Ms Elliot was at the North Sydney Swimming Pool today to launch the Grey Medallion swimming program which is being funded by the Australian Government and conducted by the Royal Life Saving Society Australia.
Launching the program for people aged over 55, Ms Elliot said the new study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Injury Surveillance Unit has found that another 75 people are admitted to hospital each year after a near-drowning incident.
“A further 534 older people, on average, are admitted to hospital each year for injuries that occur while they are involved in aquatic activities, including boating and fishing,” Ms Elliot said.
The Grey Medallion program is designed to enable older people to swim and take part in water-based activities with greater confidence and safety.
Ms Elliot said the Department of Health and Ageing provided funding for the Grey Medallion program through the National Falls Prevention in Older People Initiative. The society has also received funding from the National Injury Prevention Program to implement health-related elements of the National Water Safety Plan 2004-07.