Timeline of Research & Development

Timeline of Research & Development

2004: Aqua English co-founders Sarah Blaubaum and Julia Dixon sent a request to Councillor Dawn Crichlow and the Gold Coast City Council, as well as students and teaching staff from Southport State High School. The request was for emergency cultural resources that would cater for the needs of students in Liaoning Province, Northern China. The request is met with educational resources and booklets of the Gold Coast, posters and pictures. The cultural English language journey begins.....

2005: Upon return to Australia, Queensland experienced a considerably high number of international visitor and student drownings on beaches and in hotel swimming pools. A call for new initiatives was made by the State Government and The Gold Coast City Council. The Aqua English Project was officially established with a high focus on research and development into possible solutions for English as Second language speaking visitors on the Gold Coast.

2006: EF Language Travel International, The World Leader in International Education engaged with The Aqua English Project to ensure its Gold Coast Study Tour students participated in the “Aussie Lifeguard for a Day” Program.  EF Language Travel expressed concern at the high number of drownings and wanted to incorporate “The Aussie Lifeguard for a Day” program as a resource in its reaching curriculum. This relationship has continued with over 3000 EF students participating in this program.  The Gold Coast City Council Lifeguard Service expressed their support for the delivery of programs like ‘The Aussie Lifeguard for a Day” program and have continued to support the delivery of all ‘Aqua English’ programs.

2007: While delivering the ‘Aussie Lifeguard for a Day’ Program on the Broadwater, Aqua English staff were approached by women from the Gulf Countries looking for culturally sensitive places to swim and engage in Australia’s culturally iconic aquatic environment. Research began into The Aqua English Project’s second major program: S’women: Swimming for Women of all Cultures. www.swomen.com.au  The first Gold Coast S’women program ran for three months at The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre (The Southport Olympic Pool) and saw women from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan and Bosnia participate and contribute ideas towards the continued development of S’women.

2008: Research and development continues with the official launch of S’women in Brisbane. This was supported by the Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland (IWAQ) and operated at The Yeronga Pool Swimming Complex, Yeronga and the Sam Riley Swim School, Underwood. The program ran for thirty weeks and saw over 100 women participate. The Wesley Mission Brisbane Expanded Horizons Program engaged with The Aqua English Project and has made use of both S’women and ‘The Aussie Lifeguard for a Day’ program.

2009: The Gold Coast City Council Active & Healthy Multicultural Program trialled a six week women’s only water safety program under S’women with great success. Milperra High School (Brisbane) and The Wesley Mission Brisbane (Expanded Horizons Program) became some of the first recipient of S’women Swimwear: culturally sensitive swimwear for women.

2010: S’women has just started another program at the Yeronga Pool Swimming Complex in Brisbane. It is anticipated to run for ten weeks and has over 50 women enrolled. The program is supported by The Islamic Women’s Association of Queensland (IWAQ) and this time incorporates mothers and children water safety. The Gold Coast City Council Active & Healthy Multicultural Program in conjunction with S’women is about to launch another women’s only swimming program. This is anticipated to start in February 2010. In addition Lawand Tourism on the Gold Coast  has expressed a willingness to engage with the Aqua English Project for the delivery of programs to visitors from the Gulf region in June/July and August 2010. Stay tuned! More developments are continuing to occur!