The Samuel Morris Foundation will receive $50,000 to implement water safety education and campaigns for young children under the NSW Government’s Water Safety Black Spot Program, Western Sydney MPs Stuart Ayres and Bart Bassett announced yesterday.
“The introduction of the Water Safety Black Spots Program marks the delivery of another of the NSW Liberals & Nationals election commitments to the people of New South Wales,” Mr Ayres said.
“The Samuel Morris Foundation is a local not-for-profit organisation, set up by the Morris family to support children who have been made disabled by near drowning events and promotes the need for heightened levels of pool safety and supervision among the broader community.”
Member for Londonderry Bart Bassett thanked the Samuel Morris Foundation for their ongoing advocacy work.
“Through my background in local government I was given an insight into the need to keep swimming facilities up to scratch,” Mr Bassett said.
“A secure fence and a watchful eye may sound like an immediate burden, but it is nothing when compared to the emotional and financial cost of not remaining vigilant when it comes to kids and their access to swimming pools.”
Managing Director of the Samuel Morris Foundation Michael Morris said the funding will be targeted at children in a pre-school environment.
“The Samuel Morris Foundation is grateful to the NSW Government for making this funding available to us, and we look forward to delivering a program that will help contribute to reducing the tragic toll of death and disability caused by drowning and near drowning incidents throughout NSW,” he said.
“This $50,000 of funding will allow us to develop a water safety curriculum and education resources to introduce water safety messages to children while they are in a pre-school environment.
“We will be working in partnership with peak water safety bodies like Royal Life Saving, Surf Live Saving and Austswim as well as the early childhood industry and university specialists in early childhood education to ensure that the messages in the program are consistent, industry agreed and educationally sound.
“We know through other successful pre-school education programs such as Fire and Rescue NSW’s FireEd program that children in this age group are both capable of, and enthusiastically wiling to learn safety messages. The added bonus of delivering water safety education via pre-schools is that it is also a great way to get vital water safety messages taken home to mum and dad right at a time when their children are in the peak age group that is most significantly at risk of drowning.
“We still have a long way to go towards our goal of achieving zero toddler drowning deaths. We welcome the NSW Governments commitment to this through the Water Safety Blackspot Funding Program and look forward to continuing to work with the government to achieve this goal.”