Article: Swim Program in Yarrabah, QLD, 2014

Published by YASS TRIBUNE, 24 Oct 2014.

On November 9, Spencer Swim Safe will be returning to the Aboriginal community of Yarrabah, which is situated approximately 53 kilometres from Cairns.

Almost two years ago we sent two volunteers, Kate Wylie and Tia Spencer, who spent two weeks running a swimming program and providing free swimming lessons to the children within the community.

This time we have made arrangements with the local public school and pre-school to combine their day to day activities with our swimming program. We have two very full weeks lined up where we will, once again be providing the essential skills of swimming to the large number of children within the community.

Alongside the swimming lessons we will be teaching some lifesaving skills and will also help run a ‘Dive In’ movie night with the local PCYC. Working in conjunction with the PCYC to organise this program has been great. They have been extremely helpful and these programs would not have been able to get off the ground without them.

Also on November 9, we will be starting a ‘Learn to Swim’ and ‘Stroke Correction’ program for children within the Yass Valley. This program has been organised by Spencer Swim Safe volunteer Belinda Pigram and already has a rather large list of children ready to hit the pool. This program will run each Sunday for six weeks. We believe this program will give the children within the community of Binalong and surrounds a head start for the upcoming summer months spent by the pool.

As you can imagine programs like these cannot run without volunteers. We are always after qualified Austswim instructors or anybody interested in getting qualified to join our team. Joining our team and committing to programs could result in future inner state programs and even possible overseas programs. The smile you will see on a child’s face when they take that first stroke will be one you will want to see again and again.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Spencer Swim Safe and help make a difference to children in the local community, around Australia and around the globe, please get in touch with Ben Spencer on 0432 118 846 or via email at

Safety tips

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. Summer is a special time for having fun in the water, but unfortunately drowning is one of the leading causes of death within Australia. Each year we read or hear about a tragic death of a child in a family pool or dam. We believe drowning is preventable in most cases. These simple actions may help to keep your children safe and prevent drowning.

Get in early: 

Start swimming lessons at a young age, yes they might cry at first, maybe even the whole time, but they are learning essential lifesaving skills. Starting them early will give them that awareness and a great head start for the future. But never rely solely on swimming lessons to prevent drowning.


Always supervise children when in or around water. A responsible adult should constantly watch young children, even if a lifeguard is present.

Pools and dams: 

Ensure your pool follows all the regulations, pool fences are a must and self-closing and self-latching gates are great. MAKE YOUR POOL SAFE. Dams can also be very enticing to children, try to eliminate all entry routes.

Learn CPR & First Aid: 

This skill could save someone’s life even your own child. Royal Lifesaving Australia runs regular courses and there are plenty of course suppliers out there.