Removing Barriers Crop-1

Providing Greater Opportunities

Gaining the confidence required to encourage and facilitate physical activity in the aquatic environment will help to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities or medical conditions.

AUSTSWIM understands that people living with disabilities or medical conditions, and those who care for them, may not always have the same opportunities to participate in aquatic activities as other members of their community. AUSTSWIM recognises that the aquatic environment is more than just learning swimming and water safety for many people and is proud to support and promote a philosophy that:
  • Works to foster sustainable inclusive community aquatic activities
  • Acknowledges the right of all community members to participate in aquatic activity
  • Reduces barriers to aquatic participation

Making Aquatics a Terrific Experience (MATE)

The Making Aquatics a Terrific Experience (MATE) community workshop provides parents and carers, disability support staff, allied health professionals, personal trainers, exercise physios and the like with the information, skills and confidence required to encourage and facilitate physical activity, socialisation, communication, mobility and community engagement in an aquatic environment. It is not designed to teach you about swimming strokes.

AUSTSWIM strives to promote equality for safer aquatic participation in Australian communities. Workshops are held across Australia in regional and metropolitan areas to ensure that everyone, regardless of location or capabilities, has access to the benefits that the aquatic environment provides.

The MATE community workshop introduces a range of initiatives aimed at removing barriers to participation. This helps to work towards our vision of ensuring that people living with disabilities or medical conditions, their families and their carers are supported to participate in, contribute to and benefit from the same community activities as everyone else.
The MATE community workshop is designed to give you the skills and knowledge required to take your “MATE” to the pool. This will allow them to enjoy the unique benefits of the aquatic environment and the benefits towards mental and physical wellbeing, in a safer way.

The MATE community workshop is available to all family members and carers, support people, disability support services and more – regardless of the level of swimming proficiency of your “MATE”, helping to ensure a fairer and safer community.

Removing Barriers with AUSTSWIM

During this workshop, you will learn pivotal water safety principles to help make aquatic activities safer for people who face barriers to access and inclusion. The MATE workshop offers:

- Engaging and interactive education
- Comprehensive and informative notes
- Real-life scenario examples and troubleshooting
- Simulation exercises – explaining what your body does in, on and around the water
- Aquatic activities to use in an inclusive setting
- Networking opportunities with like-minded people

Who can attend this workshop?

This workshop can be attended by anyone who works with, cares for, deals with or lives with someone who has a disability or medical condition, presenting them with barriers for visiting the pool or aquatic facility, including:

  • Family members
  • Carers
  • Personal attendants
  • Disability support staff 
  • Allied health professionals
  • Occupational therapists 
  • Physiotherapists 
  • Team leaders
  • Personal trainers
  • Lifeguards
  • AUSTSWIM Teachers
Whether your “MATE” is a confident swimmer, a non-swimmer, dependent on one or multiple people while in the pool, or wishes to participate in aquatic activities for fitness or recreation, this workshop will give you the skills needed to assist them in the aquatic environment.
AUSTSWIM Partner Logo

Program Partners

Para Mobility Logo

AUSTSWIM wishes to acknowledge and thank the Australian Government - Department of Social Services, for their ongoing support of the 'Removing Barriers' project.

Why Choose AUSTSWIM Block