Swim Australia Teacher of the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)

Foreword by ASCTA CEO, David Speechley

ASCTA is excited to be able to offer the Swim Australia Teacher of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse course to its members and students. This course I available as both an interactive online course and in hard copy. It will not only broaden your horizons but also give you new skills to plan and deliver appropriate learn to swim and competitive strokes lessons for an increasingly multicultural Australian population. Learning swimming skills and water safety is an Australian rite of passage which should be accessible to all members of our community. As a population we live primarily near the coast - therefore a knowledge of water safety and personal survival is also a key life skill we want and need all Australians to have, be they indigenous, established or "new". 

This course also provides knowledge and skills to expatriates overseas, or indeed any English speaking Teacher dealing with indigenous or culturally and linguistically diverse communities, wherever they may be in the world.

It is our hope that this course will equip you to consider a range of cultural, racial and religious differences, evaluate how these might impact participation in swimming and water safety programs and then give you the tools you need to tailor your program to meet each individuals or communities’ unique needs. 

Sport is a powerful tool for inclusion and it is our hope that the sport of swimming can lead the way.

We wish you all the best in your course of study and should you wish to provide feedback please don't hesitate to contact us via e-mail [email protected]



With the growing culturally, linguistically and religiously diverse population throughout Australia, the learn-to-swim industry needs to address the quality of:

This need was the catalyst for the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association to develop this extension course for Swimming and Water Safety Teachers to improve their competence related to language and culture. This refers to the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultures. It is not just knowing about the other person’s culture, but understanding how cultural differences impact upon the teacher/student relationship and thus being able to adjust your behaviour and communication styles to accommodate these differences to ensure the best outcome for the learner.

An extension course is a course which builds upon the knowledge already gained from one of our entry level courses:

Your entry level course will have provided information, skills and on the job training in a blended delivery process specific to swimming and the age and ability of the learners you are working with.

The Swim Australia™ Teacher of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse course will add to the body of knowledge that the Teacher already possesses with specific information related to learners from a range of cultural, religious and language groups. Whilst this course can be studied by anyone, a prerequisite to gain accreditation is a current Swim Australia™ entry level accreditation (listed above).

As those seeking The Swim Australia™ Teacher of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse accreditation are already “Teachers” and know what a Learner and a Swimmer looks like, this course of study is based entirely upon a self-paced review of the course contents including the graphics, video clips and photos provided. The course contents are accessed via an online interactive course. Upon completion of the assessments at the end of each Unit of Study ASCTA will be electronically notified and your certificate will be issued* (*conditional upon holding current ASCTA membership).

An added benefit is that this self-paced online course is ASCTA Professional Development and thus extends the expiration date of all Swim Australia™ Teacher accreditations you currently hold for a further 4 years, from the date of the SAT CALD course’s completion.

This course has been researched, written and developed by Cindy Adair and has undergone peer review.

ASCTA gratefully acknowledge the critical input of industry peers in reviewing the content of this course and providing refinements.

The world is an amazing, diverse and fascinating place. To try and capture this in one text is near impossible. The content you will read in this course is based on current research and thinking. Some generalisations have been made and several stereotypes cited. We hope this course will open your mind and start a conversation, but it is by no means a conclusive guide to every cultural, racial or linguistic variation you may encounter.

I hope you find this course of study as enjoyable as we did in researching and writing it.

As always, ASCTA, Swim Australia™ and asctaACCREDITATION welcome feedback from Students as part of our commitment to ongoing continuous improvement of all our courses and their content.

Units of Study

The SAT CALD course includes the following units of study:

Drowning - A Global Killer



Access for All

Indigenous Aquatics

Swimming in Developing Nations

At the conclusion of each unit you will be asked to complete an assessment activity, the results of this assessment will be stored electronically.

Language & Literacy Assistance

If you need an interpreter to help you with information on our website, please call the Telephone Interpreting Service (TIS) on 13 14 50 and ask them to put you through to the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association on 07 5494 6255.


Nếu bạn cần một thông dịch viên để giúp ạncó thông tin trên trang web của chúng tôi , xin vui lòng gọi điện thoại Phiên Dịch (TIS) qua số 13 14 50 và yêu cầu họ đưa bạn thông qua để các huấn luyện viên bơi Úc và Hiệp hội Giáo viên trên 07 5494 6255.


Αν χρειάζεστε διερμηνέα για να σας βοηθήσει με πληροφορίες στην ιστοσελίδα μας, παρακαλούμε καλέστε την Τηλεφωνική Υπηρεσία Διερμηνέων (TIS) στο 13 14 50 και ζητήστε τους να σας βάλει μέσα στις αυστραλιανές προπονητές κολύμβησης και ο Σύλλογος Διδασκόντων στο 07 5494 6255.


如果您需要口译员帮助您在我们网站上的信 息,请拨打电话口译服务(TIS) 13 14 50 ,并要求他们把你的电话给澳大利亚游泳教练和教师协会对 07 5494 6255.


당신은 우리의 웹 사이트 에 대한 정보 와 함께 당신을 도울 통역 이 필요한 경우 13 14 50 에전화 통역 서비스 (TIS) 에 전화 07 5494 6255 에 호주 수영 코치 와 교사 협회 를 통해 당신을 넣어 하도록 요청 하시기 바랍니다 .


إذا كنت بحاجة إلى مترجم لمساعدتك في المعلومات على موقعنا على الانترنت ، يرجى الاتصال بخدمة الترجمة الهاتفية (TIS) على الرقم 13 14 50 واطلب منهم أن يضعوا لكم من خلال ل مدربي السباحة الاسترالية و نقابة المعلمين في 07 54 94 6255.


Si necesita un intérprete para que le ayude con la información en nuestro sitio web , por favor llame al Servicio Telefónico de Intérpretes (TIS) al 13 14 50 y pedir que hacerte pasar por los entrenadores de natación australianos y Asociación de Maestros el 07 5494 6255.


Eğer sitemizde hakkında bilgi size yardımcı olmak için bir tercümana ihtiyacınız varsa , 13 14 50 Telefonla Tercüme Servisi (TIS) arayın ve 07 5494 6255 tarihinde Avustralya Yüzme Antrenörleri ve Öğretmenler Derneği aracılığıyla koymak isteyin.)


Ако вам је потребан тумач да вам помогне са информацијама о нашем сајту , молимо вас да назовете Телефонску тумача (ТИС ) на 13 14 50 и замолите их да вас до аустралијских пливању тренера и наставника Удружења он 07 5494 6255.


Если вам нужен переводчик , чтобы помочь вам с информацией на нашем сайте, пожалуйста, позвоните по телефону устного перевода ( TIS ) 13 14 50 и попросите их поставить вас до австралийских плаванию тренеров и учителей ассоциации 07 5494 6255.

Course Students/ Customers with a sensory impairment can use the National Relay Service on TTY 133 677 or Speak & Listen on phone 1300 555 727.

1. Drowning - A Global Killer

1.1 Key Facts on Drowning

Drowning is a serious and neglected public health threat claiming an estimated average of 372,000 people a year worldwide. More than 90% of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries. This death toll is almost two thirds that of malnutrition and well over half of that of malaria – but unlike these public health challenges, there are no broad world wide prevention efforts that target drowning (Global Report on Drowning, 2015).


1.2 Young People at Risk

Alarmingly, drowning is the leading cause of death of children and young people in EVERY region of the world, with children under 5 years of age being disproportionately represented. Those countries with a warm climate and relatively large coastlines are particularly vulnerable, examples include Vietnam, Bangladesh, Australia and many of the Pacific Islands (Global Report on Drowning, 2015).

1.3 Four Major Risk Factors

Based on the body of research available, the following risk factors have been identified:

1.   Young children – the highest rates of drowning occur in under 5 year olds

2.   Living on or around water – whenever there is a body of water, the risk of drowning increases

3.   Flood disasters – extreme rain, storm surges, cyclones, tsunami and flash flooding 

4.   Transport on or via water – especially on poorly constructed, often crowded water vessels, without sufficient PFD’s for all passengers.



It should be noted that in many low-income countries, data collection is minimal. This makes the monitoring and subsequent planning of drowning prevention efforts difficult. Successful monitoring of drowning statistics requires a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach involving Police, Hospitals and Mortuaries, Government and Life Saving Societies.

Drowning prevention strategies will have many synergies with other public health agenda’s such as safe water supply, rural development, disaster management and childhood health.

The global community must use this as leverage to attract donors and prioritise drowning prevention.

1.4 Prevention IS the Cure

In the World Health Organisation’s most recent Global Report on Drowning, the following steps were suggested to prevent drowning. Many of the strategies are based on what has been successful in reducing the burden of drowning in high-income countries. Therefore, the onus is still on each individual nation to adapt to their unique circumstances.

In many developing nations this will mean significant ingenuity and some financial investment will be required.

Anecdotal evidence suggests developing a national water safety plan, coordinating drowning prevention efforts with those of other governmental and non-governmental sectors, as well as addressing priority research questions and undertaking well-designed research studies will enhance the program of prevention.


1.5 Drowning Statistics by Region

(Global Report on Drowning, 2015)

The graph above shows that high income regions of the world fare better than low income regions. This lower drowning rate is likely due to better data collection, ongoing water safety education and legislation in place to prevent risk-taking behaviours  in and around water. 

1.6 Africa at a Glance

Africa as a continent has the highest drowning rate per capita in the world. It has a number of risk factors making drowning prevention all the more challenging.

Many member nations are in a state of political instability, meaning coordinated, organised responses to the issue are near impossible. Instead, there are only small pockets of ad-hoc and often reactive preventative programming. In short, drowning prevention is just one of a long list of worries.

Africa has a largely rural population who suffer through extreme poverty and often have no access to education, including water safety education.

Much of the population does not have access to clean drinking water in their home and as a result have to visit wells, dams and other water bodies in order to source clean drinking water. These sites are often unmarked and have no fencing or protective barriers. It is often young girls who are sent to fetch water.

Similarly 80% of all coastline is unpatrolled and often no signage is in place to indicate this.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 46% of all drownings are alcohol-related.

Despite its popular image as an arid Desert, the African continent is home to some of the world’s largest bodies of water. These include portions of the Nile River, Congo River, Zambezi River, Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika to name a few. Many African citizens rely on Lakes, Rivers and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans for their livelihoods, for commercial fishing, irrigation of crops and tourism. In recent times piracy has become an issue, especially along the coast of Sudan.


  • Improve protective barriers at drinking water sources
  • Improve signage near bodies of water
  • Increase education about basic water safety, including in the work-place


1.7 Americas at a Glance

The Americas are home to some of the world’s richest AND poorest citizens, yet drowning related deaths is a problem at both ends of the spectrum. Trends in Northern America are similar to those in other developed nations, whilst reliable statistics from Central and South America are vague at best.

Increasingly this region is suffering from more extreme weather events, especially in those countries that straddle the equator including the Southern States of the USA, The Bahamas, Cuba, Haiti and The Dominican Republic. One such notable event was Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in which 1,250 people perished due to storm surges, flooding and resultant chaos.

In many communities, children lack basic swimming skills or a desire to acquire them. According to the Centre for Disease Control minorities are over-represented in drowning statistics. A child of African-American or Latino descent is almost 5.5 times more likely to drown than his/her white peers in the USA.

Boating is a popular recreational pursuit in the USA, Canada and the tourist meccas of The Bahamas and Jamaica. In 90% of cases, those who drowned while boating were not wearing a personal flotation device (life jacket), 40% were also drinking alcohol while operating their vessel.

Commercial fishing is also a high-risk area of concern. The occupational mortality rate in Alaskan commercial fishermen is 116 per 100,000. Approximately 90% of these deaths are by drowning.


  • Increase promotion of swimming and water safety to minority groups
  • Increase awareness of the importance of wearing a PFD when participating in water sports
  • Address concerns surrounding work-place safety in the commercial fishery industry
  • Undertake further study in Central and South America to quantify the scale of drowning fatalities in these regions

1.8 Eastern Mediterranean at a Glance

Up until around 2014 the statistics out of this area of the world were very similar to those in the Americas and Australia, however in recent years the advent of the political instability in Syria, Eritrea, Somalia, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq has prompted mass movement of refugees across the Mediterranean en-route to Europe. Unfortunately the only mode of available transport for these migrants is overcrowded and barely sea-worthy vessels. As a result many, many people have drowned. Given the nature of the crisis no concrete statistics are available as to the true magnitude of this problem, although as a minimum it is estimated to be at least several thousand in 2015 alone. Crossings peak in the warmer Summer months.

Apart from the current refugee crisis, this area of the world is home to some of the most stunning Islands and attracts locals and tourists alike who travel between islands on Ferries and other leisure craft. Ageing vessels and lack of sufficient PFD’s result's in the occasional tragedy.


  • Increase awareness of the importance of only riding in sea-worth vessels with sufficient PFD's for all passengers
  • Provide assistance to those governments receiving refugees by sea to increase their capacity in terms of Coast Guard/Surf Lifesaving/Navy

1.9 Europe at a Glance

Over 8,000 drowning deaths are recorded each year in Europe with eastern European countries such as Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Estonia leading the way. Death rates in the three countries with highest rates (Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus) are 23 times higher than in the safest three countries (Germany, United Kingdom and Netherlands).

Drowning death rates are falling but are still 5.7 times higher in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) compared to the European Union (EU).

In Great Britain, where statistics are very carefully collated, it is noted that for every drowning that occurs there are another 3 non-fatal near drowning victims with an average of 5 days hospitalisation. The highest causes of adult drowning were falls, diving and jumping in to water followed by water-craft accidents.

Sadly in Ireland more people die by drowning from suicide than as a result of drowning by accident. In 2003, 51 drownings were accidental but over 100 were due to suicide. This unique situation has led to specific intervention strategies being developed, which are estimated to have prevented over 1000 attempted suicides between 2003 and 2010.


  • Increased investment in water safety education and prevention in lower socio-economic regions of the continent
  • Increased awareness of the risks associated with falls, dives and jumping into unknown bodies of water
  • Specific suicide-related interventions in Ireland

1.10 South East Asia at a Glance

Drowning is a huge problem in the South East Asian region. With the exception of Singapore most of the countries in the region have a relatively low Gross Domestic Product (GDP), young population and very few citizens who can swim to save themselves. Couple this with a virulent monsoon season resulting in large-scale annual flooding and increasing extreme weather events and you have a recipe for disaster. The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 killed more than 230,000 people across 14 countries, many of whom drowned.

The Philippines, who sit astride a typhoon belt suffer through an average of 20 severe storms each year. In November 2013, Typhoon Yolanda claimed 6,800 lives and injured a further 20,000.

Much of the economic activities in these countries are based in and around the water. The Mekong River which flows through Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar is one of the world’s most productive inland fisheries. Small-boat subsistence fishing in low-income countries is associated with many drowning deaths.

In these low-lying countries, where many people live on or near bodies of water, floating markets are common-place, exposing families to increased risk. Most children who fatally drown are within 20 metres of their place of residence, whilst in Vietnam this reduces to around 10 metres from home.

The WHO estimates the South-East Asian region has in excess of 90,000 drownings each year with the highest proportion of male to female drownings of any region - males are 5 times more likely to drown than females.

