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Wiltja student becomes Mimili’s first Indigenous pool lifeguard
This summer Mimili Community in the APY Lands welcomed home Peshwah Fielding, the first Indigenous pool lifeguard in the community.
The Wiltja Anangu Secondary College student successfully completed a surf lifesaving course with Surf Lifesaving SA. Her newly acquired skills in water safety, pool rescue and CPR will allow Peshwah to teach water safety in her community in the APY Lands.
“I feel proud. I would like more Indigenous people to get their surf lifesaving,” she said.
16 year old Peshwah will use her new skills to help deliver a pool lifeguard course in Pitjantjatjara language to five schools in the APY Lands. This experience and additional training will go towards the completion of her SACE Certificate.
Wiltja Anangu Secondary College Manager Anthony Bennett is proud of Peshwah’s achievements.
“Peshwah desires to become a PE teacher and our team at Wiltja are doing everything to make it happen. These programs lead to employment and a significant amount of students could return to jobs at pools in the APY Lands.”
Anthony sees this experience as another stepping stone in Peshwah’s career pathway.
“Football and softball are popular in the APY Lands, and Wiltja is now exposing students to a wider range of sports pathways and providing opportunities that are driven by the students’ individual aspirations.”
Wiltja has collaborated with Henley Surf Lifesaving Club for over five years on a surf lifesaving program, helping students successfully complete their bronze medallion course. Students training at Henley are immersed in an unfamiliar environment and go on to become proficient in water safety, First Aid and CPR. Two students who graduated in 2014 went on to become pool lifeguards in Alice Springs.
When the Aquatics program began, four students in the program competed in the Arafura games in Darwin, joining 50 countries competing across 25 disciplines. The Wiltja students won bronze medallions in surf rescue.
The program has since gone from strength to strength. Working collaboratively with the Wiltja Senior School at Windsor Gardens much has been achieved - supporting SACE completion rates and also providing students with meaningful career pathways which benefit their community.
The Australian Government proudly supports the Adelaide Football Club’s Ready Set Crow Program, working collaboratively with the Wiltja Anangu Secondary College to provide support to students in years five to eight from the APY Lands and Far West regions taking up boarding school opportunities at Wiltja Anangu Secondary College in Adelaide.