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Swim across Australia was a unique and innovative opportunity to 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 completed one hour rotations of swimming in the custom designed pool that was fitted with appropriate safety features, fencing and lifeguard station. The core group of voluntary swimmers were joined 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. On their return they were able to share their experiences speaking with other Australians, particularly of their age group. The portable pool infrastructure now provides an aquatic facility to rural towns and Aboriginal communities for ongoing education and promotion of the Keep watch, keep them alive campaign.
Abstract adapted from Australian Government, Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
Government of Western Australia
Department of Health
PO Box 101
Geraldton WA 6530
Ph: (08) 9956 6643
Fax: (08) 9956 6674