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Abstract

The dearth of information on the delivery of specific culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) programs presents a major limitation in the effort to prevent drowning, particularly when drowning rates of people from countries other than Australia are increasing. This study describes programs delivered by the aquatic industry for CALD communities in New South Wales (NSW), explores what CALD communities believe their water safety education needs are, and evaluates AUSTSWIM’s current training methods to ascertain which is most effective when training candidates from CALD communities. We found an absence of specialized aquatic programs being run at aquatic facilities for CALD communities. Barriers to participation included a lack of understanding of the cultural perceptions toward water safety and the different emphasis on the need for swimming skills and water safety education. The likelihood of AUSTSWIM Teacher of Swimming and Water Safety candidates’ having successful aquatic training outcomes increases with a combined learning approach that pairs meaningful practical applications with ongoing mentor support. Engagement of CALD communities’ using these kind of water safety programs will be essential if Australia wants to reduce the drowning burden.

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