Royal Life Saving Encouraging Multicultural Communities to Make Safe Decisions Around Water

Royal Life Saving Encouraging Multicultural Communities to Make Safe Decisions Around Water
A new water safety campaign featuring resources in 11 additional languages has been launched on Tuesday 12 April to help prevent drowning deaths in multicultural communities across Australia.

Developed by Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, the “To Keep Our Community Safe When Swimming, Fishing and Boating” water safety resources are in written and audio form to ensure they are readily accessible to native Bengali, Burmese, Farsi, Hindi, Korean, Kurdish, Swahili, and Vietnamese speakers.

They join the existing Arabic, Nepali, Simplified Chinese and plain English language resources.

Royal Life Saving Chief Executive Officer, Justin Scarr said the resources were designed to help multicultural communities stay safe around the water when swimming, fishing and boating these April holidays. “Tragically we see too many drownings of people from multicultural backgrounds. Every drowning is a heartbreaking loss to a family and the wider community,” Mr Scarr said. “With two consecutive public holiday long weekends coming up, we expect many people to travel to be with friends and family.

“We know that more than one-third of people who drown are more than 50km away from home at the time. Last summer, almost a fifth of drownings occurred on public holidays, so we are deeply concerned about the drowning risk over the holiday period.

“This campaign has been designed to make it easier for people to access water safety information. The safety messages focus on simple tips for families and communities to be safer when swimming, fishing and boating.”

Men from multicultural backgrounds may be at further risk of drowning

In the past decade, 725 people drowned in Australia who were born in another country. Most commonly people lost their lives at rivers/creeks, beaches or around rocks, when swimming, rock fishing or from an unintentional fall into water.

Men from multicultural backgrounds may be at further risk of drowning due to limited experience and knowledge around Australian waterways, and lack of swimming and water safety skills.

The Australian Water Safety Strategy has identified multicultural communities as a priority population, with 49% of the Australia population being born overseas or having at least one parent who was, and 21% speak a language other than English at home.

“We know that communities are embracing the Australian culture of being in and around water, but some adults come to Australia without the essential knowledge and skills to keep themselves and others safe around water,” Mr Scarr said.

“Some people may never have been in the water before or visited a public swimming pool. Others have a fear of water and of drowning.

“We worked very closely with community groups, water stakeholders and community leaders from all of the languages featured to make sure the safety messages address their needs and concerns.”

Royal Life Saving is urging multicultural communities to make safe decision around water these April holidays.

Follow these five tips to enjoy the water safely:

  • Don’t go alone
  • Always wear a lifejacket
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Always watch your children
  • Learn swimming and water safety

For more information about Royal Life Saving and to access these community resources in all languages, visit