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City of Canterbury Bankstown has joined forces with Royal Life Saving NSW, in an effort to increase awareness of water safety among residents born overseas.
The partnership was established following the release of a report by Royal Life Saving NSW, titled Priority Drowning Issues in NSW: Multicultural Populations, which found 11 residents from Canterbury-Bankstown, all born overseas, drowned over a five-year period to 2018. This represented the largest number in a council area in Sydney.
Mayor Khal Asfour said, 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 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."
Royal Life Saving NSW has provided a range of resources, so councils 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.
"Our lifeguards, swim teachers and administrative officers are participating in this program," Mayor Asfour said.
"Royal Life Saving NSW will also help subsidise our adult and child learn to swim programs.
"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."
Royal Life Saving NSW Chief Executive, Michael Ilinsky, welcomed the new partnership with City of Canterbury Bankstown.
"This initiative is about making sure culturally and linguistically diverse communities are able to understand the importance of staying safe in the water," he said. "We want to make sure all residents are able to enjoy the water safely, especially in summer."
3/12/2019 1:46 PM