Pleasingly in recent years Vietnam and Bangladesh have begun to recognise the issue and start large scale coordinated prevention and learn to swim programs.


  • Increase awareness of water safety
  • Increase basic swimming skills of the population and in particular children
  • Improve disaster readiness

1.11 Western Pacific at a Glance

This diverse region of the world encompasses highly developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan who prioritise drowning prevention highly. It also includes a range of very small island nations with little or no resources to direct toward drowning prevention efforts.

Drowning is the LEADING cause of death of children aged 5 – 14 years in this region of the world.

In this region there are many small island nations such as Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia who are increasingly being exposed to flooding as a result of sea-level rise. The quality of dwellings and flood management planning is not currently sufficient to prevent loss of life.

Males are especially at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of females. They are more likely to be hospitalized than females for non-fatal drowning. Studies suggest that the higher drowning rates among males are due to increased exposure to water and riskier behaviour such as swimming alone, drinking alcohol before swimming alone and boating.

In the this region of the world we are seeing a growing expatriate community and middle to upper class, with high disposable income and children attending private schools equipped with a full compliment of sporting facilities. This has increased the delivery of competitive based swimming programs and thus results in an increasing delivery of basic swimming and water safety programs also.


  • Take action to combat climate change and provide support for low-lying nations to strengthen their disaster management planning
  • Increase awareness of the dangers of drinking alcohol and swimming or boating when intoxicated
  • Increase support to smaller island nations to improve water safety education 

1.12 CALD Communities and Drowning in Australia

“Australia is an island nation surrounded by iconic beaches and filled with other beautiful aquatic environments. Currently there exists an over-representation of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities in drowning statistics within these environments.” (The Aqua English Project, 2015).

24% of Australia’s population were born overseas. The folklore of aquatic activity and “rules” has not been passed on to these newer Australians as occurs inter-generationally within Australian raised families. As a result, a disproportionate number of them drown, mainly as a result of undertaking activities that may have been safe and common practise in their birth country. Activities such as rock fishing, mollusc collecting and boating without the required knowledge of different conditions in a new country has led many to take unacceptable risks.

Building awareness of hazards, risks and the role of secondary and tertiary prevention measures is a significant factor in addressing drowning in high risk populations. Although the situation is improving, lifesaving systems are not as common in developing countries and even some high income countries (especially if they are land-locked), meaning that tourists and recently arrived migrants are at a greater risk of drowning due to lower levels of awareness and foundation aquatic skills.

Reaching CALD communities with strategies to address drowning prevention and water safety is often difficult and these groups are far less likely to access programs via traditional modes. Participation rates in aquatic education programs are much lower among CALD communities and strategies to address this through community development should be encouraged. This can be beneficial both for achieving a reduction in drowning and in promoting greater social cohesion across Australian communities. (Australian Water Safety Council, 2012).

1.13 Positive Steps

The Australia Water Safety Council has identified CALD communities as a “High Risk Group” and specific area of focus in their Australian Water Safety Strategy 2016-20.

Stakeholders within this national council are encouraged to create programs to help reach CALD communities. One example is Surf Life Saving Australia’s On the Same Wave program to encourage engagement in Surf Life Saving by an ethnically diverse range of the population and enhance enjoyment of the coast by all Australians.


Other successful programs offered engage CALD communities, tourists and International students via community advocacy in swimming and water safety education through flexible and non-traditional modes, with the first goal being gaining trust. Their offerings include:

·         Aussie Lifeguard for a Day

·         Aussie Beach Passport

·         Swimming for Women of all Cultures

Several other groups offer free-of charge swimming and water safety lessons to newly-arrived migrant and refugee children and remotely located indigenous children.

Through the delivery of this course, ASCTA is doing its part to increase understanding of the issues that affect the level of participation of people from a multi-cultural background in our sport. It is our hope that by providing practical strategies to recruit and retain this target group not only will drowning statistics be positively influenced, but a whole new group of the Australian population will benefit from lifelong enjoyment of the water. It follows too, that if this is the case, they may then choose to give back to the sport by becoming Swimming  and Water Safety Teachers, Coaches and Administrators both in Australia and perhaps even in their country of origin.

Assessment - True/False Q1

  • Drowning is the leading cause of death in 0 - 24yr olds in every region of the world.

Assessment - True/False Q2

  • 24% of Australians were born Overseas

Assessment - True/False Q3

  • Females are more likely to drown than Males.

Assessment - True/False Q4

  • Alcohol is a key risk factor in drowning deaths.

Assessment - True/False Q5

  • South East Asia has the highest drowning rate per 100,000 of population

Assessment - True/False Q6

  • Travelling to school or work on or via water is a key risk factor in drowning deaths.

Assessment - True/False Q7

  • Severe weather events are NOT a risk factor in drowning deaths.

Assessment - True/False Q8

  • Australia's CALD communities are at a LOWER risk of death by drowning than the rest of the Australian population.

Assessment - True/False Q9

  • Minorities (African American and Latino) in the USA are 5.5 times more likely to drown than caucasians.

2. Interculturalism

2.1 Globalisation

It is often said, “it’s a small world” and it is getting smaller…

Here are some of the things driving globalisation:

  • Advances in transportation networks including relatively inexpensive air travel to almost any corner of the world
  • Expansion of the digital connectivity, satellite TV and mobile telephone networks
  • Increasing trade between economies
  • Increasing migration and movement of people. 1 in every 33 persons in the world is a migrant and together, migrants worldwide would form the world’s fifth most populous country.
  • Environmental challenges including global warming, over-fishing, water and air pollution

Cultural globalisation refers to the transmission of ideas, meanings and values around the world in such a way as to extend and intensify social relations.  This process is marked by the common consumption of cultures  that have been diffused by the Internet, popular culture media, and international travel. It is also impacted by commodity exchange and colonization which have a longer history of carrying cultural meaning around the globe. The circulation of cultures enables individuals to partake in extended social relations that cross national and regional borders. The creation and expansion of such social relations is not merely observed on a material level. Cultural globalisation involves the formation of shared norms and knowledge with which people associate their individual and collective cultural identities. It brings increasing interconnectedness among different populations and cultures.

Cultural globalisation has increased cross-cultural contacts but may be accompanied by a decrease in the uniqueness of once-isolated communities. Globalisation has expanded recreational opportunities by spreading pop culture, particularly via the Internet and satellite television.

Digital communication, combined with a global network of plane flights has enabled International Federation of Swimming Teacher Associations (IFSTA) member countries to communicate and meet regularly face to face to exchange ideas, share successful approaches to learn-to-swim, life saving and water safety teaching.

Source: www.Globilization101.org

2.2 Inter-culturalism vs Multiculturalism

Inter-culturalism refers to support for cross cultural dialogue and challenging self-segregation tendencies within cultures. Inter-culturalism involves moving beyond mere passive acceptance of a multicultural fact and instead promotes dialogue and interaction between cultures.

Inter-culturalism has arisen in response to criticisms of existing policies of multiculturalism. Some claim that so called "multi-cultural" policies, had failed to create inclusion of different cultures within society. Instead they had divided society by legitimising segregated separate communities that have isolated themselves and accentuated their specificity. It is based on the recognition of both differences and similarities between cultures.

2.3 The Cultural Iceberg Model

Edward T. Hall's cultural iceberg model helps us to understand that there are aspects of another’s culture which are visible and other aspects which are invisible and influence them at a deeper level. It is not until we spend some time with the other person in a range of situations that we may be exposed to how their culture has truly shaped them as a person. The visible aspects we are taught in Primary school social studies, also known as the Four F’s – "Food, Fashion, Festivals and Flags” are really just the “tip of the iceberg”. If you are interacting with someone on a regular basis, for example if you are their Teacher or Coach; it can help both parties significantly if you look beyond the surface and really get to know what shapes that person. Regardless of our culture we do have a common Humanity. We all love, laugh, cry and seek dignity and meaning in our lives. Remember to look for your similarities and not just your differences.

Source: Beyond Culture (1976) by Edward T. Hall

2.4 Australia's National Identity

The following is an extract from an essay by Cavan Hogue of the Centre for Policy Development www.cpd.org.au  This essay provides food for thought…

All countries create national myths and national identities which may or may not bear some resemblance to reality. In many cases, views of national identity may change or may be disputed.

We must distinguish clearly between national interests and national identity. To cultivate close relations with our neighbours and to have an alliance with the USA may be good policy but neither makes us Asians or Americans; we sometimes confuse who we are with what our interests are and what foreign policies we should follow.

At the time of Gallipoli, we had no doubt who we were. We were part of the superior British Race and our sons went to fight for the King and the British Empire. Australia was the classic middle class society: we touched the forelock to our betters (UK & US) and looked down on our inferiors (Third World countries). But as the NZ in ANZAC reminds us, Gallipoli was not a uniquely Australian enterprise.

While older people in particular still look nostalgically back to Mother England, many Australians question our traditional identity as tourist class British. An increasingly large percentage of the Australian population does not have a British heritage. So, if we are not British, what are we? It is easy to say that we are just Australians but what does that mean? What are the symbols and the characteristics that distinguish an Australian from someone else? It cannot be race, religion or language because we don’t have our own. We don’t really seem to have a clear answer to this question.

In one sense, the Aborigines are the only true Australians in that they are uniquely Australian and have been here for millennia. However, they make up 2% of our population and there is no single aboriginal language or culture. Other Australians do not share the mystical connection with their land which characterises aboriginal societies. Therefore, our aboriginal heritage does not provide a basis for the creation of a unifying national identity for all contemporary Australians.

Despite our brave rhetoric, we have never been comfortable standing independently on our own two feet and recent trends to identify us as part of ‘The West’ go back to seeking our identity as part of a greater whole (eg the British Empire). Our history has given us the same head of state as the UK, PNG, and a number of Caribbean countries but so long as we have a foreigner as our head of state, then we cannot use that office as a symbol of a separate national identity.

American influence has grown rapidly over the last few decades and, thanks to TV, many Australians know more about American history than they do about their own. However, this does not seem to provide us with the basis for a national identity unless we plan on becoming the 51st state.

Is our history relevant? Those who rightly rail against the ‘black armband brigade’ often forget that Geoffrey Blainey also criticised the ‘Rah, rah’ view that we should only look at the good things. If you argue that you are only responsible for what you actually did, you may feel no guilt about what others did to aborigines but you cannot at the same time take pride in what was done on the Kokoda trail unless you were actually there. If you want to feel tribal pride, you must also accept tribal shame. A nation which does not have a unified and illustrious past may be better off looking to the future rather than trying to create historical myths of dubious accuracy.

So if we are not Aborigines, not British, not European, not Asian and not American, what are we? What myths and symbols can we use to create and maintain a national identity that unifies us and gives us a sense of being Australian? One possible answer is that we should just get on with our daily lives without worrying too much about who we think we are. This has some attraction but human beings are herd animals and most of us feel the need to belong to a group and to feel pride in that group.

We are evolving from being true Britons into a multicultural society whose people have many origins. Multiculturalism has many benefits but it can inhibit the creation of a clear national identity. Japan and Germany in the 1930s had clear national identities so this may not be a bad thing.

Our national identity, then, is a work in progress where the future is more important than the past. We should promote Australians as a people who value tolerance, equality, the peaceful solutions of disputes, and a spirit of cooperation. Of course, some of us are none of these things but national identity is all about what we think we should be rather than what some of us regrettably are. We have traditionally been laid back about our patriotism – except in sport – and this may be a good thing. We are building a new society which is not yet finished but pride in ourselves does not mean we have to dislike others. Patriotism based on dislike of other groups is a very dangerous thing as European history in the last century has taught us.

Perhaps the best we can do is to define an Australian as one who lives here, is a citizen and accepts certain core values which characterise Australian society. A defining feature of Australian identity might be that we are relaxed about it and that we reject xenophobia and jingoism? As Popeye the sailor man put it: I am what I am and that’s what I am.

Australian Flag


2.5 The "Average Australian"

Based on the last census, which was conducted in 2011 the “average” Australian is a 37yr old female who works as a sales assistant, is a Mother of two children (aged 6 and 9). She was born in Australia and both her parents were born in Australia. Interestingly in 1911 (a mere 100 years ago) the average Australian was a 24yr old male farmer who was still single. Whilst he may have been born in Australia, both of his parents were born in the United Kingdom.

Source: todaytonight 7 Network

Source: McCrindle Research

2.6 Case Study - New South Wales CALD Statistics

New South Wales (NSW) is one of Australia's most populous states.


What percentage of people in NSW was born overseas?

The percentage of people born overseas from was 2,170,196 or 31% of the NSW population (ABS Census 2011).

Which are the largest multicultural communities in NSW?

The five highest ranking CALD population groups in NSW by language spoken at home are: Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese and Greek speaking communities (in order of priority) (ABS Census 2011).
The top five countries of birth in NSW (non-English speaking country) are: China (excludes SARs and Taiwan), India, Vietnam, Philippines, Lebanon (ABS Census 2011).

How many people speak a language other than English at home?

1,904,313 people or 27.5% of the NSW population speak a language other than English at home. There were 1,702,506 people or 26% of the NSW population who spoke a language other than English in the 2006 Census. This represents an additional 201,807 or 2.5% increase in the population that speak a language other than English at home. (ABS Census 2011 and 2006).

What are the top 10 most common languages other than English spoken in NSW?

The top 10 languages other than English spoken in NSW are: Arabic, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Spanish, Korean and Tagalog (Filipino) (ABS Census 2011)

What percentage of people in NSW has low English proficiency?

There are 3.93% of the NSW population that speak English not well or not all (ABS Census 2011)

Which Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) groups have the lowest English language proficiency (ELP) in NSW?

The five highest ranking Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) population groups in NSW with low ELP (in order of priority and weighted by size of population and % with Low ELP) is:

  • Vietnamese (28% of the Vietnamese speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Korean (28% of the Korean speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Thai (20% of the Thai speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Lao (19% of the Lao speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all);
  • Burmese (19% of the Burmese speaking population indicated they speak English not well or not at all).

(ABS Census 2011)

2.7 Australia's Multicultural Policy

Australia’s approach to multicultural policy embraces our shared values and cultural traditions and recognises that Australia’s multicultural character gives us a competitive edge in an increasingly globalised world. The approach articulates the rights and responsibilities that are fundamental to living in Australia and supports the rights of all to celebrate, practise and maintain their cultural traditions within the law and free from discrimination. It also aims to strengthen social cohesion through promoting belonging, respecting diversity and fostering engagement with Australian values, identity and citizenship, within the framework of Australian law. (www.dss.gov.au) 

In 1975 the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) was enacted. The RDA aims to ensure that everyone enjoys human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of race, creed, descent, national origin, ethnic origin or, in some cases, immigrant status.

The Racial Hatred Act was introduced in October 1995 and extends the RDA so that people can complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission about offensive, insulting, humiliating or intimidating behaviour based on their race, colour, or national or ethnic origin.

In October 1996, the government formally reaffirmed its commitment to racial respect. The Prime Minister moved a statement on racial tolerance in the Australian Parliament's House of Representatives.

