ARA Splash!

Ara splash2

Learn to Swim Program for Refugees and New Arrivals

How will the funding be spent?

We will provide swimming lessons in age and gender specific groups in a swimming pool environment. Once competent participants will then receive additional lessons in the ocean, providing them with the skills to enjoy the beach environment safely. At the completion of the project all participants and their families will enjoy a day out at Waterworld Aquatic Centre at Tea Tree Gully.
YourSAy funding will go towards pool and venue hire, instructors and equipment.

How will the project be delivered?

Through the engagement of professional instructors, cultural community members and support volunteers, swimming lessons and the use of equipment will be provided to children and adults from a refugee background in a safe and welcoming environment. Whilst sharing with participants one of Australia's favourite pastimes, volunteers will assist professional instructors to teach safe swimming practises in both the pool and the ocean.

How many people will directly benefit from this project?


How will you measure the impact of this project?

The number of participants successfully completing the ARA Splash swimming program will demonstrate the primary impact of the project. Secondary to this will be the safe participation in water activities by their friends, family and communities. Ultimately the project aims to contribute to the reduction in the number of drownings within the new arrival community. It is a sad fact that these people are over-represented in drowning incidents with tragic events occurring in recent years.

In addition to program staff and instructors, the engagement of volunteers will be the key to success of the ARA Splash swimming program. These volunteers get in the water together with the novices and add to their confidence and enjoyment. This element of the program seeks to achieve stronger social cohesion and build relationships between new and existing Australians.

Participants will graduate from the program with renewed confidence and new skills, which will have a positive effect on their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Building familiarity with local facilities will enable new arrival families to increase their participation in the community and contribute to their successful settlement in Australia.

How will the project fit this year's theme of ‘Connect, Grow, Build, Belong’?

ARA Splash provides children and adults from a refugee background with the opportunity to connect with one of Australia’s favourite pastimes in a safe and supported manner. Through swimming lessons and beach time experiences we can strengthen the courage of these people and help them to rebuild their lives. Through growing their skills and experiences we allow them to feel a sense of belonging in their new home.

Organisation details

Organisation Name

Australian Refugee Association (ARA)

What does this organisation do?

The Australian Refugee Association (ARA) was established in 1975 and has since endeavoured to enable refugees and other new arrivals to settle in Australia with independence and dignity, and to develop and achieve their aspirations and opportunities in life.

ARA's mission is to help refugees become settled and participating citizens of Australia. We believe in the capacity and desire of refugees to be productive citizens through contributing to social, cultural and economic life in Australia.

ARA provides services in the areas of settlement, migration, youth, employment, social activities and support, community education and skills development. ARA aims to be a holistic service provider, ensuring that all new arrivals have access to a full range of settlement services through our partnerships in both the community and private sectors.

ARA – Empowering courageous people.


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