Swimming classes to continue for culturally and linguistically diverse residents

Published on Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at 11:00:00 AM

South Regional TAFE (SRTAFE) and the City’s Geographe Leisure Centre (GLC) are excited to continue swimming lessons for culturally and linguistically diverse residents this February. 

Commencing in 2023, thanks to funding from Adult Migrant English Program Innovative Projects and Royal Life Saving Australia, this one-of-a kind pilot program enables participants to develop important water safety skills. 

Term 4 2023 saw 11 students from South Regional TAFE who were working towards a Certificate II and III in Spoken and Written English, participate in swim and survive lessons each Friday morning at the Geographe Leisure Centre in Busselton. 

After each lesson in the pool, a ‘dry’ lesson would follow by reviewing progress, sharing successes and discussing strategies to overcome fears in and around the water. Through incorporating curriculum content with experience in the water, participants developed important safety skills that they can now share within their families and communities. 

Participants hail from a variety of countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Sudan and South Korea and are at different stages of their English language learning journey.  For many, lesson one was the first time they had ever submerged their faces in the water.  

GLC Swimming Instructor, Jodi Kelso said “Experiencing water together in a safe and supportive learning environment in a community setting was the key to the program’s success. The first golden rule taught was, where your eyes go, your body will follow!” 

“Delivering the program has been incredibly rewarding. Developing skills of blowing bubbles, back and front floats, kicking, glides, diving and performing reach rescues saw participants successfully receive their Certificate in Royal Life Saving Swim and Survive. It was also a wonderful opportunity for participants to strengthen their English language skills.” 

South Regional TAFE English Lecturer, Kathleen O’Shea said “Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) residents are over-represented in Australian drowning statistics. South Regional TAFE is pleased to have offered CALD students with the opportunity to increase water safety skills through this exciting initiative with the GLC.” 

The students are excited to return to the water at the GLC this term to continue their swimming journey. Classes commencing Friday, 2 February 2024. 

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Lifestyle: A place that is relaxed, safe and friendly with services and facilities that support our lifestyle. 

Photo Provide for General Use: Credit Geographe Leisure Centre

Ends. Media enquiries can be directed to pr@busselton.wa.gov.au

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