Working in partnership with the Chinese community in NSW to develop appropriate strategies to target water safety

Rebecca Mitchell, Katrina Haddrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Issue addressed: Two population groups identified as having a high risk of drowning in Australia are tourists and individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The Chinese community in NSW was approached to trial a collaborative model that aimed to develop strategies to promote water safety among Chinese speakers. Methods: Five focus groups with 45 Chinese speakers and 50 intercept interviews at Sydney International Airport with Chinese- speaking tourists were conducted to identify current awareness, attitudes, and self-reported water safety-related behaviour among the Chinese community in NSW and among Chinese speakers visiting NSW. Results of the focus groups and intercept interviews were presented to a Chinese advisory group to assist with identification of appropriate water safety strategies for the Chinese community in NSW. Results: All of the focus group participants had undertaken some form of water- related activity, the most popular activities being swimming, boating/fishing and rock fishing. Around two thirds of Chinese-speaking tourists had undertaken water-related activities while in Sydney/NSW and at least one-third had been swimming, paddling or surfing at a beach. Only one third of Chinese-speaking tourists were aware of swimming between the red and yellow flags at the beach as a safety measure. Conclusions: The focus groups and intercept interviews were invaluable in obtaining information about awareness of water safety issues. The strategies suggested by members of the Chinese advisory group are to be implemented in partnership with the community and key water safety agencies in NSW.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • water safety
  • CALD community
  • partnership


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