Synopsis

Every year, over 100 people drown on Australian beaches. While it is often assumed that many of these people are international tourists, this is not the case. Most are Australians and some are Australians who may not necessarily have been brought up in a beach-going culture. This includes new migrants and members of CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) communities.

Stanwell Park Beach, just south of Sydney, experienced a tragic drowning on Oct 1, 2018 of an Indian National. The beach is backed by a park that is extremely popular with CALD communities who often venture onto the beach. Unfortunately, the beach is highly hazardous. What do these beach users know about beach safety, the presence of flags, and common beach hazards? What is their swimming ability like?

The answers to these questions are largely unknown and the results of this study will help inform water safety organisations like Surf Life Saving Australia and Royal Life Saving about how they might educate CALD communities about beach safety in future.

This project will involve designing and implementing a survey of beachgoers at Stanwell Park Beach. Data obtained will be analysed using Excel, SPSS. Or R. Interviews may also be involved.

Aims

The primary aim of this project is to establish an evidence-based profile and understanding of beach safety knowledge of CALD communities in Australia that will assist in the development of future beach safety education material.

Student Benefits

You’ll have the chance to tackle a problem of growing importance that will be of interest to water safety organisations throughout Australia and the world. The experience of working with a real-world problem is extremely valuable when it comes to getting future jobs in the coastal sector.

You’ll gain skills in the following areas:

  • Data analysis
  • Writing
  • Science communication
  • Presenting

You’ll also have the ability to work within a team of postgraduate students who are studying similar topics that you can bounce ideas off.

You’ll be strongly encouraged to publish your honours work in an international journal, which will help enormously if you choose to apply for a scholarship to undertake postgraduate studies. Supervisors work closely with honours students and are interested in honours’ projects. Students will get plenty of guidance, although they won’t be spoon-fed. Prof. Brander has a very good track record of supervising students to first-class honours results.