The statement read:

'That this House:

  • reaffirms its commitment to the right of all Australians to enjoy equal rights and be treated with equal respect regardless of race, colour, creed or origin
  • reaffirms its commitment to maintaining an immigration policy wholly non-discriminatory on grounds of race, colour creed or origin
  • reaffirms its commitment to the process of reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in the context of redressing their profound social and economic disadvantage
  • reaffirms its commitment to maintain Australia as a culturally diverse, tolerant and open society, united by an overriding commitment to our nation, and its democratic institutions and values
  • denounces racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be.'

The statement was supported by the Opposition Leader and carried unanimously.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), a United Nations declaration made in 1963 is the international treaty which is the foundation of Australia’s anti-discrimination law.


2.8 Cultural Dimensions Theory

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior.

Hofstede developed his original model as a result of using factor analysis to examine the results of a world-wide survey of employee values by IBM between 1967 and 1973. It has been refined since. The original theory proposed four dimensions along which cultural values could be analyzed: individualism-collectivism; uncertainty avoidance; power distance (strength of social hierarchy) and masculinity-femininity (task orientation versus person-orientation). Independent research in Hong Kong led Hofstede to add a fifth dimension, long-term orientation, to cover aspects of values not discussed in the original paradigm. In 2010 Hofstede added a sixth dimension, indulgence versus self-restraint.

Here are Hofstede's six dimensions:

  • Power distance index (PDI): The Power Distance Index is defined as “the extent to which the less powerful members of organisations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.” In this dimension, inequality and power is perceived from the followers, or the lower level. A higher degree of the Index indicates that hierarchy is clearly established and executed in society, without doubt or reason. A lower degree of the Index signifies that people question authority and attempt to distribute power.
  • Individualism vs. collectivism (IDV): This index explores the “degree to which people in a society are integrated into groups.” Individualistic societies have loose ties that often only relates an individual to his/her immediate family. They emphasize the “I” versus the “we.” Its counterpart, collectivism, describes a society in which tightly-integrated relationships tie extended families and others into in-groups. These in-groups are laced with undoubted loyalty and support each other when a conflict arises with another in-group.
  • Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): The Uncertainty Avoidance Index is defined as “ a society's tolerance for ambiguity,” in which people embrace or avert an event of something unexpected, unknown, or away from the status quo. Societies that score a high degree in this index opt for stiff codes of behavior, guidelines, laws, and generally rely on absolute Truth, or the belief that one lone Truth dictates everything and people know what it is. A lower degree in this index shows more acceptance of differing thoughts/ideas. Society tends to impose fewer regulations, ambiguity is more accustomed to, and the environment is more free-flowing.
  • Masculinity vs. femininity (MAS): In this dimension, masculinity is defined as “a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success.” Its counterpart represents “a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.” Women in the respective societies tend to display different values. In feminine societies, they share modest and caring views equally with men. In more masculine societies, women are more emphatic and competitive, but notably less emphatic than the men. In other words, they still recognize a gap between male and female values. This dimension is frequently viewed as taboo in highly masculine societies. 
  • Long-term orientation vs. short-term orientation (LTO): This dimension associates the connection of the past with the current and future actions/challenges. A lower degree of this index (short-term) indicates that traditions are honored and kept, while steadfastness is valued. Societies with a high degree in this index (long-term) views adaptation and circumstantial, pragmatic problem-solving as a necessity. A poor country that is short-term oriented usually has little to no economic development, while long-term oriented countries continue to develop to a point. 
  • Indulgence vs. restraint (IND): This dimension is essentially a measure of happiness; whether or not simple joys are fulfilled. Indulgence is defined as “a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun.” Its counterpart is defined as “a society that controls gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms.” Indulgent societies believe themselves to be in control of their own life and emotions; restrained societies believe other factors dictate their life and emotions.

Putting together national scores (from 1 for the lowest to 120 for the highest), Hofstede's six-dimensions model allows international comparison between cultures. 



2.9 East Meets West in Pictures

The artist and visual designer Yang Liu was born in China and lived in Germany from the age of 14. By growing up in two very different places with very different traditions she was able to experience the differences between the two cultures first-hand. 

Drawing from her own experience Yang Liu created minimalistic visualizations using simple symbols and shapes to convey just how different the two cultures are. The blue side represents Germany (or western culture) and the red side China (or eastern culture):

East v West on "Punctuality and Time"

East v West on "Waiting in Line"

East v West on "The Boss"

East v West on "Solving Problems"

East v West on "Ideas of Beauty"

You can learn more about Yang Liu's work by visiting www.yangliudesign.com

2.10 Cultural Stereotypes

A word to the wise… Your modern neighbour who was born in India is not necessarily a curry loving, cricket playing, yoga master, in the same way that an Australian may not be a crocodile wrestling, vegemite eater who rides a Kangaroo to work. Stereotypes can be a laugh, but can also be extremely hurtful. In general, it is okay for people to laugh at their own culture but you would be wise to refrain from poking fun at another’s culture, especially in a professional context. Stereotypes present quite a narrow, cartoon-like view of each culture. The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

2.11 Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias affects every area of our lives. Unconsciously, we tend to like people who look like us, think like us and come from backgrounds similar to ours. Everyone likes to think he or she is open-minded and objective, but research has shown that the beliefs and values gained from family, culture and a lifetime of experiences heavily influence how we view and evaluate both others and ourselves.

These thought patterns, assumptions and interpretations – or biases – we have built up over time help us to process information quickly and efficiently. From a survival standpoint, bias is a positive and necessary trait. In business, however, bias can be costly. It can cause us to make decisions that are not objective; and ultimately we miss opportunities.

People don’t always say what’s on their minds. One reason is that they are unwilling. For example, someone might report smoking a pack of cigarettes per day because they are embarrassed to admit that they smoke two. Another reason is that they are unable. A smoker might truly believe that she smokes a pack a day, or might not keep track at all. The difference between being unwilling and unable is the difference between purposely hiding something from someone and unknowingly hiding something from yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about your own unconscious biases you can visit Project Implicit This is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition - thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. You can undertake the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, you may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science.

Here is a great TED Talk by Helen Turnbull (Diversity Consultant) exploring unconscious bias. 


2.12 Third Culture Kids

Third culture kid (TCK) is a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their formative years. The experience of being a TCK is unique in that these individuals are moving between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity. The first culture of children refers to the culture of the country from which the parents originated, the second culture refers to the culture in which the family currently resides, and the third culture refers to the amalgamation of these two cultures. (Pollock & Van Reken, 2009)

Today, the population of third culture kids, also referred to as "third culture individuals" (TCIs), is increasing with globalisation, migration, expatriate job opportunities and the like.  It is estimated there is almost 220 million third culture individuals world-wide. Since TCKs' international experience is characterised by a sense of high mobility, they have also been referred as global nomads. Furthermore, their multicultural experiences away from their motherland at a young age, give them other unique nicknames such as "cultural hybrids" and "cultural chameleons". Perhaps the most well-known TCK is the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. Currently, there are as many bilingual children in the world as there are monolingual children. TCKs are often exposed to a second (or third, fourth, etc.) language while living in their host culture. "TCKs learn some languages in schools abroad and some in their homes or in the marketplaces of a foreign land. . . . Some pick up languages from the servants in the home or from playmates in the neighborhood. This means that TCKs obtain language skills by being physically exposed to the environment where the native language is used in practical life. This is why TCKs are often bilingual, and sometimes even multilingual. There are pros and cons to such a lifestyle:

  • Benefits

    • Expanded worldview: TCKs have an understanding that there is more than one way to look at situations that they are exposed to or experience. This can also be a challenge however, when third culture individuals return to a culture that is homogenous in their belief system, as an expanded worldview is perceived as offensive or useless.
    • Third-dimensional view of the world: With an increased amount of hands-on experience in multiple cultures, there is a difference in the way that the world is perceived. 
    • Interpersonal sensitivity: Increased exposure to a variety of perceptions and lifestyles allow TCKs to monitor their emotions, and register societal norms and cues more adeptly.
    • Cross-cultural competence : the capacity to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organisational cultures.
  • Challenges
    • Confusion: Third culture kids can experience confusion with politics, patriotism, and values. This issue is also related with the identity crisis, on a cultural level, not being able to feel a sense of oneness with any one nationality or culture. For many TCK's the question "Where are you from?" can induce a sense of panic.
      • Ignorance of home culture: TCKs are often lacking in knowledge about their home nation, culture, town, and/or family. With current technology leading to the globalization of information, this is becoming increasingly less of a challenge provided the TCKs use modern technology in their host cultures to connect to their home culture. Understanding a culture’s sense of humour, however, is a commonly cited difficulty with the transition back to a home culture. There are also general societal norms and practices that will not be known when a TCK is first re-introduced to his/her home culture but those are eventually learned.
      • Difficulties with adjusting to adult life: the mixture of influences from the various cultures that the individual has lived can create challenges in developing an identity as well as with a sense of b elonging. Feelings of rootlessness and restlessness can make the transition to adulthood a challenging period for TCKs. This can be further worsened by the transition away from a pampered ex-patriate upbringing complete with drivers, nannies and housekeepers. 
      • There is a need for special attention of young TCK in educational settings to make sure they are supported when and if entering a new school. This would allow for an optimal learning experience for the child.

Let's hear from the Third Culture Kids...

Here is a great TED Talk by Ruth Van Reken on the impact of growing up in a globalised world. Ruth herself was a Third Culture Kid:


2.13 Extremism

Much is being said in the media right now about extremism. Nowadays, the term is mostly being used in a political or religious sense, for an ideology that is considered (by the speaker) to be far outside the (acceptable) mainstream attitudes of society. The term "extremism" is usually meant in a negative sense: to express (strong) disapproval, but it may also be meant in a more academic, purely descriptive, non-condemning sense.

Extremists are usually contrasted with centrists or moderates. For example, in contemporary discussions in Western countries of Islam or of Islamic political movements, the distinction between extremist (= 'bad') and moderate (= 'good') Muslims is typically stressed.

Be careful not to judge any group by the “extremist” elements on the fringes. All races, cultures and religious groups do battle from time to time with extremism.

The Australian government has a website known as Living Safe Together  which explores ways to counter violent extremism as a community.

2.14 Traditions and Taboos


In Greece, a child’s tooth is thrown onto the roof for good luck.​

  • Pointing the Thumb

In Indonesia, a person points with their thumb as it’s considered very rude to point with a forefinger.

  • Hold Your Stomach, The Thunder is Coming

Japanese children cover their tummy button when they hear thunder.

  • Touching in Thailand

It’s considered very rude to point the bottom of one’s foot at another person, as is touching the top of another person’s head.

  • Don’t Muddy the Carpet

Shoes must always be removed before entering a Japanese home. This also holds true for many Indian households.

  • Wearing Purple

Mourners in Taiwan wear purple clothing as a mark of respect.

  • "Flip Flops Only"

In China you are not permitted to wear regular street shoes at an indoor pool - only flip flops (things or jandals to those of you from down-under).

When teaching and coaching swimming being aware of customs and taboos can be extremely helpful when working with CALD communities. For example, in New Zealand Maori culture a child will rarely look an elder directly in the eye, especially if they are being instructed or disciplined. A non-Maori (Pakeha) teacher or coach may ask the student to “look me in the eye when I’m speaking to you” in essence creating a confusing situation for the child who might be trying to be respectful through their submissive pose.

Similarly in many Asian cultures raising your voice is a sign you have lost control and can cause you to “lose face”. Many teachers do utilise “yelling” as a communication strategy from time to time, especially if in a busy and noisy pool.

2.15 Customs of the Major Faiths

Disclaimer! This is a very brief over-view for educational purposes and not a conclusive guide. ASCTA recognises that within each major faith group there are many denominations who may or may not share the same belief system as the umbrella name given below. We encourage you to undertake further research. For many people faith is an incredibly personal thing.


  • Major Holy Days and Festivals: Advent & Christmas, Good Friday & Easter, Lent (Involves limited fasting)
  • Traditional Day of Worship: Sunday (Saturday for Seventh Day Adventist, Latter Day Saints and Mormons)
  • After-Life Beliefs: Souls will go to heaven, only some Christians believe in hell.
  • Mourning: Mourners wear Black clothing. Dead are buried or cremated and remembered/eulogised in a funeral service.
  • Holy Book: Bible
  • Symbol: Cross
  • Major Prophet(s): Jesus (Son of God) and Moses



  • Major Holy Days and Festivals: Yom Kippur (Involves Fasting), Channukah and Passover.
  • Traditional Day of Worship: Friday Evening – Saturday Evening (Shabbat)
  • After-Life Belief: Souls will go to heaven
  • Mourning: Mourners will “tear” their clothing over their hearts.
  • Holy Book: Torah
  • Symbol: Star of David
  • Major Prophet: Moses


  • Major Holy Days and Festivals: Ramadan and Hajj (A pilgrimage to Mecca).
  • Traditional Day of Worship: Muslims pray five times a day at rising, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and before retiring, according to a prescribed ritual.
  • After-Life Belief: Souls will go to paradise or hell after a day of judgement.
  • Mourning: The dead are bathed, shrouded and buried (cremation of the body is forbidden). Mourners must avoid bright clothing and jewellery. Widows must follow extra directives.
  • Holy Book: Qur’an
  • Symbol: Star & Cresent
  • Major Prophet: Muhammad
  • Other: The 3rd pillar of Islam (Zakat) determines that the devout shall give 2.5% of their savings and 5 – 10% of their harvest to the poor.


  • Major Holy Days and Festivals: Buddhist New Year, Loy Kratong, Vesak/Visakah Puja (Buddha’s Birthday) & More (Buddhists enjoy a good festival and their calendar is busy with many joyful occasions throughout the year).
  • Traditional Day of Worship: Buddhists will give alms on a daily basis to monks who walk through the streets at sunrise. They will attend temple on special occasions and festivals. Many Buddhist men will become a monk for a period of time at some stage during their life.
  • After-Life Belief: Buddhists believe in a rebirth. There is no “self” or “soul” in Buddhism.
  • Mourning: Buddhists in mourning dress in white and abstain from any form of merrymaking. Buddhists may give alms as a means of “merit making” (transference of merits) to the departed.
  • Holy Book: Tipitaka
  • Symbol: There are actually eight different auspicious symbols of Buddhism; The parasol, two golden fish, the vase, the conch shell, the lotus flower, the endless knot, the victory banner and the dharma-wheel.
  • Major Prophet: Buddha
  • Other: The basic tenets of Buddhist teaching are straightforward and practical: nothing is fixed or permanent; actions have consequences; change is possible. Meditation has an important role in Buddhism, practicing mindfulness and taking time to develop qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom are highly valued. The ultimate goal is Enlightenment.


  • Major Holy Days and Festivals: Holi and Diwali (there are many more but these two are considered pan-Hindu).
  • After-Life Belief: Hindus believe in reincarnation and that your next life cycle will be influenced by the karma you have earned in your current life (good and bad).
  • Mourning: Hindu dead will be washed, shrouded and cremated. The mourners will wear white and observe a mourning period. Those close to the dead may wear red.
  • Holy Book: Hindu texts are classified into Shruti (heard) or Smriti (remembered). Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Agamas.
  • Major Prophet: The Hindu concept of God is complex and there are a diverse range of beliefs you may encounter. Most will believe in the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus believe all living things have a soul.
  • Other: Hindu’s are the only major religion in the world that worship female goddesses.

