Beach safety a priority for UniSA’s new international students

Beach sceneThe University of South Australia is joining forces with the Grange Surf Life Saving Club this Sunday to make sure that when any of our new international students studying in Adelaide this year, head off to Adelaide’s beautiful beaches, they’ll be safe. 

The special beach safety session, to be held on Sunday 26 February at Grange Beach between 9:00am and 1:00pm, will introduce new students to beach and surf safety awareness, while also giving them the chance to have fun in the sun with new class mates from around the world.

UniSA Work Health & Safety consultant, Jim Townsend, says the beach sessions offer important safety education for many students who have never been regular beach-goers.

“The accessibility of Adelaide’s beaches makes them a desirable and popular leisure spot for international students,” Townsend says, “and while our coastline is generally benign, it can occasionally be dangerous.

“That’s why surf education is so important, especially for those who are unfamiliar with that environment.

“We host this event to ensure our international students have the best start to their university experience. They have the chance to meet lots of new friends and learn how to be safe at the seaside.”

The 2015-2016 Australian Royal Life Saving Report found drowning rates have increased by more than five per cent in the past year, with an average of one person every week drowning at an Australian beach and 10 people a day needing to be rescued.

Vanessa Hodson, Club Captain with Grange Surf Life Saving, says water safety is always paramount, not just over the summer months.

“Summer is definitely when we are most active, but it’s really important for everyone to be water-safe whenever they are at the beach,” Hodson says.

“This surf and beach safety education session will expose international students to a range of scenarios that they may encounter in the water, from basic water safety to a full surf rescue.

“We want to ensure that everyone goes away with a clear idea of how to stay safe, how to signal for help, and what to do in an emergency.

“We ask all people, not just international students, exercise extreme caution when they are in the water, no matter what they are doing, and to swim between the flags.”

The session will engage students in a round-robin of five beach activities, including: Surf Awareness and Beach Safety; Surf Rescue Scenarios; Sand Sculptures; Beach Games; and a Learn to Stand Up on a Paddle Board. At the end of the activities students will enjoy a BBQ lunch hosted by the Grange Surf Life Saving Club.

International Student Officer with UniSA’s Student Engagement Unit, Helen Stapleton, says the surf and beach safety education session will help international students learn how to stay safe around water.

“Staying safe and making the most of our beautiful beaches and waterways requires knowledge and skills,” Stapleton says.

“We want to make sure our students have all the information they need so they can make the most of their time in Australia at university and beyond the study regime.”

Contacts for interview:  

Jim Townsend, UniSA Work Health & Safety Consultant P: 8302 2916 |  M: 0417 899 920  |  email Jim.Townsend@unisa.edu.au


Helen Stapleton, UniSA International Student Officer, Student Engagement P: 8302 1330 |  M: 0433 411 762 |  email Helen.Stapleton@unisa.edu.au

 Vanessa Hodson, Grange Surf Life Saving Club Captain and/or Kyla Young, Grange Surf Life Saving Guard and Event Coordinator email vh@live.com.au (Vanessa); kylayoung@westnet.com.au (Kyla)

 

Media contact: Annabel Mansfield mobile: 0417 717 504 email: Annabel.Mansfield@unisa.edu.au

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