The myriad paths taken by former lifeguards and lifesavers of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are the focus of a new and inspiring series of Life Saving Victoria (LSV) videos.
Released last month by LSV’s Multicultural Services team, LSV’s ‘Where are they now?’ video series features interviews with participants who have graduated from LSV’s multicultural employment and settlement pathway over the past decade.
Subjects in the series, having spent time as lifeguards or lifesavers in the past, open up about their personal and professional experiences after progressing through LSV’s multicultural pathway program, sharing insights on how it has helped equip them for the paths they have chosen to take since.
Episode one features an interview with Nyaduoth (‘Nya’) Lok, from Sudan and Ethiopia, who opens up about her background and settlement in Australia. Nya shares her feelings of accomplishment at completing a lifesaving course and her leadership aspirations, as well as what it has been like to relocate to the US recently in order to play basketball as a college athlete.
In the second episode we meet Rabia (‘Emma’) Qumbri, originally from Pakistan, who talks about her journey from her home country to Australia when she was about 7 years old, as well as her career journey, via LSV’s multicultural program, to become a pool lifeguard and a first responder for Ambulance Victoria.
LSV Multicultural Project Officer Michael Masseni said all those interviewed for the series had great stories to tell about their journey to and settlement in Australia, as well as the role that lifesaving and the aquatic industry played in their lives.
“A common theme in all the stories is moving to Australia in search of a different life, including some who had to leave behind their home countries due to conflict,” he said.
The series shows the interesting life experiences participants had after being inspired by lifesaving, including working at Australia’s largest insurance company, developing into a US College basketballer, becoming an engineer who has studied in three different countries, working to save lives as an ambulance officer and, as in the case of LSV’s own Multicultural Project Officer, Ramzi Hussaini, coming to work for the very organisation that started him out on this journey.
“In fact many of the participants we speak to in the series have been on trajectories that started out many years ago as a simple chat in a classroom about lifesaving and water safety,” Mr Masseni said.
The idea for the video series came about after seeing some of the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the morale and livelihoods of people in CALD communities and within the lifesaving and aquatic industry, as well being an opportunity to explore new ways of storytelling.
“Over the past six months, people have been looking for things to inspire and motivate them,” Mr Massseni said “We thought: what better way to inspire than by telling the stories of the role models and graduates of our multicultural aquatic employment pathway?
“A podcast style chat is used in the series to delve deeper into the stories of where each participant has come from and the success they’re having today.
“We will be sharing these stories to Victoria’s multicultural communities to encourage others to get involved in the aquatic industry as part of a settlement pathway in Australia.”
For more information on LSV’s Multicultural Projects, visit https://lsv.com.au/multicultural