Assessment - Short Answer (500 Words or Less) "What do you believe is Australia's perceived national identity and is it accurate?"

Please note there is no right or wrong answer to this question. We are looking for a reasoned argument.

Please note that once you begin this assessment task you will need to complete it and you will only have the opportunity to submit once.

3. Communication

3.1 Communication with the CALD Community

Part of being a great teacher means being a clear communicator with a range of delivery strategies to allow you to reach all learners. When working with CALD Learners communicating effectively can be a challenge. This unit aims to give you strategies for working with those for whom English is an Additional Language (EAL), both verbal and non-verbal.

3.2 World Wide Language Trends

It’s estimated that over 7,000 different languages are spoken around the world. Since 1975, the English-speaking share of global GDP has fallen significantly and will continue to fall. The global economy is shifting away from the English-speaking world. The Chinese economy will surpass the US economy in size soon after 2030. Latin America (Spanish and Portuguese-speaking) and South Asia (Hindi and Urdu speaking) are growing strongly as well.  Currently English is the fourth most common language in the world with Mandarin being the number one with 1.3 billion speakers.

Despite the rise of non-Western nations in today’s global economy, English is still the language most commonly used as the lingua franca of business, science, research, and politics.

3.3 Language Learning in Australia

Australia is a linguistically diverse nation, with more than 250 languages spoken in Australian homes. However, many students are opting out of elective language study. In New South Wales, as of 2013, less than 10% of High School Certificate students undertook a second language.

Why is this the case? Blame some of the difficulty in becoming bilingual in Australia on convenience. Our location has often been cited as the reason Australian students don’t have multilingualism reinforced throughout the school years, like European students. Although increasing numbers of transnational and migrant students are diversifying the linguistic environment of the Australian education system, speaking “the world language” makes it all too easy to forget the opportunities speaking an additional language can afford.

The next problem is a cultural one. Challenging what Professor Michael Clyne once termed the "monolingual mindset" is difficult not only for Australia, but for other English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. Many Australian monoglots (people who speak only one language) expect newly arrived migrants (and even tourists) to learn and communicate in English as a matter of course. For many Australians, mono-lingualism has become the norm.

For Australian students who do undertake language learning, it’s not only cultural and social attitudes that can act as a barrier to bilingualism, but also availability and accessibility of language programs in our schools. 

On average, it is recommended that Australian students in non-immersion programs receive up to three hours of second-language instruction per week. In contrast to the amount of second-language instruction found in bilingual or immersion programs, three hours per week of language exposure won’t help many students become bilingual. It takes up to seven years of continuous use to achieve academic proficiency in an additional language.

It is not easy to find schools that offer comprehensive (and continuous) language programs, particularly in the state sector where strict school zoning restricts enrolment.

One of the most important problems extends beyond issues of funding: there simply aren’t enough qualified language teachers in Australia, particular those with high proficiency in the target language. As with many areas of the teaching profession, the status of language teachers isn’t high, which discourages many from entering the profession. Targeted professional development programs for language teachers can also be difficult to find.

Recently, the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group made suggestions to fast-track graduates of languages into teacher training programs, to ease the shortage of qualified language teachers in Australian schools. This, alongside with incentives offered to language graduates to support their movement into the teaching profession, is a welcomed suggestion in establishing a wider cohort of skilled language teachers.

The importance of language learning is often overlooked due to the competing demands of a crowded curriculum. Yet immersion programs, such as content and language integrated learning programs, in which Australian national curriculum subjects are delivered in a second language, can help students to become bilingual while also learning a subject such as maths.

Speaking more than one language offers great benefits to students who will emerge into an increasingly connected world. Language learning should be viewed as a key 21st-century skill. The national curriculum authority supports language acquisition, but following a model of compulsory language learning and funding more integrated learning programs in Australian schools could be just some ways to support language learning and enhance bilingualism among Australian students.

If learning a language becomes the norm, there may be a real chance to elevate the status of languages in Australian schools and encourage more people to move into language teaching. Only when this occurs can we continue the discussion around improving methods and resources for language learning, retention and bilingualism in Australian schools.

3.4 Understanding Bilingualism

Bilingualism is broadly defined as being able to speak two languages.

There are various categories of bilingualism:

  • Early bilingualism - there are two types: simultaneous early bilingualism and consecutive (or successive) early bilingualism.
  • Simultaneous early bilingualism refers to a child who learns two languages at the same time, from birth. This generally produces a strong bilingualism, called additive bilingualism. This also implies that the child's language development is bilingual.
  • Successive early bilingualism refers to a child who has already partially acquired a first language and then learns a second language early in childhood (for example, when a child moves to an environment where the dominant language is not his native language). This generally produces a strong bilingualism (or additive bilingualism), but the child must be given time to learn the second language, because the second language is learned at the same time as the child learns to speak. This implies that the language development of the child is partly bilingual.
  • Late bilingualism – refers to bilingualism when the second language is learned after the age of 6 or 7; especially when it is learned in adolescence or adulthood. Late bilingualism is a consecutive bilingualism which occurs after the acquisition of the first language (after the childhood language development period). This is what also distinguishes it from early bilingualism. With the first language already acquired, the late bilingual uses their experience to learn the second language.
  • Additive bilingualism and subtractive bilingualism – The term additive bilingualism refers to the situation where a person has acquired the two languages in a balanced manner. It is a strong bilingualism. Subtractive bilingualism refers to the situation where a person learns the second language to the detriment of the first language, especially if the first language is a minority language. In this case, mastery of the first language decreases, while mastery of the other language (usually the dominant language) increases. These expressions and their associated concepts were created by Wallace Lambert, the Canadian researcher who has been given the title of “the father of bilingualism research”.
  • Passive bilingualism - refers to being able to understand a second language without being able to speak it. Children who respond in a relevant way in English when they are addressed in French could become passive bilinguals, as their mastery of oral expression in French decreases.


Myths you may have heard about bilingual children…

  • Children will be confused
  • Children will mix the two languages
  • It is important to learn one language first and teach other languages later
  • Children’s English will suffer
  • Children will have problems with reading and writing

This is not the CASE!

Advantages of a bilingual upbringing (for the child):

  • Can speak more than one language fluently
  • The earlier the easier
  • Better analytical skills
  • Improved concentration
  • Multi-tasking
  • Reading and writing more easily and quickly
  • Sense of self-worth and identity
  • Valuing one’s heritage culture and minority language
  • Ability to live abroad
  • Increased career and job options
  • Learning other languages later in life will be easier
  • Continuous use of two languages delays mental decline (Alzheimer’s)

Advantages of a bilingual upbringing (for the community/society):

  • Children become “full” members of respective communities
  • Children can contribute to (overseas) society
  • Good education outcomes
  • Inter-culturally competent citizens
  • Ambassadors for Australia

Potential disadvantages

  • May start speaking later
  • May mix the languages
  • Effort for parents/carers

Any disadvantage can be easily over-come with a little knowledge and support.

Check out this fascinating story about a hyper-polyglot Tim Doner:


3.5 12 Top Tips for Working with EAL Learners

  1. Speak clearly and slowly. Not LOUDLY!
  2. Teach key vocabulary first to support learning. Eg: “Kick, kick, kick”
  3. Avoid jargon and slang, this can be confusing.
  4. Allow “processing time” after you’ve spoken to allow the learner to formulate their response. Remember they may still be at the language acquisition stage whereby they are mentally translating your words before replying.
  5. Use a range of visual aids. This might include pictures, video clips, demonstrations or diagrams on the white board. This gives context to what you are saying.
  6. Learn a few words of the learner’s native language. “Hello”, “Great Job!” “Keeping Trying” and “Goodbye” will be enough to create an instant connection.
  7. Stop frequently and check for understanding. Don’t just ask “Any questions?” but instead ask specific questions of specific learners.
  8. Paired and group work is excellent for EAL Learners, they can seek clarification from a peer, rather than having to put themselves out there and raise their hand in front of the whole class.
  9. Avoid sarcasm it will only serve to confuse and alienate an EAL Learner.
  10. Remember humour is often the last part of language to fall into place so be careful with jokes and ensure you are laughing with the learner and they do not perceive you are laughing at them.
  11. Encourage learners to continue to build their literacy skills in their home language. There is no need to “ban” learners from using their native language. Research shows that there is “transfer” from home language to second language with regard to phonological awareness, comprehension and background general knowledge.
  12. Poor language skills in a new language can mask the child’s true intelligence and nature. Give the shy, withdrawn child time, encouragement and empathy and before you know it you may have the witty, class clown on your hands. If problems do persist do be sure to distinguish between EAL issues and true learning disabilities.

3.6 Accents

Whilst some in the CALD community speak great English often it can be strongly accented, making it more challenging to understand.

Your accent results from how, where, and when you learned the language you are speaking and it gives impressions about you to other people.

Accents are not fixed and change over time. This is especially so for young children, who learn language by mimicking those around them. 

Accents should not be confused with dialects, which go beyond a difference in sound and also include grammatical differences.


3.7 Language Learning as a Selling Point of Your Program

In many areas of the world the ability to speak English proficiently is a huge advantage socially and with regards to job and business opportunities. With that in mind you may find that some parents are very keen for you to instruct in English regardless of their child’s English language ability. In short, they perceive that you are offering both a swimming lesson AND a valuable opportunity to acquire and practice new English skills. The proliferation of International Schools throughout Asia and the Middle East, which are equally well patronized by upper-class locals and ex-pats alike, proves the popularity of this approach. Don’t be afraid to market this angle of your program. Sports and recreational pursuits are a great vehicle for obtaining and practicing new vocabulary. You will need to provide staff training to your Teachers and Coaches to ensure they are equipped to teach key vocabulary and scaffold their instructions accordingly.

This principle applies globally. You could:

1. Offer a bilingual  program and instruct in the local language AND a desirable 2nd language,  Eg: English and Spanish

2. Offer a foreign language program and instruct only in a desirable 2nd language, Eg: Chinese Mandarin

3. Offer a niche product to a particular language group in your area. 


3.8 Interpreters and Translation

On occasion you may come across learners who are completely new to English.  Therefore, you may need to access a translating and interpreting service. The Australia government provides a range of services via www.tisnational.gov.au which allows Non-English speakers to access Interpreters and free Document translations in 160 languages and dialects. They can offer immediate phone interpreting, pre-booked phone interpreting and on-site interpreting.

If you have particularly large CALD communities attending your Swim School or Swimming Club you may consider having some of your key documents and signage (especially safety based signage) translated. This will help both your staff and your patrons to be understood and understand each-other.

If you have a "completely new to English" student in your class you may wish to ask the parent or another appropriate adult to join you in the water to act as translator for the first few lessons.

In Australia we are lucky enough to have a range of ethnic press, radio and TV channels. You might choose to feed press releases to these organisations to share your CALD initiatives.

3.9 Celebrate Linguistic Skill and Diversity

Being able to speak more than one language is a real asset to your swim school. Why not take a leaf out of the airlines book and have staff who can speak a 2nd language proudly wear a badge or pin to show their 2nd language? This can be particularly helpful in swim schools with large CALD communities. Parents and students have a visual cue as to who they can go to, to quickly seek clarification from a fellow native speaker. If you are a Swim School Manager be aware of the CALD profile of your client base when recruiting staff, whilst you cannot discriminate on the basis of race or religion you may wish to broaden your normal advertising avenues to attract Teachers and Coaches from CALD backgrounds. Face-to-face communication with community leaders tends to be very effective in most CALD communities. You could pay a visit to local community centres and share your passion for swimming and water safety and its potential as a rewarding career option. It might be a flexible and attractive job many have not yet considered. Remember commercial swim schools are NOT the norm in many parts of the world.

It can also be fun to showcase the linguistic skill of your learners during lessons. Doing repetitions? Have each child count in a different language while the group follow along.  Have the children in your class teach you and their class-mates some simple terms related to swimming.

3.10 Body Language and Tone

Communicating non-verbally is very important when working with EAL learners. We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a 1000 words”, well this is none more so than with a learner for whom English is not yet fully established. A great demonstration or well-timed gesture can give context, meaning and aid understanding. Based on research by Albert Mehrabian in 1971, it is thought up to 55% of any communication is conveyed by body language with the actual words contributing 7% and the remaining 38% being communicated by our tone.

There’s predominantly three ways in which we use body language signals, movements and gestures and they are:

  • As a direct replacement for words – sign language is a prime example.
  • As a reinforcement of our words – we gesture to emphasize speech.
  • As a mirror of our inner emotions and attitudes – people read our faces, body angles, distance etc.

Cultural differences in body language are infinite and change all the time, especially now with worldwide movies, the internet, exotic holidays etc.

We now see more of other cultures than ever before so it makes sense that the same gestures can have several different meanings and out of all our 700,000 different signals there are said to only be five that are universal:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Fear

Image Source: Disney/Pixar Inside Out

3.11 Cultural Differences in Body Language

Just as languages differ from country to country so too does the meaning of gestures and body language used. It is easy for miscommunication to occur.

Take the “OK” symbol we commonly use in Australia…

In Japan this signal means money.

In Russia it means zero.

In Turkey and Venezuela it means homosexual.

In Brazil and Italy it is an insult, akin to raising your middle finger and swearing here in Australia.

In Arab countries it means “You will see!”

Whilst it’s not practical to keep your hands in your pockets for the rest of your life out of fear of insulting someone, be observant and don’t be afraid to ask if you notice a strange response to your non-verbal communications.



3.12 E-mail and Social Media in a CALD Context

Communication via electronic means and social media platforms is increasingly popular in all communities throughout the world. In fact even in the most poverty stricken nations of the world it is more common for a household to own a mobile phone than an indoor toilet! 

Below is a map showing the percentage of the households who own a mobile phone. A percentage greater than 100% indicates the household owns more than one phone.

When using social media, SMS (texting) and e-mail be aware that often context and tone can be lost. Misunderstandings can easily occur. If your subject matter is remotely emotive, or personal in nature try to opt for a telephone call or face to face meeting instead. Here are some tips on electronic communication etiquette:

  1. Make sure your communication includes a courteous greeting and closing.
  3. If you include a large attachment, zip it.
  4. Spell-check  e-mails, texts and posts.  Messages with typos will not be taken seriously.
  5. Refrain from the “Reply All” button unless completely necessary. No quicker way to escalate things than to copy in a cast of thousands.
  6. If e-mailing to a large group place their addresses in the BCC field to ensure you protect everyone’s private e-mail address.
  7. Use emoticons sparingly to ensure your tone and message is clear.
  8. Always include a brief but descriptive subject. Leaving the subject field blank can result in your e-mail being flagged as SPAM or Junk Mail.
  9. Be careful when forwarding e-mails, especially if the issue being discussed is controversial. Be sure to edit any sensitive material and seek permission before including other’s commentary. Also be sure to remove any personal details in the e-mail trail.
  10. Keep in mind that when tweeting, posting on Facebook or the like you are in a global arena and the information will be stored forever.

Remember also that the laws governing the use of social media may vary from country to country. What might be deemed a humorous tweet here in Australia may be deemed grounds for a defamation suit elsewhere. Educate yourself about the laws and risks in your particular situation as they pertain to defamation, contempt of court, privacy, confidentiality, discrimination, copyright, consumer law and censorship.

