Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

A living in Harmony Initiative

On the Same Wave (OTSW) is a partnership between Surf Life Saving (SLS) and the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). The OTSW program provides support to young Australians of all backgrounds, to become part of the beach experience, and to engage with SLS around Australia. The partnership aims to achieve greater harmony between all beach users and promote a culture that the beach is there to share. It further aims to develop inclusive practices within SLS and individual clubs to more effectively attract members from a broader Australian population demographic.

Traditionally speaking migrants, refugees and people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds have been overrepresented in both national and state drowning figures and, as such, have been identified by aquatic safety authorities as a ‘high risk’ group.

Since January 2007 West Beach SLSC has been working in partnership with Surf Life Saving S.A to help reduce beach fatalities and injuries among the state’s growing migrant and refugee population. The On The Same Wave initiative, designed to engage with South Australians from CALD backgrounds and provide them with potentially lifesaving surf safety education in their primary language.

The initiative is structured to provide support and education to South Australians of all backgrounds, but particularly young men and women from Middle Eastern, African and Asian backgrounds.

West Beach Surf Life Saving Club has been working with the Thebarton Senior College. The College is the only adult New Arrivals Program provider in South Australia. The New Arrivals Program is an intensive English language acquisition course for newly arrived adult migrant and refugee students. While the focus of the program is to provide non-English-speaking students with the level of language proficiency needed to undertake future SACE studies, mathematics, science and computing are integral to the curriculum and also have a language emphasis.

Since 2007 West Beach has been training student to become members of the surf life saving family by providing training in First Aid, Advanced Resuscitation, Radio Certificate and most importantly the Bronze Medallion. In 2010/11 seasons we had the first group in South Australia to pass the Bronze Medallion Certificate. It took them 18 months to achieve their goal with most of them never having been in the ocean before and could not swim.

West Beach has also links with different community groups where we offer beach safety/picnic days at our beach.

This program consists of teaching either newly arrived immigrants to Australia or school groups on how to be safe and have fun at our beaches when they go. What we do:

  • Power point presentations
  • Looking at the ocean and learning where it is safe to swim
  • Getting into the water for some fun
  • Beach cricket and more. 

West Beach offers the following courses for CALD members.
First Aid Certificate
Advanced Resuscitation Certificate
Spinal Management certificate
Surf Rescue Certificate ( for 13 & 14 y.o. )
Bronze Medallion ( 15 & over )

Please contact Peter Taylor on 0419 819 360