Australian Royal Life Saving Society research found that 79% of ‘multicultural people’ who drowned in NSW between July 2013 and June 2018 were poor or non-swimmers. Royal Life Saving NSW’s new Cultural Competence Program for Aquatic Centres has been specifically developed to address the high number of drowning fatalities among diverse communities.
The Cultural Competence Program is designed to ensure that employees within aquatic centres understand the issues affecting people from other countries, and their needs. The aim is to increase cultural engagement and prepare the sector to build resilient and inclusive communities that have the relevant skills and knowledge to participate in aquatic recreation safely.
The Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre was the first pool nationally to complete the training. Sydney Olympic Park Authority Chief Executive, Sam Romaniuk, said they jumped at the opportunity to conduct the training among all staff to ensure the Centre could provide a safe, inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy.
Romaniuk advised “The Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre attracts over one million visitors each year to learn to swim, train, and spectate or to splash about and have fun.
“We are proud of the cultural diversity of our staff, members and visitors. All staff, be it our lifeguards, front desk workers or management team, have completed the Cultural Competence Program so we are best equipped to respect one another and provide a welcoming and inclusive environment.”