3.13 Good Things Take Time

Communication style as well as language can vary from culture to culture. The direct face-to-face style of the average Australian may be inappropriate. Any consultation process with a CALD community may take longer and may involve more people than you first anticipate.  Be patient and be ready to talk around an issue before you find out the communities true feelings on the matter. In some communities to "speak your mind" does not come naturally. If you are to get frank discussion you must build trust first. 

There may be social structures in place which can make opinion sway in a particular direction. Hierarchies can be Matriarchal, Patriarchal, or related to  socio-economic status in the community. In tribal communities ruled over by a Chief, or constitutional monarchies ruled over by a King or Queen community members may gain higher respect for their opinions based purely upon their family ties. IN some societies these ties are clearly marked (for example with a suffix or prefix to the person's name) but in other societies the ties are less obvious and difficult to detect by an outsider.

Some cultures have special terms to describe these processes:

"Jeitinho" in Brazillian culture - Finding a way to accomplish something by circumventing rules or social conventions. Some people see it as a typically Brazilian method of social navigation where an individual can use emotional resources, family ties, promises, rewards or money to obtain favors or to get an advantage. 

"Guanxi" in Chinese organisational culture - Originates from the Chinese social philosophy of Confucianism, which stresses the importance of associating oneself with others in a hierarchical manner, in order to maintain social and economic order. 

Other cultures recognise that at times it is necessary to circumvent these social norms to work through an issue:

"Greng Jai" in Thai culture - To seek permission to speak freely but cause no offence or lose face.

"Talanoa" in Fijian (Pacific Island) culture -  To talk with zero concealment.

For the average Australian this process can seem frustrating, time consuming and even unfair. 

Assessment - Text Matching

  • Chinese Mandarin
    World's most spoken language
  • Passive Bilingualism
    The ability to understand a 2nd language but not speak it.
  • Monoglot
    A person who speaks only one language
  • Simultaneous Bilingual
    A child who learns two languages, at the same time from birth.
  • Body Language
    Non-verbal gestures used to communicate up to 55% of meaning in all communications.
  • Scaffolding
    Providing language prompts and frames for speaking and writing or demonstrating language orally for the learner.

4. Access for All

4.1 Access for All

As Swimming is an important life skill the over-arching goal should be to teach ALL Australians and Australian residents to swim to save themselves. Whilst in Australia learning to swim is a “right of passage” for many children and water safety knowledge is passed down through the generations, in many CALD communities this is not the case. Learning to swim is an important gateway to a huge range of popular physical and recreational pursuits from visiting the beach to fishing and water sports. This unit examines the common barriers to participation and how we can work to overcome them.

4.2 Barriers to Participation

Common reasons CALD communities’ site for why they do not partake in swimming and water safety education:

Fear of the Water

If you cannot swim it follows that you may fear the water. Drowning rates in many parts of the world are high and many families have been touched by a tragedy.

Possible Solution: Provide simple, easy to understand facts about the dangers of water. Possibly translated into your target group’s main language and/or dialects. Information is power.

Fear of the Unknown

Where will I change? What should I wear? Where do I go? Will my teacher be nice to me? Will I embarrass myself? Will people stare? Will I be safe? All common fears when starting something new.

Possible Solution: Provide a pre-program briefing at a familiar and non-threatening venue where those who are interested can come along and learn more and ask questions. Be sure to have community leaders and elders attend. If necessary have a translator in attendance.

Modesty Concerns

Most pools require swim-wear to be worn during lessons. In some cultures this is quite confronting as modesty is prized and CALD learners may be anxious about how to honour their customs and learn to swim safely and comfortably.

Possible Solution: Talk through what would and would not be suitable attire. Be flexible in your approach. There is more modest swimwear on the market now including the Burqini which is targeted towards muslim women. Also consider male and female only classes at quieter times of the day for the facility you are using and recruit a Teacher of the same gender.


Whilst there are some free programs CALD community members can access, regular commercial learn-to-swim is not cheap. If you are a new to the country still working to establish your new life in Australia there are many pressing tasks that will consume your time: Organising visas, job hunting, learning English, accessing trauma counselling, house hunting, school enrolments and purchasing furniture to name a few. Swimming and water safety lessons can be a low priority for precious dollars and cents.

Possible Solutions: Seek sponsorship for the program, apply for a grant to support the program, seek in-kind support from local businesses or elicit donors to help pay for or subsidise the program. Create flexible payment plans or allow families to off-set the fees by volunteering.


Lack of Knowledge and Understanding

In some parts of the world, learning to swim is simply not a priority or a valued part of growing up. If you hail from an arid desert nation, which is land-locked, this may well be the case. If your nation also suffers with a low GDP and poverty, water safety education may have taken a back-seat to other public-health/development concerns. Here in Australia where 80% of the population reside on or near the coast, the priority of having water safety skills and education is more prominent. As a developed nation we have monetary funds to invest in public service announcements and nation-wide awareness Lack of campaigns.

Possible Solution: Delivering a sporting program needn’t be the only part of your project. Offer information seminars and workshops for parents (CPR and Basic Lifesaving Skills are of great benefit for our sport). These value-adds will work to eliminate fear and build capacity within the target CALD community.


Lack of a Sporting Culture

As foreign as this may sound to the average Australian, some cultures simply do not have a strong sporting tradition, for example they may view engaging in “artificial” physical activity as unusual and unnecessary. This mind-set is particularly common in cultures that still operate under tribal conditions where hunting, gathering and subsistence farming is the norm. Exercise is “work” and not “recreation”.

Possible Solution: Discuss the nature of work and recreation in the Australian context, if you are doing your hunting and gathering at Aldi or Woolworths it may be beneficial to add some recreational exercise to your lifestyle to compensate. Obesity and lifestyle related disease is common in countries that are transitioning from a hunter/gatherer or subsistence farming existence to a more modern existence that does not involve spending a large portion of your day looking for food to sustain yourself. The Pacific Islands, a near neighbour of Australia are particularly badly affected.

Mixed Gender Environment Deemed Inappropriate

In some cultures the gender groups socialise and work separately and complex rules govern certain interactions. The idea of a male instructor working with a group of female students may be deemed immoral. Similarly the idea of male and female students taking lessons together may be taboo.

Possible Solution: Investigate a time when the facility would normally be closed to the public and schedule single gender classes with the appropriate Teacher leading the group. Be sure to also consider the other staff who will need to be there (reception and lifeguards).


Social Traditions Associated with Sport

Whilst it may be completely normal to “grab a few beers” after a football match or “put on a bet” at the TAB to support your favourite team here in Australia, these associated social events may make people from certain CALD communities uncomfortable and stop them from participating in the sport at all. Alcohol consumption and engaging in gambling are particularly taboo in some cultural and religious groups.

Possible Solution: Create a clear delineation between the program itself and any ancillary social event that may happen on an ad-hoc basis. Discuss potential areas of concern with community leaders and organise suitable social events, which meet their unique needs.


Transport Access and Costs

Many young people in CALD communities rely on public transport to reach sporting facilities. The timetables, availability and cost of this public transport may restrict full participation. Parental support may not appear forthcoming or simply not be possible.

Possible Solution: Offer a car pooling service, apply for a grant to fund the purchase of a mini-van to bring people to/from your venue. Offer subsidised public transport tokens. Or simply consult public transport schedules and ensure that your program can be accessed at those times.

Literacy & Numeracy Concerns

One of the most intimidating aspects of signing up for a new program for many CALD participants is filling in the enrolment or application for membership form. The use of more formal English, unfamiliar terms and acronyms can leave the person enrolling at a loss.  Those new to English can be nervous about their spelling, grammar and hand-writing in a foreign script.

Possible Solution: Have your documents translated and avoid overly jargonistic terms and accronyms in your forms. Have staff on hand to assist, the new participants can let you know their information verbally and you can take care of the data entry.

Menstruation and Swimming

Many Australian-born females are comfortable using tampons while menstruating  and this means they don't need to restrict their activities during this time. In many cultures tampons are not readily available and their use is not common-place. It is therefore common-place for females to take a break from any swimming activities during menstruation. This can be a challenge in an aquatics programme where consistency is key. Mother's of young girls may seek advice from you as to how to help their daughter's learn to use tampons as they have never used them themselves. They may be fearful and have questions about maintaining virginity which is prized in many cultures.

Possible Solution: Education is key in this area. Share information about managing your period and staying active. Ultimately however it will be the women's choice as to whether she feels comfortable to try tampons and participate in swimming. ASCTA's Growing Up in Lycra DVD and home study professional development could be a great resource in this area.


4.3 Sport as a Vehicle for Inclusion

Sport is a unique vehicle for bringing people together. It’s fun, it’s active, it can take your mind off your troubles. Research shows that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who engage in regular sporting activities in the community more quickly assimilate to Australian culture and way of life. 

Here are some of the benefits of sport for CALD Communities, especially “New” Australians:

  • Sports participation can provide a sense of purpose and direction for young people recovering from trauma and racism.
  • Sport offers an opportunity for social interaction and a forum to learn and practice English.
  • Sport participation can reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • Participants form friendships outside their own cultural group and this strengthens community cohesion and increases ethnic and cultural harmony. In short, sport can help to build trust.
  • Sport enhances health and fitness and releases endorphins (the “happy” hormones). Therefore, it can help manage the stress of coping with change and transition as well as processing any past trauma.

In her report for the Refugee Council of Australia Lucy Morgan observes that, “there are few countries in the world where sport forms such a pervasive and influential aspect of culture and society as it does in Australia.” Given its profound influence on Australia’s culture and national identity, sport in the Australian context offers opportunities to break down barriers and encourage participation in a way that other areas of society may struggle to match. Involvement in sport can therefore be a particularly effective means of promoting refugees’ participation in Australian society, and introducing refugees to Australian culture. 

One aspect to be wary of is the development of self-segregating sporting clubs. As a case study let's look at the development of Soccer in Australia:

Soccer boomed in the immediate post-second world war period when the sport became more commercial and professional. A distinct rise in popularity in New South Wales and Victoria, among other states, was linked to post-war immigration. Migrant players and supporters were prominent, providing the sport with a new but distinct profile. Soccer served as a cultural gateway for many emigrants, acting as a social lubricant. Soccer transcended cultural and language barriers in communities which bridged the gap between minority communities and other classes within the country, thus bringing about a unique unity. The most prominent soccer clubs in Australian cities during the 1950s and 1960s were based around migrant-ethnic groups, all of which expanded rapidly at that time: Croatian, Greek, Italian and Serbian communities gave rise to most of the largest clubs, the most notable being South Melbourne (Greek-based), Sydney Olympic (Greek-based), Marconi Stallions (Italian-based), Adelaide City (Italian-based) and Melbourne Knights  (Croatian-based).

Soccer reached notable popularity among Australian people during the second half of the twentieth century. Johnny Warren, a prominent advocate for the sport, who was a member of the Australia national team at their first FIFA World Cup appearance in 1974, entitled his memoir Sheilas, Wogs, and Poofters giving an indication of how Warren considered the wider Australian community viewed "wogball".

In the mid-1990s, Soccer Australia (now the Football Federation Australia) attempted to shift soccer into the Australian mainstream and away from direct club-level association with migrant roots. Many clubs across the country were required to change their names and badges to represent a more inclusive community.

What can we learn from the FFA's challenges with the evolution of their sport? Should the goal be long term inclusion and not segregation? Do you have a plan to transition from CALD specific programs to regular programs? Or will CALD programs become a part of the ongoing core services you offer?

4.4 Swimming Australia's Inclusive Swimming Framework

The Inclusive Swimming Framework (ISF) guides Swimming Australia, its stakeholders and aquatic partners toward achieving full inclusion of people from the diverse array of circumstances and backgrounds in swimming and aquatic activities by knocking down the barriers that may prevent them from accessing the sport. 

In 2016, Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said we want to give all Australians the opportunity to be involved in swimming and we want to inspire them to be the swimmer they want to be. “Swimming is an important part of our national identity and as a Nation surrounded by water, it is in our DNA. As custodians of swimming, we accept our responsibility to ensure that all Australians have the chance to become involved, develop and excel in both in and out of the water. We acknowledge that not every Australian has easy access to getting involved and that for many there may be barriers and these are our responsibility to overcome.

The 7 Pillars of Inclusion is about giving you a 'helicopter' view of inclusion. It looks at the common elements of inclusive practice across different population groups, such as people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Indigenous Australians and so on. It's a framework to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and it will give you a great starting point in designing strategies for inclusive practice.” 

7 Pillars of Inclusion Website   


4.5 Refugees v Migrants

"New Australians" may be migrants or refugees.

migrant is an individual who leaves one’s country to settle in another, whereas refugees are defined as persons, who move out of one’s country due to restriction or danger to their lives.

Immigration is considered a natural phenomenon in population ecology, whereas the refugee movement occurs only under some kind of coercion or pressure.

  Immigrant Refugee
Definition An immigrant is someone from a foreign country who relocates to live in another country. They may or may not be citizens. Refugees move out of fear or necessity. For example, to flee persecution, or because their homes have been destroyed in a natural disaster.
Legal Status Immigrants are subject to the laws of their adopted country. They may only come if they have work or a place to live. Defined by United Nations
Reason of relocation Immigrants are usually driven by economic factors, or they want to be close to family. Refugees are forced to relocate for reasons such as fear of persecution due to war, religion or political opinion.
Resettlement Immigrants can usually find a home in their new country. From refugee camp to a third country. Usually cannot return to ones own country.


To help you understand the journey of a refugee you might like to visit the Australian Red Cross's App. Download And then I was a refugee... for free from the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

4.6 Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Providing a multi-cultural learning environment is an important part of creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. Do your posters, displays and advertising materials represent the diversity of your community? 

Cultural relevance is important during play time, as play time is a prelude to adult life. It is important for children to be exposed to the history of their own culture, and play with toys that "look like them." They should not, however, be limited to such toys.

A multi-cultural doll and toy experience is balanced and healthy. One poor extreme is to expose the child only to dolls from a single culture. If they only see dolls and toys that look like them, they will find it difficult to accept others that look different. They won't mean to distance themselves, but children are more likely to gravitate towards what they know. 

Let little girls and boys play with dolls and action figures that represent the multi-cultural world that they live in. There is no reason to stick to just one cultural background when it comes to dolls, action figures, toys, or friends.

Mixing the culture of a child's toys can prepare them for the mix of cultures in society. Even if they don't see all of the different cultures everyday, they might notice when they get out into the real world. Australia is an amazing blend of cultures, religious backgrounds and ethnicities. There are many things to learn about each one, and appearance is just the start. The sooner your child learns that people are unique and special in their own way, the better. Children can learn about other cultures as well as their own.

The asctaSHOP stocks Teaching Dolls with both light and dark skin tones in male and female genders.

4.7 Discussing Points of Difference

Everyone you meet is unique in their own way and many members of the CALD community will have majors points of difference which make them who they are. Some of these differences are quite obvious and others more subtle.

So how do you deal with those differences when you notice them in your swimming classes and how do you manage the questions that young curious children might have? Remember children can be cruel so it's important to know when to intervene. 

