Cooks Hill Surf Club has been patrolling Newcastle's Bar Beach for more than 100 years. As one of the largest surf lifesaving clubs in New South Wales, they pride themselves on high levels of training and patrolling.
In 2013, more than 5,000 rescues, 26,000 first aid treatments and 440,000 preventative actions were performed across NSW beaches. Many people who find themselves in trouble are from different cultures and have therefore had less experience of the dangers associated with the Australian surf and its environment.
Cooks Hill Surf Club has developed a program to teach basic water and beach awareness skills, and swimming lessons to families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
We've provided funding to allow surf club members to deliver a socially inclusive water awareness program to around 100 participants from Middle Eastern & African backgrounds who currently live in the Newcastle area.
The Refugee Water Safety Program will not only provide valuable skills and understanding of the beach and its changing conditions, it also aims to increase the community's openness and responsiveness to cultural diversity and acceptance.
"We pride ourselves on being an inclusive club and this has been demonstrated by the way our members have embraced their role in conducting the program. Teaching multicultural members of our community about water safety and sharing their first positive experiences in the surf has been a wonderful and enlightening experience,"
Jason Darney, Education Offcier, Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Club
More Info: www.cookshillsurfclub.com.au