety skills due to their cultural background, location or other social challenges.
WA’s regional areas continue to be over-represented in drowning deaths, with a drowning rate 3.7 times higher than the Perth metro area. Research has found that Australian Aboriginal children aged 0-14 are three times more likely to drown than other Australian children in this age group.
Royal Life Saving WA Senior Manager Swimming and Water Safety Education Trent Hotchkin says getting more regional and Aboriginal children involved in Swim and Survive programs will help turn these statistics around.
“Research shows that limited water safety awareness and very low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs are major factors in these statistics, so Royal Life Saving WA is working with partners across the state to ensure at-risk children are given the opportunity to take part in Swim and Survive lessons and learn these crucial skills.”
Thanks to funding from the Town of Port Hedland and Principal Community Partner BHP 12 children from Cassia Primary School in South Hedland and 7 participants from the Youth Involvement Council (YIC) are currently enjoying an eight-week after school Swim and Survive program at the South Hedland Aquatic Centre.
The program focuses on teaching key swimming skills for the 10 to 11 year-old age group, who may have missed out on taking part in swimming and water safety education in the past, to ensure they have good swimming skills before they start high school. For the 6 to 7 year-old children the focus is to build on basic swimming skill development.
The children have been thoroughly enjoying the lessons which are being conducted in small groups with qualified Swim and Survive instructors, Lisa Hyde and Lourens Viljoen. We look forward to seeing the development of their skills over the course of the eight weeks!
As part of our focus on making swimming and water safety education accessible to at-risk groups in regional WA Royal Life Saving is also conducting Women’s Only Swim and Survive lessons for multicultural women in Port Hedland. This term’s classes began on Mother’s Day with six women taking part.
The program is still open for enrolments so local women are encouraged to please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Legal services call for change as ABC Four Corners reveals the abuse of children in police watchhouses
[by Anna Cerreto]
The National Peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS) calls for urgent change to protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the justice system, following last night’s ABC’s Four Corners which exposed horrific abuses of children aged 10-17 held in police watchhouses in Queensland.
There's no such thing as an Aboriginal alien and the High Court should say so
[Micah Kickett and Julian R Murphy, The Guardian]
Aboriginal people have occupied the continent of Australia for more than 60,000 years, so why does the Australian government feel justified imprisoning them in immigration detention centres and threatening them with deportation?
'Unspeakable': how can Australia stop the Indigenous suicide epidemic?
[Lorena Allam, The Guardian]
Since the start of this year, 62 Aboriginal people – 15 of them children – have died by suicide. More than half of them were under 25 years old, and the youngest was only 12.