Some of the more confronting subjects which might be bought to your attention in a swimming environment (where people wear limited clothing and therefore we see more of their body than usual) include:

A person's unique smell

The way you smell is a product or the food you eat, the way in which and how often you wash your body and clothing, whether you wear deodorants or perfumes and your natural pheromones. 

Body hair 

In some cultures waxing and shaving body hair is the norm, whilst in other cultures such grooming is taboo. Some racial groups naturally have more body hair than others.


Curious young boys may note in the changing rooms who is and is not circumcised. For some religious and cultural groups this is the norm, but for others forbidden.

Tribal tattoos

Whilst tattoos are much more common these days, some tattoos which cover large parts of the body can be confronting for some people and draw comments.

Clothing which cannot be removed

In some cultures certain items of clothing or jewelery are not able to be removed. This could include a turban, kippah, head veil or the like.


In some cultures piercings are a right of passage and can appear quite extreme to Australian mainstream tastes.

Your role as a SAT CALD teacher is to show respect at all times to all learners. Don't be afraid to ask respectful questions. When working with young curious children a direct, honest and factual response usually works best. Children are generally very accepting.

4.8 Racism and Sport

Whilst sport can be a tremendous vehicle to bring people together it is important to acknowledge that racism does exist on the sporting field and must be addressed by Sporting organisations from the grass-roots to elite levels.

There are several important ways this can be achieved:

  • Strong policy, which clearly states racism will not be tolerated.
  • Staff training – the ASC offer a fantastic free online training course known as “Play by the Rules” which you can access at www.ausport.gov.au which reinforces the messages of safety, fairness and inclusion on the sporting field. All Australian coaches are now required to undertake this course as a part of the Bronze Coaching accreditation, but any coach or teacher who is interested can complete the training and receive a PDF certificate.
  • The National Anti-Racism Strategy and campaign (Racism. It Stops with Me) aims to promote a clear understanding in the community of what racism is, and how it can be prevented and reduced. Many sports stars and sporting organisations have already signed up to support the campaign. You can access information about this campaign by visiting www.itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au
  • Valuing and celebrating your cultural diversity as something to be proud of. This can be achieved through fun community events which are relevant to your organisation and the sport of swimming.
  • Offering programs specifically for CALD communities.


4.9 Partnering for Success

Rolling out a successful program which targets a CALD community is not simply a matter of doing what you usually do under a different name. The most successful programs undertake significant community consultation and work hard to tailor the program/policies to the unique needs of the target group(s). Remember that Iceberg from Unit 1? The deeper you dig in the planning stages and the more customised you make the program the higher the likelihood it will be successful and make a lasting impact.

Here are four major things you should consider before launching a CALD focused program:

  1. Consult with the CALD community leaders and elders and discuss the unique needs of the target group. Find out the potential barriers to participation, best motivational strategies to employ, most suitable teaching styles to use and who the key community members to target would be. Talk through how you would like the community leaders and elders to help you champion your cause and promote participation. Also explore ways you can expand capacity within the community itself. Perhaps offering to put some of the leaders/elders or Youth leaders through training to become a Teacher themselves.
  2. Brainstorm ways to overcome the identified barriers to participation. This may involve seeking sponsorship to subsidise fees, providing free transport to/from the venue, second-hand equipment and uniform availability, creating unique scheduling to allow for religious/cultural needs (Eg: Female only sessions or evening sessions during day-time fasting) to name a few.
  3. Identify potential partners to ensure the success of the program. By partnering with other agencies you can share knowledge and resources and offer the CALD communities. You could target other similar sporting organisations, church and community groups, NGO’s, local government, educational organisations (such as schools, TAFEs and Universities), public sector partners, corporate and local businesses, Youth organisations and health-care providers.
  4. Research suggests that currently more males are involved in CALD sporting programs than females and most take place in metropolitan areas. Where possible consider if your program or project can involve as many women and girls as men and if it can expand to include if not remote at least regional communities.  Whilst programs which focus on one large awareness raising event are great, current thinking suggests an ongoing program of skill building and engagement is more powerful and valuable to the CALD community in the long-run.


4.10 CALD Swimming Case Studies

Catering for swimmers from CALD communities involves assessing the needs of the individual and group and then planning a program to help them achieve their goals.

Case Study 1 - Atma

Atma is a new Australian, recently immigrated from India. He has always been afraid of the water and neither of his parents can swim. He has bravely enrolled in Adult Learn-to-Swim at his local aquatic centre, as he feels being able to swim is part of being "Australian". Atma speaks great English, albeit with a heavy accent. 



Recommended Approach

Atma is in essence a fearful beginner without a background of water safety knowledge. The best way forward with Atma would be to progress slowly at his rate and perhaps recommend a one-to-one lesson format to start with. He is brave and enthusiastic and this should be celebrated from the outset. He may also benefit from some general water safety education to keep him safe at home, at the beach and around our waterways. Atma will need to start with basic water confidence basics including pool familiarisation, submersion, flotation and breath control before moving on to locomotive skills such as kicking, pulling and finally "swimming".


How would you meet Atma's unique needs?


Case Study 2 - Annika

Annika is a 5 year old who has recently relocated to Australia from Norway due to her Father's new job. She is new to English and barely understands a word. She is however a fantastic little swimmer, particularly in Breaststroke, where she has a strong natural kick. She is a sweet and conscientious child but the recent move and lots of change in a short period of time has made her a little shy and withdrawn. Annika is about to commence a 2 week intensive block of lessons with her Kindy class.

Recommended Approach

Given her evident swimming skills, a successful block of lessons could really help to build Annika's confidence and help her adjust to life in Australia, as well as make new friends. She will however require English language support to allow her to access the learning material fully. A list of key terminology related to swimming should be shared with Annika, her class teacher and family in advance to help her acquire the new vocabulary she will need in advance. The teacher should endeavour to use a range of non-verbal cues and hand signals to enhance her communications. The teacher could also prepare waterproof flashcards with illustrations/diagrams of key activities and skills. Annika should be assigned a buddy so she can clarify any misunderstandings quickly with a peer without having to ask the Teacher in front of everyone. Annika will require lot of positive praise to help bring her out of her shell, a high five, round of applause and big smile are easy tools to deploy as their meaning is universal.


How would you meet Annika's unique needs?

Case Study 3 - Sania

Sania is a 14 year old female who is a practicing Muslim. Her school swimming block of lessons has coincidentally fallen right at the same time as Ramadan, an important religious festival which requires Sania to fast during daylight hours. Her family are very supportive and recognise the importance of swimming but her Mother also has some concerns about how Sania can maintain her modesty while swimming.

Recommended Approach

A good starting point would be to invite Sania and her family in for a chat to discuss the challenges at hand. Whilst there are some exceptions, a person fasting for Ramadan generally will not be able to have any food or liquids during daylight hours. This may result in lower energy levels than usual and potentially dehydration, if Sania engages in rigorous physical activity. It will be important to understand if there is a need to adapt the intensity of the lesson for Sania. Regarding maintaining modesty you could discuss the attire she plans to wear and make her aware of the various styles of the market that could be suitable for a muslim girl. You might like to direct Sania and her Mum to online stockists or local stores who stock suitable apparel. Make it clear your priority is a safe and fun experience for Sania and that she is free to wear what she would like to in the water provided it is clean and allows her to move freely. You can also ask if Sania and her family would be more comfortable with a female Teacher if you have one available.


How would you meet Sania's unique needs?

Case Study - Temika

Temika is a young mother with an 18 month old and is interested in joining Mums and Bubs lessons at her local pool. Temika and her husband arrived in Australia from Somalia just over 2 years ago but due to a difficult pregnancy she has had little time to develop her English language skills and feels nervous and intimidated about the enrolment process, fearing she might embarrass herself when she tries to fill in the enrolment forms in English and wont know what to do during the lessons. 

Recommended Approach

You can help put Temika's mind at rest by being friendly, respectful and speaking clearly and slowly (but not loudly). You could offer to fill in the enrolment form for her and she can let you know the answers verbally. If there is enough need in the community you could have your enrolment form translated or alternatively help Temika source an interpreter. If you have any existing Somalian clients you could ask them if they would be happy to connect with Temika either in person or over the phone to help answer any questions she may have about being a "swimming parent". Once enrolled it would be wise to notify the Teacher that Temika and her child may struggle with English and encourage them to utilise lots of visual cues.


How would you meet Temika's unique needs?

4.11CALD Program Planning Checklist

Before the Program

  1. Consult with the community. If necessary arrange a visit to the community to peak with leaders and/or elders
  2. Identify if the participants can understand or speak English
  3. Identify barriers to participation
  4. Identify solutions to any identified barriers to participation
  5. Identify an appropriate price point for the program, the community and if necessary investigate methods of subsidising or funding in whole the program.
  6. Identify the water safety knowledge base of the participants
  7. Identify if any of the participants are likely to be fearful beginners
  8. Identify if the CALD students will be integrated into a mainstream program or if they will be in a specialist group
  9. Undertake staff training to prepare for the program participants 
  10. Define the goal of the program - Health and Fitness? Water Safety? Learn-to-Swim?
  11. Discuss what suitable attire would be for the program
  12. Give a step-by-step overview of what the participants can expect from the program
  13. Identify ways to build capacity in the community as a whole

During the Program

  1. Use visual aids
  2. Speak slowly and clearly
  3. Smile and be welcoming
  4. Show respect and tolerance at all times
  5. Take it slow
  6. Never assume a base of knowledge, take every opportunity to impart water safety knoweldge

After the Program

  1. Arrange to meet with the community and gather their thoughts and feedback on the program
  2. Discuss the pathway to inclusion on a regular basis

4.12 CALD Swimming Best Practice

  1. For large scale CALD programs consult the community and enlist support early on
  2. Show respect at all times
  3. Be flexible with regard to staffing, scheduling, attire and approach. Remember the main goal is participation in swimming and water safety programs
  4. Progress slowly at the student's pace
  5. Utilise visual communication strategies
  6. Offer water safety education to fill any gaps in knowledge
  7. Be positive, smile and offer praise
  8. Create opportunities for students to form new friendships and become an active member of your organisation and community
  9. Celebrate diversity and bilingualism within your organisation

4.13 Cultural Differences in Approaches to Learning

There are 3 main learning styles:

  • Visual (learning by looking/reading or watching)
  • Audio (learning by listening)
  • Kinesthetic (learning by doing)

Coupled with this are common beliefs about educational methodology in general such as:

  • "Children learn best through play"
  • "Children need to be drilled"
  • "Children should be left alone to be children"

Each individual will have a preferred learning style and unique set of beliefs about how a child best learns. Some cultures tend to drill children more from younger ages, learning skills by rote and repetition. This approach is currently quite popular in Asian nations and Russia.

Other cultures value free play and learning through exploration. This approach is famously popular in Scandanavian cultures. More structured lessons do not begin until 7 -8 years of age.

In addition to this different cultures may prefer to teach certain strokes before others. Here is Australia we tend to teach Freestyle and Backstroke before Breaststroke and Butterfly. Throughout Europe Breaststroke is the first stroke introduced.

Similarly some cultures like to use inflatable aids from an early age in lessons. Here is Australia there is a move away from "floaties" (inflatable arm bands) in formal learn-to-swim lessons.

As a Swimming Teacher you may be asked to "defend" your approach to a person of another culture. 

4.14 Cultural Differences in Parenting Philosophy - Case Studies


Display of affection towards children (there is little hugging and kissing infants once child becomes toddler) and young people.

Common in...

  • West African
  • Arabic communities
  • Asia-Pacific


May be misinterpreted as parent not displaying ‘obvious signs of affection towards the child’. However affection may be displayed in different ways (as deemed by that culture) through good physical attention (bathing, skin-care and braiding hair), monetary reward and praise.


Education attainment of children and young people

Common in...

  • Asia-Pacific
  • Indian


Parents may exert undue pressure for children and young people to perform well in academic studies, which may be viewed as ‘emotionally abusive’ by professionals. Various studies have found that for Chinese families, in some cases ‘physical punishment’ was used to emphasise the importance of education and scholarly achievement.


Respect for Parents and Elders

Common in...

  • African
  • Indian
  • Asia-Pacific


Collectivist cultural practice of ‘filial piety’ which places expectations that children are subordinate to the parents’ wishes and must be obedient and loyal to their parents and look after their parents needs. This is a common issue that arises with parents who hold onto ‘traditional parenting’ beliefs and their children/young people adopt western individualistic beliefs, which leads to inter-generational conflict.


Traditional natural remedies (e.g. coining, herbal/homeopathic remedies, cupping, threading, massage)

Common in...

  • Asia-Pacific 
  • Indian


Professionals may misinterpret as possible physical abuse (cupping and coining leave bruise marks) on the body. Media reports in 2009 covered the case of an Indian couple living in Australia, who were convicted of manslaughter for not seeking conventional medical treatment for their nine month old baby girl (she suffered from eczema), instead treating her with homeopathic drops.

Source: Cultural Diversity & Child Protection, Kaur, J (2012)

Assessment - Short Answer (500 Words) Detail the steps you would take to establish a 10 week introductory swimming course for new Australians in your neighbourhood.

Please note that once you begin this assessment task you will need to complete it and you will only have the opportunity to submit once. WE RECOMMEND YOU KEEP A COPY OF YOUR ANSWER IN CASE THERE IS AN UNEXPECTED LOSS OF DATA.

5. Indigenous Aquatics

5.1 Foreword

This chapter forms a brief synopsis of a larger project in development at ASCTA, which is a dedicated Swim Australia Teacher of Indigenous Aquatics course. We felt it was relevant to include this information in the CALD course as there are many parallels between the needs of our CALD communities and those of our Indigenous communities.  

Please note this study material may include images of those who are now deceased.

5.2 Aboriginal Drowning Statistics

Research has found that the drowning rate amongst Australian Aboriginals is four times higher than other Australian children aged 0–14 years and is ranked the second most common cause of injury death. A review of drowning data indicates limited water safety awareness combined with alarmingly low participation levels in swimming and water safety programs as key factors.

For the Torres Strait Islanders ( a sea-faring people) this is of great concern as many children grow up on and around water.

The Australian Water Safety Plan has made it clear that greater effort and new ways to effectively address the problem need to be found. 

5.3 History

Aboriginal civilisation in Australia stretches back at least 60,000 years and is considered one of the oldest in the world. Torres Strait Islander civilisation goes back around 7,000 years.

Key recent events include:

  • European settlement* in 1788. *Recently there has been some discussion about the term settlement. Many Aboriginals would prefer it to be referred to as an invasion.
  • Aboriginal Protection Act 1905 – decided where Aboriginal people could live, where they could work, who they could marry and when they could perform traditional ceremonies.
  • Stolen Generation – from 1910 to 1970 between 1 in 3 and 1 in 7 indigenous children were removed from their families.
  • 1937 policy of assimilation is adopted but not for full bloods.
  • 1962 Aboriginal people are given the vote in Commonwealth elections.
  • 1967 91% of voters vote “Yes” in a referendum to include aboriginal people in the national Census.
  • 1985 Uluru is handed back to the traditional owners.
  • 1992 Mabo case rules that native title exists over particular kinds of land.
  • 1997 “Bringing them Home” report is tabled after an investigation into the Stolen Generation by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
  • 1998 First national Sorry Day is declared, it is now an annual event as has been renamed National Day of Healing (1995)
  • 2000 More than 250,000 people participated in the Corroboree 2000 Bridge Walk across Sydney Harbour Bridge highlighting the issue of a lack of an apology by the Commonwealth Government to the Stolen Generations.
  • 2002 Release of Internationally acclaimed film “Rabbit-Proof Fence” directed by Phillip Noyce based on the true story of Molly Craig and her sister's escape from a government home.

