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A unique program designed to assist international students learn beach safety messages was nominated for a prestigious award at last month’s NSW International Student Awards.

The Beach Safety Advisors Program was a finalist in the Community Engagement Award at the fifth annual NSW International Student Awards ceremony held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

These awards celebrate both international students and organisations for their enormous contributions across the state.

Established initially as a trial program, the Beach Safety Advisors group helps arriving students become familiar with beach safety messages from the moment they first set foot on Australian soil.

Sadly the need for this program became apparent following a number of tragic drowning deaths in recent years.

Through a close collaboration between Surf Life Saving NSW and the NSW International Student Welcome Desk, the program places uniformed volunteer international students at Sydney Airport, where they are able to interact with their peers who are excited about the opportunities to come, promoting beach and water safety.

It is hoped that program participants will enhance their own awareness and skills in aquatic safety and gain confidence both on and off the beach, as well as taking part in professional development that could assist in future employment. 

 “Wearing the official uniform not only gives us confidence, but a sense of honour,” said Sujana Gurang, from Southern Cross University who attended the ceremony.

Although they didn’t win on the night, the awards were a wonderful opportunity for representatives from the Beach Safety Advisor program to engage with other students and bodies from across various sectors, and to celebrate their contribution to their new local community.

Exercise for a second intake of enthusiastic volunteers is planned on 19 October which is set to guarantee that the smiling faces of International Students promoting Surf Life Saving NSW’s key beach and water safety messages will continue to be present at Sydney Airport this coming summer season.

The Beach Safety Advisers Program was nominated for their efforts to spread safety messages to international students


Wednesday 17 October 2018