2019 CALD Water Safety Photography Exhibition

2019 CALD Water Safety Photography Exhibition
Surf life saver on jetski
A CALD Water Safety Photography Exhibition 2019 was created as a direct response of  drowning statistics. 2019 CALD Water Safety Photography Exhibition A CALD Water Safety Photography Exhibition 2019 was created as a direct response of drowning statistics. Community

Surf life saver on jetski 

One in four drowning deaths involve people born outside Australia or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities.

A CALD Water Safety Photography Exhibition 2019 was created as a direct response of  drowning statistics. 

The aim of the exhibition is to use photos on social media and other communication channels to educate CALD communities about the importance of water safety. 

The campaign is also a way for  the broader community to understand how they can help CALD communities to connect, share knowledge and gather skills to protect themselves when enjoying our rivers, pools, beaches and waterways.

Download the South East Sydney Water Safety Directory to find out more about services and groups to help you stay safe in the water.

This project has been brought to you in partnership with Wollongong City Council, Canterbury Bankstown Council, Randwick City Council, Royal Life Saving Australia, Surf Life Saving and South East Sydney (SES) Multicultural Water Safety Committee.​

Note: click on each of the images below to view a larger version.

Man sitting on beach
Aboriginal communities have a spiritual and customary living relationship with water in all its forms, through creation stories, use of water as a resource, and knowledge about sharing and conserving water. Aboriginal people have a holistic view to land, water and culture and see them as one, not in isolation of each other. We need to have a deeper understanding in building positive relationships with water and its surroundings , the deeper the understanding stronger the relationship. Our first image reflects this relationships our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have with water.
Collage of multicultural people on beach
​New South Wales is a successful multicultural society. Culturally and linguistically diverse communities within NSW include both long established communities and smaller emerging groups. Safe water services and water safety messaging needs to be accessed by all. Drowning is preventable, backyard swimming pools are the leading location for drowning in the 0-4 age group. Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities have been identified by the Australian Water Safety Council as communities at an increased risk of drowning and aquatic injury when compared to the rest of the Australian population.

Having tea on beach

Participation rates in aquatic education programs are much lower among culturally diverse backgrounds and strategies to address this through community development should be encouraged. This can be beneficial both for achieving a reduction in drowning and in promoting greater social cohesion across Australian communities.
Man rock fishing

Rock fishing is one of the most dangerous sports in Australia. The majority of rock fishing-related deaths in Australia occur in NSW. 

  • Stay alert to the weather conditions
  • Check the weather and the tide conditions before you leave home and
  • Monitor them while you’re out fishing.


Man rock fishing

​Always wear a personal flotation device (PFD), and wear gear that stops you from slipping into the water such as shoes with non-slip soles or cleats. Rock plates or cleats are essential on wet, weedy rocks. Also, wear head protection. Evidence suggests that many people who have drowned received some sort of head injury. Wear lightweight gear that reduces problems if you do go into the surf such as shorts and a spray jacket. Jumpers may be difficult to take off and will weigh you down when wet.

SafeFishing has a range of brochures, videos and translated information on:

  • rock fishing;
  • freshwater fishing and
  • fishing underwater. 
Surf life saver on jetski

The primary role of the Lifeguards is to provide a safe swimming environment for the community at beaches.

All we ask is that you:

  • Always swim between the Red & Yellow flags
  • Never swim alone
  • If you get in trouble in the water, don’t panic, raise your hand and wait for the lifeguard
Surf rescue staff
​To make a genuine connection to culturally diverse populations identify key water activities which engage diverse populations, take part in regional water safety events and initiatives, and/or work with local service providers who support culturally and linguistically diverse populations.

Surf rescue staff

To educate all Australians on ways to reduce the number of aquatic accidents and deaths provide surf education sessions/events for multicultural groups, work with local Council and business to provide surf safety messaging, and/or visit schools and other groups to promote surf safety.
Three men on beach

"Don’t let your mates drink and drown"

Alcohol can significantly increase the risk of drowning. Alcohol affects everyone differently; therefore there is no amount of alcohol that can be said to be safe for everyone. Even small amounts of alcohol can effect behaviour and ability, increasing the risk of drowning.

66% of all men who had alcohol in their system when they drowned recorded a blood alcohol level greater than 0.05. If it’s not safe to consume that level of alcohol and drive a car, it’s just as dangerous to be fishing, boating or swimming drunk.

Here are some of the effects of alcohol and how it can heighten the risk of drowning:

  • Impairs Judgement – Alcohol distorts perception of risk, and one’s abilities.
  • Increases Risk Taking Behaviour – Alcohol removes inhibitions.
  • Reduces Coordination – Alcohol numbs the senses, particularly sight, sound and touch leading to unsteadiness and inability to climb or swim making it hard to get out of trouble.
  • Impairs Reaction Time – Alcohol is a depressant, reducing the rate the brain processes information. In water emergencies where response times are vital, it can prove the difference between life and death.
  • Hypothermia – In cold situations, the body will attempt to draw blood away from the limbs and to the vital organs to prevent heat loss. Alcohol, however, prevents this and therefore increases the chance of hypothermia
Two men having a chat
Royal Life Saving works with many Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, tailoring programs to ensure new Australians or those from backgrounds without a strong aquatic heritage receive every opportunity to learn swimming and water safety skills and education. Our beaches, pools, rivers etc are for all of everyone to enjoy, let’s all be safe