Water safety splash out

ELEVEN Canterbury Bankstown residents who were born overseas drowned over a five-year period up to 2018 – the largest number in a council area in Sydney.

In an effort to increase awareness of water safety among residents born overseas, City of Canterbury Bankstown has joined forces with Royal Life Saving NSW, to help spread the safety message.
Royal Life Saving NSW has provided a range of resources, so the council can better engage and communicate with local communities about water safety, including an online Cultural Competence Program, developed by Multicultural NSW and SBS, for lifeguards and swim teachers.
Mayor Khal Asfour said that while all but one of the deaths occurred outside CBCity, it showed a need to focus on drowning prevention initiatives for multicultural communities.
“Our community is one of the most culturally diverse in Australia, so it’s important the council continues to promote safety messages to residents, when they are in and around water,” he said.
“We want to make sure everyone knows how to be safe, whether they live in CBCity or visiting other areas, especially coastal spots where we are blessed with some of best beaches in the world. While those locations are beautiful, they can also be very dangerous if you don’t know what to do.”
Mayor Asfour says local lifeguards, swim teachers and administrative officers will be participating in the program.
“Royal Life Saving NSW will also help subsidise our adult and child learn to swim programs,” he said.
“This will build on our already popular Learn to Swim program, women-only Wimswim program, free CPR courses, and the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Rock Fishing Safety Awareness Campaign we promote each year.”