Spotlight: Royal Life Saving Society WA, Keep Watch Program

April 12, 2021

The 2021 Injury Matters Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Awards provided an opportunity to recognise individuals and organisations who are having a positive impact on the community by conducting activities that aim to prevent and reduce the impact of injury within Western Australia. 

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Injury Prevention or Safety Promotion Award was the Royal Life Saving Society of WA’s Keep Watch Program.  

David Beattie (Injury Matters), Lauren Nimmo (RLSSWA), Rachel Murray (RLSSWA), and Sandy Lukjanowski (Injury Matters).
David Beattie (Injury Matters), Lauren Nimmo (RLSSWA), Rachel Murray (RLSSWA), and Sandy Lukjanowski (Injury Matters).

Drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children aged 0–4 years in Australia and toddlers have a greater risk of both fatal and non-fatal drowning than any other age group. Given the vast waterways that surround WA, as well as those which are inland throughout our State, the work to prevent drownings is extensive but so important. 

The Royal Life Saving Society of WA delivers the state-wide toddler drowning prevention program, Keep Watch, to provide parents and carers of children under the age of 5 with information about toddler drowning risks and prevention strategies. The program holds a strong place in the WA community, having been around for over 25 years with a range of achievements in the prevention of injury. The program incorporates several strategies across many platforms to communicate the four Keep Watch messages, Supervise, Restrict, Teach and Respond. 

Members of the Royal Life Saving Society WA team.
Members of the Royal Life Saving Society WA team.

For the first time since record-keeping began, Western Australia recorded zero toddler drowning deaths in 2019/2020. This is a huge achievement, which is largely due to the sustained efforts that Royal Life has done over the life of the program and shows how deserving the organisation and program is for this award.  

The Keep Watch Program is a great example of how evidence-informed work, which is effectively evaluated can achieve great results in the prevention of injury. 

Congratulations to the Royal Life Saving Society of WA for winning the Outstanding Achievement in Injury Prevention or Safety Promotion Award and for the ongoing success of the Keep Watch Program.