Learn to Swim

Australia - Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program - 2018

In September 2017, Monaco’s Embassy and Sydney’s Honorary Consulate organised “Monaco Week Sydney”, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the Principality of Monaco and Australia.  As part of this week a charity dinner, in favor of the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, was hosted by the Park Hyatt and Société des Bains de Mer. 
It was determined that the funds raised would go to finance local partner Royal Life Saving Society – Australia’s (RLSSA) “Swim and Survive Access and Equity Program”.  This programme aims at teaching vulnerable Australian children and adults water safety measures and how to swim.
The first three-month programme started in February 2018 at Lurnea High School in Liverpool City Council area, which has a very diverse population with over 38 languages spoken.  Additionally, this school caters to autistic children and has an Intensive English Center which helps newly arrived migrants and refugee children to learn the local language.  Most of the attending students are unable to swim.  With this support, RLSSA were able to teach 155 children water safety and how to swim.
Following that, a second programme started in March and ran to end-April with the participation of a migrant support network known as Westmead Community Hub.  RLSSA invited 80 members from this support community to learn to swim over a two-month period at the Aquatic Safety Training Academy.  The programme included swim lessons, CPR and emergency response elements allowing these adults to gain a range of safety and lifesaving skills, messages which they will be able to pass onto their families, friends and neighbours.
A third programme is scheduled to take place later in 2018 in the Sydney area.
According to RLSSA, 291 deaths by drowning occurred in 2016 in Australia and 685 persons went to the hospital. Children are the most affected and represent an astounding 45% of these victims.