AOE2020 Community Education Program of the Year Nominees
Multicultural Surf & Beach Safety Program
Fremantle SLSC, WA
Fremantle was approached by the Fremantle Multicultural Centre in 2014 to conduct a beach safety session for newly arrived migrants. Many immigrants with limited English came from countries with no familiarity of a beach environment. The program has developed over the past five years changing the lives of the participants and providing water awareness and confidence. An unexpected impact has been on younger Fremantle members, keen to demonstrate their lifesaving skills, they enthusiastically became the ‘leaders’ of the water program. They have also learned of the hardships and journeys of the students, whilst embracing different cultures.
Clifton Beach Nippers Program
Clifton Beach SLSC, TAS
Clifton Beach developed a five-year plan to increase nipper numbers, engage families and have an engaging program in place with quality people involved to deliver the program. Clifton Beach has successfully grown their nipper program from around 60 to over 170 nippers in 2019/20. With an emphasis on organisation structure, consistency in communication, keeping on top of regulations e.g. COVID-19 and involving all club members, the program has grown organically to a point where advertising is no longer required. Participants attaining the SRC have also grown. The Clifton Beach motto ‘Get the lifesavers of tomorrow trained and enthused now’ is proving a huge success.
The Cultural Engagement Program
West Beach SLSC, SA
This program aims to build surf awareness and safety amongst Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities and encourages connection and engagement with surf lifesaving. In partnership with Immanuel College the program has three main components: Swim Teacher Accreditation – providing free AUSTSWIM teacher accreditation courses for West Beach members supporting the CALD swimming lesson component, Community Water Safety and swimming lessons for children from CALD communities. The 27 members engaged in the Swim Teacher program, are on track to complete accreditation in 2021. The Community Water Safety Program in 2019 saw over 100 participants. Pathways for engagement and participation within SLS for both the CALD community and West Beach members is resulting in higher-skilled and more confident people on the beach.
Mount Martha Life Saving Club Schools Program
Mount Martha Life Saving Club, LSV
The Mount Martha Life Saving Club Schools Program (Schools Program) has been supporting school children for over 20 years. In 2019/20 the Schools Program was successful in submitting a formal lesson plan to Lifesaving Victoria to become a Sporting Schools Provider under Lifesaving Victoria. The success of the program is reflected in it’s growth engaging with 27 schools and approximately 3,900 students each year, with a 100% retention rate. In recent years the Schools Program has reached out to other community groups such as swim clubs and Scout groups. In addition, the program has also impacted the local economy, through creating approximately 20 lifeguarding jobs for local SLS members.
The Gaza Surf Life Saving Project
North Steyne, NSW
The Northern Beaches Committee for Palestine (NBCP) approached North Steyne SLSC in 2017 seeking assistance to bring surf lifesaving to Gaza. After three years of planning and fundraising, in January 2020, the program came to fruition with the arrival of Mohammed (Mo) and Hasan from Gaza. North Styne’s role was to provide Mo and Hasan with an intensive month-long program to teach them all about surf lifesaving with a focus on how to run a Nippers program. The program impact is 3-fold. For the people of Gaza, the impact will be life changing with reduced drownings each year and providing youth with opportunities in an area with high unemployment and mass poverty. Secondly opening surf lifesaving to the Australian Arab community and finally for North Steyne it bought them together as a team, connected people in an exciting initiative and taught many about another culture.
Noosa Community Education Program
Noosa Heads SLSC, QLD
A tourist hotspot, Noosa Heads SLSC understands the communities need to be surf smart and vigilant. Their Community Education program has been running for a few years and is extremely popular. The program has three streams 1. Surf Education Program which saw 25 schools’ participate in customised sessions this season educating 3100 students, 2. Commercial Education where candidates were taught in a range of awards including Cert II in Public Safety and First Aid. This program saw members generate valuable revenue for the Club. 3. Seahorse Nippers which is an inclusive program for participants with physical and mental challenges from five years and above. Each year participant numbers rise and there is a buzz around the club before the programs begin as club members love and get so much out of the program.