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Royal Life Saving WA releases REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan

Royal Life Saving WA releases REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan
March 9, 2020

Royal Life Saving WA has released the REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), reflecting their commitment to driving reconciliation both within the organisation and throughout the broader aquatic recreation industry. 

The REFLECT Reconciliation Action Plan will serve as an exciting new chapter for an organisation that has operated across Western Australia since 1909. For many years Royal Life Saving WA has built strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across regional WA and the Perth metropolitan area. A significant proportion of their work is geared towards engaging Indigenous Australians in water safety. This could be a young person enjoying a swim at the new Balgo swimming pool, it could be a mother and child participating in swimming lessons at Burringurrah, or a young adult commencing their first job as a Pool Lifeguard in South Hedland.

The Plan has been prepared by a working group, consisting of seven members, in consultation with the federal body, Reconciliation Australia. It highlights the organisation’s desire to provide Indigenous people with genuine opportunities to engage in water safety education and obtain aquatic qualifications that lead to employment within WA’s aquatic industry. It also aims to grow an organisation-wide culture of respect, recognition and acceptance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, their history and culture.

The Royal Life Saving WA RAP has been developed to drive:

• Internal reflection, both organisational and individual

• Challenge of current practices, procedures and policies

• Improved relationships, respect and understanding, and;

• Natural engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Royal Life Saving WA Chief Executive Peter Leaversuch advises that the organisation is proud of the many achievements it’s been involved in that have helped to make swimming and water safety education accessible to even the remotest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Western Australia.

Leaversuch adds “However, our key priority in the development and achievement of this RAP focused on more than just increasing participation numbers. Rather, we hope to see a significant shift in the way our people, our industry and our communities accept and engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

Royal Life Saving WA looks forward to continuing to build its strong relationships within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and sees this RAP as a vehicle to improve the intent behind the organisation’s services and associated impact achieved through its organisational activities, which are to:

• Support the development of broader and stronger networks between Royal Life Saving WA and Aboriginal communities, agencies and individuals.

• Guide organisational messaging that promotes Royal Life Saving WA’s activities with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

• Guide organisational strategy associated with service delivery with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

• Suggest innovations and initiatives that help to build Royal Life Saving WA’s program and service range with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

• Help Royal Life Saving WA to position the aquatics industry as a major employer of Aboriginal youth.

Royal Life Saving WA’s RAP has been endorsed by Ian Trust, Chairman of Wunan, “Royal Life Saving WA has demonstrated its ongoing commitment to work alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to build safer, healthier more resilient communities. This is particularly evident in their work in positioning the local swimming pool, no matter where it is within the State, as a safe place for the local community to build resilience, improve health and provide valuable recreational experiences. Furthermore, Royal Life Saving WA is well positioned to champion stronger relationships, respect and trust between the broader aquatic recreation community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.”

The artwork within Royal Life Saving WA’s RAP was created by Jilalga Murray of JILALGA DESIGNS. She is a proud urban Nyangumarta and Yorta Yorta woman who’s lived on Whadjuk Boodjar for over ten years. Her artwork strongly reflects relationships with Western Australian waterways, and she describes it as “a creative celebration, to remind everyone that their work around water safety is very important to the lives of all West Australians and visitors to our wonderful state. My artwork sends a message, that we must all be respectful of where we live, work and play.”

Royal Life Saving WA looks forward to continuing to grow strong relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across WA, as they work together to become a more inclusive and culturally aware organisation.

Image: Dennis Simmons from Maar Koodjal, RLSSWA’s Travis Doye, Linda Doogiebee-Dridi from Pilbara Aboriginal Voice, RLSSWA’s Tim Turner, Gningala Yarran-Mark from UGL Pty Ltd, Artist Jilalga Murray and RLSSWA Chief Executive Peter Leaversuch

The Reconciliation Action Plan can be accessed here.

Related Articles

19th December 2019 - Royal Life Saving WA partners with LIWA Aquatics to stress water safety vigilance over summer holidays

11th October 2019 - Royal Life Saving WA presents 2019 Bravery Awards

24th January 2019 - Royal Life Saving WA helps women learn to Swim and Survive 

16th August 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA provides Swim and Survive program for CaLD children 

20th June 2018 - Western Australian Governor named new Royal Life Saving WA Patron

3rd April 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA honouring community heroes

21st March 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA promotes family fun at remote Burringurrah pool

19th March 2018 - Colin Hassell named President of Royal Life Saving WA

8th January 2018 - Royal Life Saving WA recognises quick-thinking lifeguards

23rd February 2016 - Royal Life Saving warns of drowning dangers in inland water

27th October 2011 - Royal Life Saving warn that ‘10s of thousands of domestic pools are potential death traps’


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