Surf Studio: Ramzi Hussaini
On the latest episode of Surf Studio we chat to Ramzi Hussaini, who talks to us about how he fled to Australia as a refugee who couldn’t swim and became a volunteer surf lifesaver and lifeguard who now works as a multicultural officer for Life Saving Victoria (LSV) ensuring others are safe at the beach and in the water.
Originally born in Afghanistan, Ramzi and his family moved to Pakistan and lived there until late 2011 when they made the risky journey to Australia as asylum seekers and refugees.
“I’m a refugee, an asylum seeker and came by boat,” Ramzi said of the unique way he came to Australia.
“How I came to Australia motivated me to learn about water safety.
“You wouldn’t imagine someone from Afghanistan to be a lifesaver but that was the main thing when I was travelling on a boat not knowing how to swim…it was a risky journey to take without any water safety knowledge.”
Upon settling in Melbourne in 2012, Ramzi quickly wanted to learn about water safety and how to swim having crossed dangerous seas on his journey to Australia.
Ramzi joined in on one of Life Saving Vitoria’s Multicultural water safety programs at local Melbourne club Edithvale LSC and was hooked from his first day and experience.
“We had a classroom session where we taught about water safety and then we were given an opportunity to have a day out at the beach, my first experience at the beach… and that was at Edithvale Lifesaving Club,” Ramzi said of his introduction to Australian beaches.
“I decided to be a lifesaver, but there was a small little problem that I couldn’t swim, so I had to learn how to swim…I had to go through extensive swimming lessons.”
With the support and training from LSV Ramzi gained his surf rescue certificate and his bronze medallion and went on to become a pool lifeguard before he started working as a Project Officer within LSV’s Multicultural program, where he now teaches others in multicultural communities to be beach and water safe.
“Lifesaving is my life!” Ramzi said of the community and culture of lifesaving that has changed his life since first arriving in Australia.
Surf Studio is regular online show with each episode featuring stories from around Australia and covering a range of topics such as sport, lifesaving, leadership, education etc and Surf Life Saving Australia encourages everyone to be involved. If you, or anyone you know has a story that you would like to share via Surf Studio please email firstname.lastname@example.org