Over the past few years Royal Life Saving has been concerned about evidence of the declining swimming and water safety skills of children. We are particularly concerned about barriers preventing children from accessing swimming and water safety education, the level of achievement attained and what happens to those who miss out entirely. As a hot topic with lack of national clarity and cohesion, Royal Life Saving convened the National Swimming and Water Safety Symposium in April 2017, in Sydney. The first National Swimming and Water Safety Education Symposium resulted in a set of statements and complementary actions aimed at building a national approach to increasing swimming and water safety education for all Australian children. These statements are:
Strengthen school and vacation swimming and water safety programs in the community;
Revise the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework;
Set and report progress against a National Benchmark;
Devise strategies to increase access and participation for those ‘at risk’;
Improve availability and access to aquatic facilities; Increase the swimming and lifesaving skills of Secondary School students.