  • 2007 The Federal Government staged a massive intervention in the Northern Territory without community consultation to “protect Aboriginal children” from sexual abuse. “The Intervention” was a package of welfare provisions, law enforcement, land tenure and other measures. The logistical operation was conducted by force of 600 soldiers and a detachment from the Australian Defence Force.
  • 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologises to Australia’s Indigenous peoples in the House of Representatives of the Australian Parliament.
  • 2012 National Indigenous TV network is launched as a free-to-air channel.

5.4 Living Standards

From the results of our last national Census we know that:

  • 2.4% of Australia’s population are indigenous
  • There are 200 major Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages
  • The indigenous population is growing at twice the rate of the rest of Australia’s population
  • 40% of the indigenous population are under 15 years
  • 30% of the indigenous population live in major cities, 43% in regional areas and 27% in regional communities


Indigenous Australians are in general:

  • Poorer than other Australians
  • Experience greater unemployment
  • Have lower educational attainment, education to year 12 is half of the general population
  • Live in poorer housing
  • Live in over-crowded housing
  • Have less access to basic facilities (clean water, sewerage and waste disposal)
  • Life expectancy is 17 years less than the general population
  • Are 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-indigenous people

5.5 Core Values

  • Reciprocity – Sharing with each other.
  • Obligation – obligation by a sense of connection or cultural protocols.
  • Avoidance – In traditional Aboriginal Communities avoidance practices are common. A Mother-in-law and her Son-in-law may never interact, speak or look at one another for example.

5.6 Dreamtime or The Dreaming

  • The Dreamtime is the past and represents the creation period, the beginning of time, the basis of Aboriginal Culture and spiritual practices, birth of Aboriginal law and spiritual ancestors. It is a very personal thing. There are over 600 Aboriginal tribes and each will have dreaming stories that differ either slightly or a great deal.
  • The generic Aboriginal creation story is usually based somewhat around the following: The Dreaming world was the old time of the Ancestor Beings. They emerged from the earth at the time of the creation. Time began in the world the moment these supernatural beings were "born out of their own Eternity". The Earth was a flat surface, in darkness. A dead, silent world. Unknown forms of life were asleep, below the surface of the land. Then the supernatural Ancestor Beings broke through the crust of the earth form below , with tumultuous force. The sun rose out of the ground. The land received light for the first time.The supernatural Beings, or Totemic Ancestors, resembled creatures or plants, and were half human. They moved across the barren surface of the world. They travelled hunted and fought, and changed the form of the land. In their journeys, they created the landscape, the mountains, the rivers, the trees, waterholes, plains and sandhills. They made the people themselves, who are descendants of the Dreamtime ancestors. They made the Ant, Grasshopper, Emu, Eagle, Crow, Parrot, Wallaby, Kangaroo, Lizard, Snake, and all food plants. They made the natural elements : Water, Air, Fire. They made all the celestial bodies : the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. Then, wearied from all their activity, the mythical creatures sank back into the earth and returned to their state of sleep. Sometimes their spirits turned into rocks or trees or a part of the landscape. These became sacred places, to be seen only by initiated men. These sites had special qualities.

  • The Dreaming is the present. It is ongoing, forever present, Spirit ancestors in different forms. The Spirit ancestor’s life essence is passed on to living generations.
  • Dreaming Stories – Stories of the Dreaming have been handed down over thousands of years and play an important role in educating children. The stories explain how the land was shaped and inhabited, how to behave and why and where to find certain foods.
  • Dance and Songlines – The actions of the Spirit Ancestors have been told in Dance and Song for the past 60,000 years. The songs may consist of hundreds of verses and may take days to tell. By following the sequence of the songs along songlines a map can be distinguished where food and water can be found.
  • Totems – The dreaming determines the “country” of Aboriginal people and totems form part of that identity.
  • In the same way that your faith or sense of spirtuality is unique, the Dreamtime or Dreaming is a very personal thing for an Aboriginal person and can be difficult to put into words, especially in a foreign tongue. 
  • The land has a special place in Aboriginal folklore. To a farmer, land is a means of production and the source of a way of life. It is economic sustainability. To a property developer, it is a bargaining chip and the means of financial progress and success. To many Australians, land is something they can own if they work hard enough and save enough money to buy it. To Indigenous people land is not just something that they can own or trade. Land has a spiritual value

Source: www.aboriginalart.com.au


5.7 Ceremonies

Ceremonies play an important part in Aboriginal life and are commonly known as “business”. Business can be “Men’s”, “Womens”, “Social” and “Sorry” relating to the death of a community member. Traditional communities will close for “Sorry” and “Men’s Business”. Most ceremonies practised in Aboriginal communities cannot be discussed fully due to their sensitive and sacred nature. When discussing a specific ceremony, it is wise to have a local Aboriginal person present.


In traditional communities when a person dies their name cannot be spoken or photos viewed. For example, if a boy’s name is John and his grandfather is also named John and he passes away, then the young boy may become known as “Junior” and not John.


5.8 Shame

This is very important in Aboriginal culture. It is essential not to “shame” indigenous people in front of their peers. Some examples are:

  • Yelling at kids
  • Calling initiated young men “boys”
  • Overpraising achievement
  • Failing them in courses
  • Telling them that you are going to teach them to swim when they can already swim (even if the technique is poor).

5.9 Torres Strait Islanders

Torres Strait Islanders are culturally and genetically Melanesian people. They share many characteristics with our Pacific neighbours Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Fiji. Torres Strait Islander culture differs significantly from mainland Aboriginal culture.

They live in established communities and are seafaring peoples. They rely on market gardening and food from the sea.

Some of the Indigenous islanders can navigate by the stars.

The Torres Strait Islander people have strong family ties and it is common for children to be placed with another family within the community via an informal family adoption system known as “Kupai Omasker”. Torres Strait Islander children can be given to other members of the community for a range of reasons, including; fertility issues, the maintenance of family inheritance rights, and more equal distribution of the sexes among families.


5.10 Visiting Communities

Visiting an aboriginal community to share your swimming knowledge can be a fantastic experience for all involved but there are some cultural protocols you should follow to ensure the success of your visit:

  • First identify who you need to meet with. Never go unannounced.
  • If possible, do a preliminary visit so people can get to know you.
  • Working through schools usually gives the best outcomes in regard to swimming programs.
  • Training programs may need consultation with the local council, PCYC and any schools and colleges in the community.
  • Check one week and one day before leaving to ensure the roads are open, the person or people that you need to see are there and that there is no “business” planned during your visit.
  • Politeness and respect is essential.
  • Alcohol, gambling and pornographic materials are usually banned in traditional communities.
  • Cultural approaches to the concept of time may be different among Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and mainstream communities. It is important to have a flexible timetable as sometimes more value is placed on personal or community priorities. Arrangements could be changed completely with little or no notice owing to the emergence of a range of community issues that intending visitors may not be aware of or have no control over; for example, “Sorry business”, a death, funeral or mourning period.
  • Driving around communities without permission can have serious consequences particularly in the event of an accident involving a person or animal.
  • Unwittingly trespassing on to sacred ground can also have serious consequences.
  • Walking around taking photos without permission is frowned upon.
  • Wear appropriate attire when teaching or coaching. Speedos are not appropriate. Shorts and Rashies are more acceptable.
  • When leaving acknowledge all people who have assisted in big ways and small.


5. 11 Communication

Language is a critical factor in communicating and engaging with a community, so it is important to appreciate the differences in language protocols between Aboriginal communities and Torres Strait Islander communities.

English may be the second or third language for members of some communities. Before engaging with a community it is important to find out the English literacy levels of community members who may participate in any proposed engagement, and to determine whether local translators or interpreters are required. It is recommended to consult with an interpreter and relevant community interest groups before determining an appropriate engagement method.

Some communities will utilise Australian Aboriginal English a dialect of Australian English. In some areas it is quite heavy to the extent it could be considered a creole language, similar to the Pijin used in the Soloman Islands. Using Australian English is often known as “talking flash”. Many Aboriginals will use Australian English at work/school and non-Aboriginal society and then use Aboriginal English at home. This is known as code switching and the people who are able to successfully switch between the two types of English are said to be bi-dialectal.

Here is a quick guide to some common terms you will encounter in many Aboriginal communities:


Many Aboriginal people use the word business in a distinct way, to mean matters. Funeral and mourning practices are commonly known as Sorry Business. Financial matters are referred to as Money Business, and the secret-sacred rituals distinct to each sex are referred to as Women's Business and Men's Business.


Dardy, meaning "cool", is used amongst South West Australian Aboriginal peoples. This word has also become a slang term used amongst non-Indigenous Australian teens, but often as a derogatory term towards Indigenous Australian peoples.


Deadly is used by many Aboriginal people to mean excellent, very good, in the same way that wicked is by many young English speakers. 


Victorian era English word for pretend. Still used by some Australian Aboriginal people to mean joking generally. Gammoning – usually pronounced Gam'in'. This word is widely used across the Northern Territory of Australia by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and is now gaining usage elsewhere in Australia.


Gubbah is a term used by some Aboriginal people to refer to white people. It is also said to be a shortening of the word 'government man', which is itself 19th-century slang for 'convict.' Another theory is that it is a contraction of 'Governor'. It has also been suggested the word is the 'diminutive of garbage'. It is often used pejoratively and even considered unreasonably rude within urban Aboriginal circles.


Regularly used to mean a group of people. Unlike broader English, it does not usually mean an indiscriminate crowd, but a cohesive group. My mob – my people, or extended family. Mob is also often used to refer to a language group – that Warlpiri mob.


While rubbish as an adjective in many dialects of English means wrong, stupid, or useless, in the north of Australia, rubbish is usually used to describe someone who is too old or too young to be active in the local culture. Another use is meaning something is not dangerous, for example, non-venomous snakes are all considered to be rubbish while in contrast, venomous snakes are all cheeky.


English word for a long story, often with incredible or unbelievable events. Originally a sailors' expression, 'to spin a yarn', in reference to stories told while performing mundane tasks such as spinning yarn. In Australian English, particularly among Aboriginal people, has become a verb, to talk. Often, Yarnin.


Other factors to be aware of when teaching in Aboriginal communities include:

  • Up to 30% of children in remote communities can suffer from hearing problems
  • In some communities the level of children who are affected from FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) is higher than average
  • Do not laugh at people, laugh with them
  • Consider using an older child as an interpreter
  • Avoid lengthy instructions
  • Many Aboriginal children are visual learners who can replicate things quickly

5. 12 Programming

Here are some tips for running a successful program in an Aboriginal community:

  • Organise programs through schools for best results
  • Parental involvement can be difficult to elicit
  • Separate the girls from the “fellahs” when running programs for High School aged students
  • Keep programs short
  • Keep programs moving
  • The kids love to use equipment, but be sure to get it back at the end of the lesson
  • Whenever possible try to use Teacher’s aides in the water
  • Older kids are fantastic at assisting the younger ones, but be sure to use girls only or fellahs only

5.13 Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Program

The Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Program (RASPP) is an initiative of the Royal Life Saving Society and aims to run safe, efficient aquatic facilities in remote Indigenous communities in the north of Western Australia. The RASPP provides communities with recreational and educational swimming programs that encourage safe aquatic participation. The program works in consultation with communities and each community has a pool manager living in the community nine months of the year, maintaining the pools and delivering community programs which include:

  • swimming lessons
  • swimming and lifesaving carnivals
  • birthday parties
  • after-school and holiday swimming
  • lap swimming
  • lifesaving training and other activities at the request of the community.

The pool managers have cultural awareness training and are responsible for:

  • facilitating and encouraging safe participation in aquatic activity within a specified aquatic centre
  • ensuring the efficient maintenance and operation of the centre
  • ensuring the centre is well presented at all times
  • consulting with and working towards meeting the needs and expectations of the community where the centre is located.

The program started in 2000 and currently runs at the remote communities of Burringurrah, Jigalong, Yandeyarra, Bidyadanga, Warmun and Fitzroy Crossing. The program is funded by the Department of Housing with additional funding from BHP Billiton.

5.14 Case Study: Midnight Swimming - A Road to Recovery

This story was authored by the ABC's Ben Collins on Nov 2, 2015.  Reprinted with the permission of the Australian Broadcasting Company.

Fitzroy Crossing's public pool is being opened at midnight on welfare paydays in an effort to protect teenagers from alcohol-related abuse, and to prevent them from engaging in petty crime.

It is almost midnight after a baking, 40-plus degree Friday in the central Kimberley town of Fitzroy Crossing, and the temperature has barely dropped below 30 degrees Celsius.

Despite the late hour, the hot blackness of the night echoes with childish whoops and laughter.

More than 40 children, mostly aged from 10 to 16, are making their way across town, drawn by the promise of fun, games, and a cooling swim.

Aaron Jacobs supervises children swimming in Fitzroy Crossing's public pool at midnight.


The program is an initiative of Aaron Jacobs, who manages the pool in the majority Indigenous Kimberley town.

"There's always been an issue with a lot of youth walking the streets at night time, sometimes getting up to no good," he said.

"So I just wished to provide them with a good supervised and safe spot to be, and hopefully be a good mentor."

He says the kids have embraced the program.

"We do fruit for laps, and we might have a game of aqua-basketball," he said.

"I'm really happy they're here, in a sense, because they're off the street."

Earlier in the evening, the large crowd of children were madly chasing a football through pools of light in a park next to the dusty Great Northern Highway, with Broome more than 400km in one direction, and Halls Creek just under 300km in the other.

Despite quite a few of the children having not even reached their teens, the only adult supervision came with a visit from veteran Kimberley police officer, Sergeant Neville Ripp.

Sergeant Neville Ripp says alcohol restrictions have had big benefits for Fitzroy Crossing.


Where many southern Australians would be deeply troubled by the sight of young children unsupervised at night, Sergeant Ripp sees dramatic improvements from his time in Fitzroy Crossing before alcohol restrictions were introduced to the town in 2008.

"I suppose a good word for it was bedlam, with the amount of alcohol that was getting consumed," Sergeant Ripp said.

"Domestic violence was going through the roof. It'd be nothing to have 40 or 50 persons incarcerated overnight."

Fitzroy Crossing became nationally infamous when the extreme rates of alcohol problems helped local women successfully lobby for restrictions on the sale of full-strength alcohol.

Progress outweighs problems

The Fitzroy River bakes to just a trickle as the sun sets on another 40-plus degree day in Fitzroy Crossing.


Marmingee Hand was one of Fitzroy Crossing's community leaders who fought for restrictions on alcohol.

I think that if we've all got that aim, that we are going to try and make the place a better place for our kids, then we're going to end up with a good place.

Geoff Davis, community development worker

"The women of Fitzroy got together and looked at what was the root of some of the problems that we had here, and it was alcohol," she said.

While the restrictions brought immediate relief from the carnage, they marked the beginning of the huge job of rebuilding a devastated community.

