Brighton Life Saving Club (LSC) hosted over 40 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) participants at its fifth annual Water Safety for Refugees Day recently.
The refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq and Iran travelled from Dandenong for the day facilitated by CatholicCare, which comprised an information session about safety at Australian beaches, beach soccer, volleyball and paddling activities.
“It’s such an important thing to have positive activities for people in the community, and it’s an opportunity to come to another part of Melbourne that those living in the south-east suburbs can’t easily come to,” says Magistrate Pauline Spencer, who delivers CatholicCare’s Justice Education Program for refugees in Dandenong.
“It’s also really great for the community here at Brighton to meet all these wonderful newly-arrived community members and see what a positive contribution they’re going to make to the Australian community – it’s that two-way exchange,” says Pauline.
“We’re so happy with this program – we would like to see it rolled out to every Life Saving Club in Australia,’’ says Brighton LSC President, Troy Ross.
The day was also attended by a host of dignitaries, including Tim Wilson MP, Federal Member for Goldstein; Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, Federal Member for Isaacs; James Newbury MP, Victorian Member for Brighton; City of Bayside Mayor Michael Heffernan; Victorian Coroner John Olle; St Joan of Arc Parish Priest Father Martin Dixon; and Chair of the Board at CatholicCare John Sheldon.
Brighton LSC are one of a group of Surf and Life Saving Clubs around Victoria actively engaging CALD audiences to share water safety messages and forge positive community relations. Pt Leo SLSC hosted their annual Multicultural Surf Skills Day earlier in January, while Lorne SLSC proactively work with various CALD communities residing in the Colac area throughout summer.
For more information on the Brighton LSC Water Safety for Refugees Day, please click HERE