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Community development appointment a step towards new disability and diversity initiatives
A new community development role at City of Sydney facilities managed by Belgravia Leisure is to serve as a testing ground for disability and diversity initiatives.
Belgravia Leisure and the City of Sydney have partnered to create the new role of Community Development Coordinator, a position filled by Dave Owen.
With input from Owen, the facilities - the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, Cook+Phillip Park Aquatic Centre, Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, Victoria Park Pool and Prince Alfred Park Pool - will serve as a testing ground for disability and diversity initiatives, potentially helping to shape access and inclusion program across Belgravia Leisure sites in Australia and New Zealand.
Currently, Owen is working on access and inclusion programs: Take Charge, Swim Champs and several recently established initiatives with local not-for-profit organisations, and is soon to start National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) trials.
He has also worked with the local mental health and welfare organisations to extend City of Sydney’s swimming and water safety lessons.
Owen hopes to boost access to Belgravia Leisure facilities for those who face barriers such as disability, disadvantage and diversity.
He explains “I want to nurture partnerships among agencies to foster long-term service delivery, so there is ongoing opportunity – particularly for the hard-to-reach community – to be engaged in physical activity, tackle social isolation and improve their health and wellbeing.
“We have also provided swimming and water safety lessons to the Freedom Hub, a support service for survivors of human trafficking and slavery.”
Owen and the City of Sydney centres have also:
• Formed a partnership with the Asylum Seeker Centre and Reclink, where asylum seekers are engaged in a 10-week swimming and water safety program
• Started developing a lifeguard mentoring program where young people connected to the PCYC shadow lifeguards at Prince Alfred Park Pool and are supported by the Royal Life Saving Society to complete their Pool Lifeguarding qualification
• Written a Transgender and Intersex use of Change Rooms and Bathrooms policy, enabling all five sites to be accredited as an ACON Safe Place venue.
There are currently 27 different programs and community groups accessing the City of Sydney’s aquatic, fitness and recreation centres via inclusion programs.
More than 1800 visits are made monthly by community groups and approximately 660 of these are by people with a disability through one of our programs.
In addition, there are more than 2,500 monthly visits by City of Sydney Access Card holders, a reduced-cost initiative targeting those from financial disadvantage.
Image: Dave Owen at Cook+Phillip Park Aquatic Centre.
3rd April 2017 - $22.2 MILLION AQUATIC RECREATION CENTRE OPENS IN GYMPIE
23rd March 2017 - BUSY WEEKS OF AQUATIC CENTRE OPENINGS
1st December 2016 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES INCLUSION FRAMEWORK
30th November 2016 - NEW GUIDE HELPS COUNCILS MEET NATIONAL DISABILITY STRATEGY OBLIGATIONS
11th November 2016 - BELGRAVIA LEISURE INSTALLS DEFIBRILLATION UNITS AT ALL OF ITS FACILITIES
18th November 2014 - BELGRAVIA LEISURE MAKES KEY NEW APPOINTMENTS
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