"This community is slowly trying to heal itself of what happened before the restrictions," Ms Hand said.

Fitzroy crossing resident Marmingee Hand and her son.


As the program manager of the Fitzroy Valley Girls' Academy, Ms Hand works with as many as 50 girls to change the town's reputation for alcohol-fuelled dysfunction.

"We really should be equipping our young people to be able to have the resilience to say, 'That is not for me'. And to make those decisions for themselves in this environment that they are growing up in," she said.

While Fitzroy Crossing still has problems, Ms Hand wants the town's reputation to be based on the progress that has been made.

"Yes, we've got lots of issues within our communities, but I think Fitzroy is showing other communities that it can be done, and it can be done in a positive way," she said.

Back from the 'war zone'

Geoff Davis stands in front of the Friday afternoon football games he organises for children in Fitzroy Crossing.


It is with this understanding of Fitzroy Crossing's journey of recovery from an alcoholic Armageddon that children at the public swimming pool at midnight can be seen as a positive, according to long-term resident and community development worker Geoff Davis.

"Some of these kids are going to be sheltered from sexual abuse, or violence, or dysfunctional families or partying," he said.

"So that's a good thing for them to be able to go to a safe place where there's somebody who cares, where somebody can listen ... even though they should be asleep."

Mr Davis believes the midnight swimming program is a small example of a community-wide push to keep Fitzroy Crossing moving towards recovery.

"I think that if we've all got that aim, that we are going to try and make the place a better place for our kids, then we're going to end up with a good place," he said.

Sergeant Ripp is in no doubt that something positive is happening in the town he once likened to a war zone.

"The housing's come a long way, education, the way we're policing the town is different," he said.

Sergeant Ripp said it all began with the alcohol restrictions brought in by local people.

"It's empowering those people, giving ownership to them, getting them to care about their community, and they're doing a fantastic job," he said.

Back at the pool, Mr Jacobs recognises there's still a long way to go.

"There really needs to be a huge focus and investment on communities like Fitzroy to encourage a bit more of a non-nocturnal lifestyle," he said.

"It's been happening for so long, it's the new normal."

In the meantime, Mr Jacobs is happy to take it one Friday night at a time.

"I hope that the kids will get a decent swim tonight. At the very least they'll have a decent bath anyway," he said.

"They'll go home, hopefully, tired and cold and want to curl up somewhere instead of walking the streets for the rest of the night."

Aaron Jacobs opens the Fitzroy Crossing pool at midnight on welfare paydays to reduce the number of young people on the streets.

Assessment - Multi-choice Q1Australian Aboriginal children are how many times more likely to drown than other Australian children?

  • Twice
  • Three times
  • Four times

Assessment - Multi-choice Q2 When did the Australian government formally apologise to the Stolen Generation for the first time?

  • 2008
  • 1998
  • 1967

Assessment - Multi-choice Q3 Indigenous Australians are in general...

  • Poorer than other Australians
  • Have lower life expectancy than other Australians
  • Are more likely to be imprisoned than other Australians
  • All of the above

Assessment - Multi-choice Q4 Traditional communities may close to the public for the following reasons

  • Men's Business
  • Sorry Business
  • Women's Business
  • Men's AND Sorry Business
  • Social Business

Assessment - Multi-choice Q5 Which of the following might cause an Aboriginal child you are teaching to feel shame?

  • Yelling at kids
  • Calling initiated young men "boys"
  • Overpraising
  • Failing them in courses
  • All of the above

Assessment - Multi-choice Q6 Which of the following is NOT banned in traditional communities?

  • Pop music
  • Driving around without permission
  • Alcohol
  • Gambling
  • Pornography

Assessment - Multi-choice Q7 Which language is considered "talking flash" by indigenous Australians?

  • Aboriginal English
  • Australian English
  • Pijin English

6. Swimming in Developing Nations

6.1 Swimming in Developing Nations

Drowning is a leading cause of death for children worldwide – in high income countries as well as in the developing world. However, in the low and middle income countries that make up the developing world, children drown at extreme rates. This drowning epidemic is now being revealed by surveys specially designed to identify child drowning undertaken in several low and middle income countries in Asia. Current research shows that 95% of all childhood drowning deaths occur in Asia, home to two-thirds of the world’s children.

In rich countries, generations of public education campaigns have created a culture of water safety. This culture, together with good governance, has led to the development of laws and regulations that help protect children from possible drowning hazards. Communities mobilize to create safer places for children to live and play. As a result, while drowning remains a leading cause of child death, the numbers are relatively low. For example, in 2008 there were 50 child drowning deaths in all of Australia.

In contrast, in Bangladesh in 2008 on average that same number – 50 children—drowned each and every day of the entire year. This extraordinary difference is not just due to the difference in population size between the two countries; the child drowning rate in Bangladesh was over 21 times higher than in Australia when comparisons were based on the size of child populations.

(The Alliance for Safe Children)

6.2 What are the Issues?

The leading reasons that developing nations struggle with high drowning rates and involvement in water safety and swimming programs (if they exist at all) are summarised below:

  • Cost – When poverty is an issue resources are directed elsewhere. At a personal level securing food, clean drinking water and shelter take precedence followed by health care and education.
  • Safety – In many developing nations water safety is poor. Bodies of water are rarely (if ever) patrolled, safety signage is uncommon and general water safety knowledge of the population is poor. This can also be combined with actual security concerns including civil war, piracy and terrorism concerns.
  • Available Facilities (and funding for new facilities) – Many developing nations have very few swimming pools suitable for teaching. They may have one National Aquatic Centre, which may or may not be clean and functioning (due to the high costs of maintaining and running such a centre in the developing world). International schools and hotels may have pools, but these are usually built with recreation in mind and may not be suitable for diving or teaching in. A common scenario many developing countries face when trying to develop facilities is that they are "gifted" a facility for a particular event by a supportive non-governmental organisation (NGO) or foreign aid program. They run the said event in a world-class pool but are then left with a big "white elephant" they can ill-afford to run, maintain or develop. The cost of chemical treatment of the water alone can be crippling. Below is an image of the warm-up facilities that were used for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, which now sits idle.


  • Congestion and Travel – Traffic congestion is a real issue in much of the developing world. In Beijing or Bangkok it is not unusual to spend upwards of 2 – 3 hours a day commuting to work by car. Mass transit is often haphazard and nearly always over-crowded. For low-income families, cars are not within their budget and as such public transport or walking/cycling are the only options.
  • Resilience and Disaster Readiness - Developing nations often bear the brunt of natural disasters because they lack the infrastructure and disaster planning mechanisms to safe guard against large scale loss of life.

6.3 Share Your Knowledge

Trained Swim Australia Teachers are highly sought after world over. We currently have accredited Teachers working in the following countries:

  • Thailand
  • Hong Kong
  • Iran
  • Singapore
  • China
  • Sri Lanka
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Fiji Islands
  • Namibia
  • Vanuatu
  • Soloman Islands
  • Indonesia
  • Canada
  • Brunei
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Germany
  • Samoa
  • Bahrain
  • Korea
  • Italy
  • UK
  • USA
These Teachers find fulfilling work in local schools, professional learn-to-swim schools, International schools, National federations and even NGO’s and charity groups. ASCTA is a member of International Federation of Swim Teachers Association (IFSTA). ASCTA recognises and issues Recognition of Current Competency for overseas Teachers and Coaches who meet our key competencies.

6.4 How Can You Get Involved

There are various ways you can contribute to the advancement of swimming and water safety education in the developing world:

  • Seek employment overseas in the industry, ASCTA runs a Jobs Board via its website which includes a page where you can find current opportunities Overseas.
  • Become an ASCTA Course Presenter and deliver our world-class teacher training in a developing country. To find out more about what is involved in becoming a Presenter contact [email protected] 
  • Volunteer whilst on holiday or take an extended adventure. One organisation who offer a swimming specific experience is Mission Travel who partner with Swim Vietnam. www.missiontravel.com.au Alternatively if you are going to an exotic location and would like to lend a hand most local swimming federations are only too happy to hear from you, so make the call.
  • If you are a Swim School Manager you may like to create a “sister” school relationship with a Swim School or Water Safety program in a developing nation. You could then contribute in any one of the following ways: Do a teacher exchange to share knowledge, re-use/recycle old teaching aids you no longer need, host a visit by swimmers, assist with fundraising and more!

Remember that the most successful programs long term are those that BUILD CAPACITY among local people. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

6.5 Adapting to the Environment Safely

When teaching swimming in a developing nation you won’t always have access to a safe and pristine swimming pool. You will need to adapt and improvise. Here are some guidelines to help you make natural swimming environments safe to use for a swimming and water safety program.


  • Erect red and yellow flags to mark a safe swimming spot free of rips and currents.
  • Erect signage in the local language to explain where it is safe and not safe to swim and to encourage supervision of a responsible adult at all times.
  • It can be helpful to create a marked swimming area. If you have them you can use buoys and ropes, but if not you can improvise with old soft-drink bottles or water drums and rope.
  • If your marked swimming area is quite large it can be wise to build a resting pontoon. There are many different types of pontoons you can buy made of wood or modular plastic but you can also make your own with recycled materials.
  • Be sure to have a rescue craft of some sort on hand on shore, in case someone gets into difficulty. This could be a kayak or long board or stand-up paddle board.


As above  in Beaches and also:

  • Be aware that the flow of a river will be faster on the inside of a bend so stick to the wider outside bends.
  • In a river environment check carefully for submerged objects.
  • You should put a safety rope in downstream from your teaching area to “catch” anyone carried away by the current. You should also station your rescue craft downstream but facing upstream.

Other Considerations

  • Monitor water quality, to ensure there is no pollution issues. Access local knowledge and/or testing before starting a swimming program.
  • Monitor weather carefully, be sure to check if the area is prone to storm surges or flash flooding in severe weather events.
  • Monitor temperature to ensure it is conducive to learning and not too cold or too hot.
  • Ensure the location is secure and relatively private if possible. Child protection is very important in any environment. Plan for where spectators can access the area and where the students can store their belongings whilst swimming.
  • The environment will impact upon the swimming techniques you can teach effectively. You may find that swimmers who have learned (or taught themselves) to swim in a dirty or polluted river may have excellent head-up Freestyle and Breaststroke. They will have developed these styles out of necessity.

Assessment - Hot Spot Q1 "Safe Swimming in a Natural Environment"

On the picture below identify the safest place to run a swimming lesson.

Assessment - Hot Spot Q2 "Safe Swimming in a Natural Environment"

On the picture below identify THREE areas where it would be safe to run a swimming program.

Assessment - Hot Spot Q3 "Safe Swimming in a Natural Environment"

On the picture below identify the safest place to run a swimming lesson.

Assessment - Hot Spot Q4 "Safe Swimming in a Natural Environment"

On the picture below identify TWO areas where it would be safe to run a swimming lesson.

7. Conclusion

7.1 References and Sources

Following is the general references for each Unit of Study. Where website hyperlinks are provided they were current at time of printing but no guarantee can be made that they remain valid.

7.1.1 Drowning – A Global Killer References

Australian Water Safety Council www.watersafety.com.au

Global Report on Drowning www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/global_report_drowning/en/

On The Same Wave www.surflifesavingsa.com.au/main/be-safe/'on-the-same-wave'/

The Aqua English Project www.aquaenglish.com.au


7.1.2 Inter-culturalism References

Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au

Globilization 101 www.Globilization101.org

Hall, Edward T. (1976) Beyond Culture. Random House USA.

Hofstede, Geert. (2011)  "Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context" Online Readings in Psychology and Culture www.scholarworks.gvsu.edu

Hogue, Cavan. (2015) Australia’s National Identity Centre for Policy Development www.cpd.ord.au

Multicultural Health Communication NSW http://www.mhcs.health.nsw.gov.au/

Project Implicit Australia www.implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/australia/

BBC Religions www.bbc.co.uk/religion

The People of Australia – Australia’s Multicultural Policy www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/settlement-and-multicultural-affairs/publications/the-people-of-australia-australias-multicultural-policy

Yang Liu Design www.yangliudesign.com


7.1.3 Communication References

Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au

Bilingualism and Raising Bilingual Children www.raisingchildren.net.au/articles/bilingual_children

Ethnologue www.ethnologue.com

National Translating and Interpreting Service www.tisnational.gov.au

Mehrabian, A. (1981). Silent messages: Implicit communication of emotions and attitudes.


7.1.4     Access for All References

Australian Red Cross www.redcross.org.au/

Child Family Community Australia - Working with CALD Adolescents


Play by the Rules www.playbytherules.net.au/

Kaur, J (2012). Cultural Diversity and Child Protection: Australian research review on the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and refugee children and families. Queensland, Australia.

Kids Matter www.kidsmatter.edu.au

Racism. It Stops with Me www.itstopswithme.humanrights.gov.au

Refugee Council of Australia www.refugeecouncil.org.au

Seven Pillars of Inclusion (Swimming Australia) www.7pillarsofinclusion.com/swimming/

Warren, J. (2002) “Sheilas Wogs and Poofters”. Random House Sydney, NSW.


7.1.5 Indigenous Aquatics References

Australian Water Safety Council www.watersafety.com.au

Aboriginal Art www.aboriginalart.com.au/culture/dreamtime

Collins, B. (2015) Kimberly Midnight Swimming Program Shelters Aboriginal Teens  www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/kimberley-midnight-swimming-program-shelters-aboriginal-teens/6899278

Remote Aboriginal Swimming Pools Program (RLSS WA Branch) www.lifesavingwa.com.au/programs/remote-pools

Swimming Australia Working Paper on Indigenous Aquatics 2013


7.1.6 Swimming in Developing Nation References

International Federation of Swim Teachers Association www.ifsta.co.uk

Mission Travel www.missiontravel.com.au

The Alliance for Safe Children www.tasc-gcipf.org

7.2 Reference Group Acknoweldgements

The following individuals have made an invaluable contribution to the development of the CALD course by way of contributing material, editing and/or proof-reading. ASCTA would like to acknowledge:

David Speechley

Julie Speechley

Haydn Belshaw

Atena Hensch

Joanne Efendi

Eric Du

Jodie Chandler

Irene Joyce

Michael Fonfe

Liza Dowse

Hamid Reza

Troy Chandler

Wendy Ross

Abbas Khoshkhoo

Lorraine Tobin

Steve Currie

Victor Mancilla

7.3 About the Author

Cindy Adair is a Coach, Teacher and global citizen. She has lived and worked in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Thailand, Japan and the USA.

Academic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science – Sports Coaching
  • Graduate Certificate – Sports Management
  • Graduate Certificate - Career Counselling for Elite Athletes
  • International Post Graduate Certificate in Education

Trade Certificates:

  • Australian Silver License Coach
  • US Level 5 Age Group Coach
  • Swim Australia™ Teacher
  • Swim Australia™ Teacher of Competitive Strokes
  • Swim Australia™ Teacher of Babies and Toddlers
  • Swim Australia™ International Course Presenter
  • RLSS Trainer/Assessor
  • Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach

Professional Memberships:

  • ASCTA since 1999
  • ASCA since 2008

7.4 Congratulations!

  • Please e-mail [email protected] to let us know you have completed the course, this will prompt us to download your results. The last step is for you to undertake your practical competency assessment.