ACT Primary Schools Program


Royal Life Saving ACT is the appointed service provider for the ACT Education and Training Directorate’s current water safety program - Aquasafe.

Aquasafe is a unique water safety and awareness program designed specifically for Year 2 students in the ACT. The concept of the program was developed as a joint initiative between Royal Life Saving ACT and the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate. Participation for the program is partially funded by the ACT Government. This funding increases accessibility and affordability of the program for all students.

The program consists of a 2-week (10-day) block of pool-based sessions and 5 x 40 minute classroom sessions. Royal Life Saving ACT is responsible for the organisation and facilitation of the pool sessions, including transport, for all ACT public primary schools and has developed a Teacher Resource for the delivery of the classroom sessions.

Aquasafe is different from traditional learn to swim programs in that it focuses specifically on water safety and survival skills and knowledge that can be applied to a range of aquatic environments. Aquasafe complements existing learn to swim programs and supports children to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to avoid danger and prevent death in and around water.


The Swim and Survive program aims is to improve the student's ability to be safe in and around water and make smart decisions. By sustaining a well-balanced and curriculum focused program, we aim to help students develop a sound knowledge of water awareness and safety. Participation in this program may help reduce their chances of being involved in an aquatic related incident.

Unlike regular learn to swim lessons that may specifically concentrate on swimming technique, Swim and Survive provides a broad, balanced program of swimming, water safety and survival skills. The program will provide direct links to the Australian School Curriculum.

"Royal Life Saving's 2014-15 National Drowning Report showed 35 drowning deaths for children under the age of 10" Royal Life Saving ACT Executive Director, Cherry O'Connor said.

"This represents a 25% increase on the previous year, and highlights the importance of water safety education for school students in primary schools" added Ms O’Connor.

"Drowning and near drowning remains a major problem in Australia as shown in the latest Royal Life Saving Drowning Report. Research in the ACT by Kidsafe has confirmed that an increasing number of children are leaving primary school unable to save themselves in water," Kidsafe ACT CEO, Eric Chalmers said.
"The Royal Life Saving ACT Primary Schools' Swim and Survive program has the enthusiastic support of Kidsafe ACT as it will directly overcome the major barriers to improving swimming outcomes for ACT Primary school children. Kidsafe strongly encourages schools and parents to participate in this program, the life that is saved could be in your family," added Chalmers.

For schools wishing to enrol or enquire about the ACT Primary Schools’ Swim and Survive Program, contact us via email or phone 62605800.