Welcome to the first edition of the Life Saving Victoria (LSV) ‘Education from Anywhere’ newsletter for the 2020 school year.
The first week of December 2019 saw the launch of the 2018/19 Victorian Drowning Report. Unfortunately, the Report outlined the worst drowning toll in 20 years, with 157 drowning incidents in Victoria over the last financial year, including 56 drowning deaths and 101 non-fatal drowning incidents attended by paramedics. I continue to urge all Victorians to play it safe by the water by swimming between the flags, reading safety signs that will identify any hazards, and finding out what the short and medium-term conditions will be.
I trust you have enjoyed the summer holiday break; however, it has been hard to watch the devastating impact of the bushfires. Our thoughts remain with our lifesavers, emergency service workers, and the communities, including schools and aquatic facilities across the country that are affected, and we thank you for your support and efforts. LSV is continuing to extend support and resources to our life saving clubs and aquatic facility partners in East Gippsland, some of whom have played a vital, supportive role in relief and recovery efforts during the bushfire emergency.
LSV continues to work closely with the Department of Education and Training (DET) on the rollout of the Public Water Safety Initiative, to support schools and learn-to-swim providers to deliver on the requirements of the Victorian Curriculum in relation to swimming and water safety. LSV are pleased that 26,000 Victorian Water Safety Certificates were awarded to students across Victoria in 2019. This highlights the commitment from schools and the aquatic industry to facilitate safer Victorian communities. Providing children with swimming capabilities and water safety knowledge is a high priority for LSV. Accessing the school system to enable this activity, ensures all Victorian students will have the opportunity to acquire these skills for life.
We are excited to have re-launched the School Swimming Toolkit! This has been refreshed with a new look and feel, as well as adding some new resources. It is based on valuable feedback from teachers, swim teachers and key stakeholders. Visit the Toolkit at www.lsv.com.au/toolkit to access a range of resources to support your school swimming and water safety programs.
LSV is proud of the focus we have on innovation and a number of exciting projects are on the go! We have been piloting the Bush Nippers program in January, with further pilots in schools during Term 1. We will continue to trial the Inflatable Pool and we are progressing our ‘Ironing Board’ (dry swimming aid) project and looking forward to working with schools on this one – watch this space! We have also launched our virtual reality (VR) resources and were pleased to be featured in a Channel Nine News story at Beaumaris North Primary School – watch the story here. If you would like to learn more about using VR in your school, contact the Education team or visit https://lsv.com.au/vr/
On behalf of LSV, I wish you all the very best for the school year ahead.
Dr Nigel Taylor
CEO, Life Saving Victoria