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Swim Across Australia

City of Geraldton

"The Swim Across Australia" was a unique and innovative opportunity to champion and promote the State Governments initiatives for physical activity, at the same time, promote Geraldton and the ‘Keep Watch, Keep Them Alive’ campaign internationally and nationally, whilst fostering youth leadership opportunities for young people of Geraldton. The project commenced in July 2003. A purpose built pool was securely mounted on a truck to travel from Geraldton to Sydney traversing 43 towns along the way. While in transit, swimmers did circa one hour rotation of swimming in the custom designed pool that is fitted with appropriate safety features, fencing and lifeguard station. The core group of voluntary swimmers was augmented along the crossing with support from Olympians, high profile sports people, local identities and community leaders. A voluntary support crew consisting of lifeguards, musicians, project coordinator/supervisor, drivers, medical personal, disabled persons and indigenous youth representatives supported the swimmers. Heralding swimmers into each town and city were the members of Geraldton's Indigenous Youth Council and a 26 piece youth rhythm band.

The Geraldton Indigenous Youth Council and the John Willcock College youth band lived, worked and shared in activities together in this once in a lifetime experience. The youth involved were ambassadors of the community and for reconciliation as they journeyed across Australia and on their return - speaking to and sharing their experiences with other Australians, particularly of their age group. After the Swim On completion of the event the portable pool infrastructure developed through the Swim Across Australia project will have a further life in providing an aquatic facility to rural towns and Aboriginal communities for the purposed of education and promotion of the ‘Keep Watch, Keep Them Alive’ campaign.


Sponsored by Department of Family and Community Services

Commendation Award

Contact name: Miss Karina Thomason
Contact position: Project Officer
Contact address: PO Box 101
Contact phone: 0899566643
Contact fax: 0899566674
Contact email: thomasonk@geraldton.wa.gov.au
Council's web site:

Social and Community Engagement:

In sponsoring a category, FaCS is particularly interested in recognising and acknowledging initiatives that focus on the contribution of Local Government to:strengthening individuals, families and communities; aiding life choices for individuals and families in the community, fostering social and economic participation to build resilience and foster a culture of self-reliance and self-help in the community.

Visit the sponsor's web site: http://www.facs.gov.au


Last Updated: 17 October, 2013