Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…read more
New career pathway for lifeguards from mixed cultural backgrounds
Collaboration between the YMCA and Life Saving Victoria (LSV) has resulted in the training and employment of a group of young multi-cultural lifeguards at City of Greater Dandenong aquatic centres.
Aimed at the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community and supported by the Greater Dandenong Council, the CALD Aquatics Pathway Program has recently undertaken its second intake of four members.
The initial pilot program saw five participants from African, Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds successfully complete the training over two months. Syed Moiz Mubashir, aged 21 from Pakistan; Greg (Krikor) Ashnaklian, aged 31 from Armenia; Asif Mehri, aged 20 from Afghanistan; Baki Dayanadan, aged 27 from Sri Lanka and Rabia (Emma) Qumbri, aged 20, an Afghan with origins in Pakistan, are all now employed by the YMCA.
Qumbri who came to Australia with her family in 2010 said the program had provided her with a chance to progress and make a career in the aquatics and recreation industry.
She explained “my two younger sisters became surf lifesavers and I became interested in doing lifeguarding through them. I joined the program and completed the training and now work at Dandenong Oasis and have also done shifts at Noble Park (Aquatic Centre) and Casey ARC.”
Qumbri, who is Muslim and wears a hijab, said she felt she was approachable to Muslim women and others who were shy to ask questions due to cultural barriers.
She added “other women and Muslims sometimes feel more comfortable talking to me than they would someone else and they often ask me questions. I am able to help and that is very satisfying.
“I like talking to people and helping them and that is a big part of this job."
Qumbri added that her family and community were very proud and that the position was one where she felt equal and was treated that way by everyone.
The program is co-funded through YMCA Open Doors and Life Saving Victoria.
Explaining how the program is evolving with new elements being added, Dandenong Oasis Manager Trudy Micallef stated “the aim of the program is to have participants ‘pool deck ready’ when jobs come up.
“Cultural and language differences can sometimes mean there is confusion and even a lack of trust between pool users and lifeguards. Having access to lifeguards from the same background with the ability to explain and communicate in the same language is a huge positive in these situations.”
LSV Multicultural Projects Manager David Holland agreed and said program candidates were identified in classrooms, through local communities and even on the beach.
Holland commented “they are typically people who show an interest in aquatics and aspire to be role models or leaders within their communities.
“The program components are designed to provide training according to each participant’s needs with the each becoming proficient in every area and then practicing their skills through volunteering before entering the workforce.
“It encourages inclusion and recognises diversity. The results in the City of Greater Dandenong have been outstanding and we are very keen to extend this to other CALD and multi-cultural communities.’
The next intake will see four 17 year-olds; Afghans Murtaza Naseri and Sarah Qumbri, Hellbert Pemba from Malawi and Sudanese-born Nya Gach Loch join the YMCA as volunteers with a view to gaining employment.
Image: Emma Qumbri (front) with the new group of young, multi-cultural lifeguards who successfully completed the CALD Aquatics Pathway Program and are now employed by the YMCA.
4th December 2017 - REPORT REVEALS 20% RISE IN DROWNING DEATHS IN VICTORIA IN 2016/17
14th March 2017 - LIFE SAVING VICTORIA CONCERNED BY RISING DROWNING TOLL
13th December 2016 - CASEY EXTENDS FACILITY PARTNERSHIP WITH YMCA
15th February 2016 - ROYAL LIFE SAVING HELPS NEW VICTORIAN ARRIVALS TO SWIM AND SURVIVE
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…read more
Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…read more
Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia and Australia, Technogym exports its…read more
Fitness On Demand™ is a market-leading developer of virtual group fitness products. Our innovative video delivery systems offer robust content and a simple-to-use, comprehensive web app. Fitness…read more
JASSTECH Solutions are distibutors for the JAYLED LED lighting range of products, developed specifically for harsh Australian environments. Delivering the highest quality performance of any…read more
Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…read more
Abel Sports is a leading manufacturer and supplier of premium quality AFL and Rugby goalposts, Soccer and other sporting goals, Flagpoles, flags and banners, coaches boxes and sports barrier nets.read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!