Migrants take the plunge

Article image - Migrants take the plunge The programs will help increase beach safety skills.

Migrants to the Sunshine Coast will be able to safely enjoy the region’s quintessential beach lifestyle thanks to the Migrant Swim and Beach Safety Awareness Program, which starts in February.

Sunshine Coast Council, Unitywater and Nambour Community Centre have joined forces with Queensland Surf Lifesaving and Queensland Government to provide the free programs for migrants over the age of 10.

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said the programs – Migrants Take the Plunge and Women Take the Plunge – would help people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

“Feedback from the community engagement phase of the Sunshine Coast Multicultural Action Plan highlighted a need for increased water safety education programs for migrants,” Cr McKay said.

“The Women Take the Plunge program was specifically designed for women from multicultural backgrounds to take part in beginner swimming and beach safety classes in a culturally safe and friendly environment.”

Surf Life Saving Queensland multicultural programs coordinator Scott Harrison said programs such as Migrants Take the Plunge would help save lives through education and awareness.

“Tragically, in the past, international tourists, migrants, refugees and other people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have been over-represented in Queensland’s drowning figures, and that’s why initiatives such as this are so important,” he said.

“We spend a lot of time working with multicultural communities and equipping them with some of the skills, knowledge and awareness they can use to help stay safe on Queensland beaches.

“Importantly, we’re starting to see a decline in the number of international drownings on Queensland beaches, which has been a wonderful outcome.”

The Australian and Queensland Governments, through the Embracing 2018 Legacy Program for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, provided funding to Sunshine Coast Council and partners to deliver the Migrants Take the Plunge program.

The Women Take the Plunge Program is funded through the Unitywater Community Sponsorship Program.