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Perth set to host World Conference on Drowning Prevention

Perth set to host World Conference on Drowning Prevention
November 22, 2023

The International Life Saving Federation’s World Conference on Drowning Prevention (WCDP) will be held at the Perth Conference and Exhibition Centre from 4th to 7th December 2023.

This is the first time the World Conference on Drowning Prevention has been hosted in Australia. with co-hosts, the Royal Life Saving Society - Australia (RLSSA) and Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) eager to welcome the global community to Perth, embracing them with everything that is impactful about Australian approaches to water safety and drowning prevention.

The purpose of the event is to bring together the world’s foremost experts, research, systems and information on drowning prevention, rescue, lifesaving and water safety for exchange, debate and further development that will lead to reduction of death and injury in all aquatic environments worldwide.

The conference will be a week-long experience including pre and post-workshops, field trips and masterclasses beginning on Friday 1st December and culminating on Friday 8th December 2023.

This globally significant event will focus world attention on drowning prevention. WCDP 2023 will gather experts in drowning prevention, lifesaving and water safety with the goal of Shaping Global Strategy and Mobilising for Action.

Attendees will include

  • Policy makers
  • Researchers
  • Medical professionals
  • Drowning prevention practitioners
  • Swimming and water safety instructors
  • Lifesavers and lifeguards
  • Lifesaving Sport Leaders
  • Lifesaving agencies
  • NGO’s and Development Agencies
  • Disaster reduction professionals
  • Existing and potential donors
  • Business partners

Since the last World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Durban in 2019, there has been four significant developments: the first United Nations Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention (2021); the declaration of World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July annually; the World Health Assembly Resolution - Accelerating action on global drowning prevention (2023); and the announcement of a Global Alliance to increase cohesion, and collaboration across United Nations Agencies, civil society and the donor community.

Key themes arising from the United Nations and World Health Assembly resolutions will be explored during plenary sessions, symposia and parallel session papers delivered by more than 300 presenters from 50 nations.

The conference themes will reflect the challenges and opportunities of reducing drowning in all communities, nations, and regions:

  • Measuring and mapping the drowning burden
  • Addressing drowning prevention in life stages and populations
  • Addressing drowning prevention in activities and occupational settings
  • Advancing drowning prevention through policy, partnerships and planning
  • Showcasing world-leading advances in coastal safety
  • Showcasing world-leading advances in aquatic industry leisure management
  • Showcasing world-leading swimming and water safety education
  • Advancing the science medical treatment and issues in drowning and aquatic injury
  • Confronting the challenges of disaster and climate change
  • Advancing drowning prevention in global health and development agendas
  • Fostering innovation in response to emerging challenges and opportunities

Looking forward to the event, Graham Ford, President of the International Life Saving Federation (ILSF), stated “we are pleased to confirm WHO (World Health Organization) co-sponsorship of World Conference on Drowning Prevention, especially given that we are days away from World Drowning Prevention Day. The 25th July is a reminder to all that anyone can drown, but no-one should. WHO support for WCDP 2023 will be another opportunity to reflect on the WHO reported 266,000 people lost to drowning, each and every year, and on the efforts of many to address this in communities across the world”.

Co-convenor of the conference, RLSSA Chief Exectuive and ILSF Downing Prevention Commission Chair Justin Scarr said co-sponsorship with the WHO raised the importance of the conference, noting "the WHO co-sponsorship of World Conference on Drowning Prevention helps to ensure delegates have input into the medium-term growth of drowning prevention, including providing input into the question of how to maximise action in response to the United Nations and World Health Assembly resolutions.”

Representatives from the WHO headquarters in Geneva will attend the conference, as well experts from WHO Regional Offices including European Region, and coordinators of pivotal projects include WHO’s first ever Global Status Report on Drowning.

The World Conference on Drowning Prevention is the ILSF’s flagship educational event.

Click here for conference details in the Australasian Leisure Management calendar.

Related Articles

9th November 2023 - Launching its Keep Watch water safety campaign Royal Life Saving warns of child drowning risk

23rd October 2023 - Child’s near-drowning at Balga Leisurepark prompts warning to parents over poolside mobile phone use

15th September 2023 - Latest National Drowning report reveals rise of deaths among older men

3rd August 2023 - Blacktown City Council raises water safety awareness on World Drowning Prevention Day

27th July 2023 - Royal Life Saving Society Australia named as founding member of Global Alliance for Drowning Prevention

25th July 2023 - Landmarks Go Blue to mark World Drowning Prevention Day

25th July 2023 - AUSTSWIM marks World Drowning Prevention Day with call for more Australians to become swim teachers

20th July 2023 - SWIM Australia and AUSTSWIM join forces to reduce drowning rate

11th July 2023 - 25th July marks World Drowning Prevention Day

3rd June 2023 - World Aquatics welcomes WHA resolution on drowning prevention

2nd June 2023 - World Health Assembly adopts first ever resolution on drowning prevention

5th May 2023 - Belfast Aquatics Centre and Victorian Department of Education charged over drowning

16th April 2023 - Surf Life Saving NSW urges water safety vigilance following drownings on Easter Sunday

12th April 2023 - Upcoming South East Queensland Water Safety Forum looks to reduce region’s drowning rate

5th April 2023 - Goldfields Spirit Swimming Carnival part of Royal Life Saving WA anti-drowning initiatives

21st March 2023 - Lynxight Drowning Prevention Technology enters the Australian market

4th March 2023 - Summer drownings figures reveal 90 deaths across Australia

24th February 2023 - New resolution for global drowning prevention championed by 60 nations

11th February 2023 - Drownings highlight need for education on rip currents

6th February 2023 - Victorian surfers save hundreds from drowning each year

19th January 2023 - Blacktown City Council’s Swim Sense programs looks to tackle adult drowning toll

10th January 2023 - Life Saving Victoria reiterates the importance of supervision as child drowning risk identified


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