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23 Apr 2024

Project Harmony Launched

Diversity & Inclusion
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In an effort to combat the alarming rates of drowning incidents among vulnerable communities, Royal Life Saving NSW and the NSW Government have joined forces to launch Project Harmony. This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide swimming lessons to 1,000 children residing in communities with the highest drowning risks across the state, effectively removing barriers to participation in such essential lifesaving skills.

With a staggering $100,000 investment from the NSW Government, in collaboration with local governments in Western Sydney, as well as the invaluable support of local pools and community leaders, Project Harmony is set to make a profound impact. Targeting children aged three to six years who have not yet enrolled in school, the program extends a lifeline to those who may be experiencing the water for the very first time by providing 10 complimentary swimming lessons.

At the heart of Project Harmony lies a commitment to inclusivity and accessibility. Families who have not utilised their child’s First Lap voucher can now participate in the program free of charge upon redeeming their voucher. For those families who have already redeemed their vouchers, a nominal fee of $50 opens the door to this invaluable opportunity.

The launch of Project Harmony took place at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool on Thursday 4 April 2024, underscoring the significance of this initiative. With esteemed guests including the Member for Liverpool, Charishma Kaliyanda, CEO of Multicultural NSW Joseph La Posta, along with many community leaders in attendance, the event marked the beginning of a transformative journey towards water safety.

Michael Ilinsky, CEO of Royal Life Saving NSW, emphasised the critical role Project Harmony plays in bridging the gap in swimming and water safety skills. "Long-term drowning data reveals a stark reality – 8 out of the 12 local government areas in Australia with the highest drowning rates are situated in Western Sydney," Ilinsky stated. "This initiative is our proactive response to safeguarding the next generation from the perils of drowning.".

14 partner pools across seven local government areas have committed to delivering Project Harmony programs, with potentially more locations slated to be announced soon. Council areas such as Blacktown, Liverpool, Cumberland, Parramatta, Camden, Georges River, and The Hills are among those offering subsidised programs aimed at ensuring every child has the opportunity to learn essential water safety skills.

As Project Harmony sets sail on its mission to save lives, it stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and community-driven initiatives in the fight against drowning. Together, we can create a safer future for generations to come.

To learn more visit www.drowningprevention.org.au/harmony

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