Each year an average of 13 drowning and 84 non-fatal drowning incidents occur in NSW children. Recent research shows that people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CALD) and newly arrived in Australia are at higher risk of drowning incidents. This is likely to be due to lack of familiarity with water activity and swimming ability in some people.
In Victoria, the State Government’s decision to instate multicultural signs has drastically improved the safety on the Great Ocean Road.
The Great Ocean Road is a heritage listed stretch of road; famous for scenic tourist sites such as the Twelve Apostles limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. Despite being known for its beauty, the Great Ocean Road is also known as a dangerous place for drivers.
This is particularly true for the over 7 million tourists who use the roads with the largest proportion coming from China, due to the lack of signage in languages other than English.
This changed after the Victorian State Government invested $53 million on top of the $50 million State and Federal program of capital works and maintenance into improving the Great Ocean Road. New multilingual signs display 25 different messages and will be used during peak road work periods. These signs are a welcome addition as Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott said,
““These signs are another way we are welcoming and encouraging international visitors to our State.”
This is alongside other improvements such as roadside remediation works such as rock netting and retaining walls in order to make the roads safer for everyone. As the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan states,
““The Great Ocean Road is a Victorian icon that attracts millions of visitors each year. We want people to have a safe and memorable experience when they visit the shipwreck coast.”
This will no doubt have a positive effect for tourism in the region as well as catering to the diverse array of tourists who visit to see and experience Australia’s beautiful natural sites. As the Member for Western Victoria Gayle Tierney states,
“Tourism is a vital part of our local economy and these new signs are just one way that we are making sure the Great Ocean Road continues to welcome visitors from around the world.”
It’s that time of year when international students arrive in Sydney to embark on their study journey in Australia. The Lord Mayor’s Welcome to International Students recently brought together community groups, health and safety services, and Sydney’s leading tertiary education institutions to welcome and inform students about services offered across Sydney, and help them settle into their new hometown.
Over the past few months we have seen too many tragic incidents around international students reported in the news. The situation many international student find themselves in, living in a different country creates vulnerability to many elements of life, including workplace equality, road safety, and in some cases, social discrimination, despite the fact that Australia is in general a very safe place to live, work, and study.