Refugees and migrants from Granville will benefit from free swimming lessons thanks to new funding from the Berejiklian Government.

Tony Issa welcomed the $90,000 from the Government’s Water Safety Fund Community Grants Program to the Royal Life Saving Society.

“The Royal Life Saving Society do a tremendous job in promoting water safety across the State, and I’m confident this new program will equip participants with life-long and life-saving skills,” Mr Issa said.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said community involvement and education is vital to help reduce the number of lives being lost in NSW waterways.

“I encourage people to get involved with programs like this one, and make sure you look out for your mates, always assess the conditions, and don’t drink alcohol or take drugs before swimming,” Mr Grant said.

Royal Life Saving Society CEO Michael Ilinsky said multicultural communities sadly remain overrepresented when it comes to fatal drownings.

“Over the last decade 280 people have drowned in NSW who were born overseas, which is a terrible statistic and one we’re targeting with learn to swim programs like this,” Mr Ilinsky said.

Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams said the program is an important initiative to keep migrants safe at Australian waterways.

“The NSW Government wants to ensure everyone takes responsibility for their safety and is aware water dangers,” Mr Williams said.

The funding will help about 250 adults to complete ten swimming lessons each, while also providing professional development for instructors. For more information visit: www.watersafety.nsw.gov

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