About Us

The Global Drowning Fund is the operational name of Royal Life Saving Society – Australia's Global Drowning Overseas Aid Relief Fund.

The Global Drowning Overseas Aid Relief Fund was established in response to the high burden of drowning experienced throughout many Asian countries, with the knowledge that similar scenarios are likely in many low and middle income countries throughout the world.

Through current and developing programs, the
Global Drowning Fund aims to provide training, education, and research, and increase local skills and capacity for the prevention of what has become a regional epidemic. The work now being done will form the basis of drowning prevention globally.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia works in partnership with the International Life Saving Federation (ILS) – the world authority for drowning prevention, lifesaving and lifesaving sport – to raise the issue of global drowning and build capacity across the region to address the problem.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia also works alongside The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC), and the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh (CIPRB).

Vital work is underway, and has included the ILS World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2011, which had a specific emphasis on child drowning in low and middle income countries (LMICs), and the establishing of a child drowning research centre.

Strategically located in Bangladesh, the
International Drowning Research Centre – Bangladesh (IDRCB) is undertaking research and evaluating and providing technical and communications assistance on child drowning and its associated issues.


Open Letter to the Australian Government

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia (RLSSA) wishes to acknowledge the Australian Government for the significant support it has provided towards drowning-focussed research and interventions in Asia over the past few years.

The Australian Government has encouraged efforts to increase awareness and collaboration and to support an evidence-based approach to prevention strategies.

Australians have been at the forefront of developing and refining the skills and expertise in drowning reduction.Much of this is transferable, and by working in partnership with local organisations, the capacity development is far-reaching and long-lasting.

The Australian Government, through its Agency for International Development (AusAID), has contributed to the following activities:

1. World Conference on Drowning Prevention, through AusAID and the Australian Embassy – Vietnam. This allowed organisers to focus on expanding the event from a four-day conference to two years’ worth of regional drowning prevention activities, including many workshops and targeted advocacy to raise awareness of drowning.

2. Developing Countries Scholarship Fund, through AusAID’s International Seminar Support Scheme. This resulted in the attendance of over 25 scholars from across Asia-Pacific and Africa.

3. International Drowning Research Centre – Bangladesh, through AusAID and the Australian High Commission – Bangladesh. This research centre contributes to knowledge in areas including drowning and children under four, expansion of survival swimming to national coverage, and the feasibility of resuscitation training and use in rural communities.

4. SwimSafe Drowning Prevention Intervention – Vietnam, through AusAID and the Australian Embassy – Vietnam. SwimSafe serves as a demonstration and capacity building activity for Danang and the Vietnamese Government. Sinnce 2009 it has reached over 10,000 local children with survival swimming education.

5. Other Australian Government Support including: the Australia–Malaysia Institute (AMI), who has contributed to the Malaysia Scholarship Program, the Council of Australia–Arab Relations (CAAR), who is supporting scholarships for people from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Sudan, and the Australia–Thailand Institute (ATI) who support the SwimSafe program in Thailand.

Above: Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of Australia, opens the ILS World Conference on Drowning Prevention in Vietnam in 2011. The conference was hosted by Royal Life Saving Society – Australia and TASC, with assistance from the Australian Government, and brought international focus to the issue of child drowning in low and middle income countries.


UK Family Raise Much Needed Funds for SwimSafe
The Preece Family, from England, were so moved by the child drowning epidemic across Asia that they decided to support the SwimSafe program as their charity for 2013.
Neri Ganzarski raises much needed funds for SwimSafe Bangladesh
As a lover of swimming with her local swim club in Seattle, Washington, Neri Ganzarski was saddened to learn about the high rate of drowning among children in Asia. She decided she would like to see what she could do to help and set about raising funds for our Survival Swimming project in Bangladesh.
Interventions Part 1: Creches
In the dramatic field of humanitarian aid, the Global Drowning Fund partners are showing how simple interventions can prevent child drowning by up to 90 per cent.
Pete and Vi Peterson recognised for the contribution of SwimSafe to the social development of Danang
Pete and Vi Peterson recognised for the contribution of SwimSafe to the social development of Danang
BBC Feature TASC Founder
Former POW and US Ambassador to Vietnam, Pete Peterson, is featured by the BBC about his work to prevent child drowning in the country which has held him captive in more ways than one.
Survival Swimming Bangladesh
Update on Survival Swimming Bangladesh
Drowning in Numbers - New TASC/UNICEF report released
A report released by Royal Life Saving partners The Alliance for Safe Children and UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre reinforces the notion that child drowning is a hidden epidemic across Asia.


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