Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Teacher's Plea for Change; Face of Local Swim School Backs Push

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Teacher's Plea for Change; Face of Local Swim School Backs Push

Article excerpt

SHE'S been saying it for more than 16 years and now, Penny Elder has 45 newspapers singing the same tune.

The owner of Elders Swim Centre in Pialba has backed a state-wide campaign calling for compulsory, certified swim and water safety lessons in Queensland primary schools.

The Fraser Coast Chronicle and 45 other News Queensland publications put out the S.O.S to prevent a spike in child drownings.

Ms Elder, who has taught more than 10,000 kids how to swim, said water safety lessons were too important to be skipped based on cost.

"It is expensive for private swimming lessons... children need to be given the opportunity to learn the basics of swim and survive," Ms Elder said.

"It should absolutely be in the school curriculum."

The Hervey Bay mum, who has advocated for improved water safety in her 32-year career, also believes swim lessons in early childhood are important.

The S.O.S campaign has called for a benchmark, which includes swimming 50m, treading water for two minutes and recognising potential dangers, as part of the program. …

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