Swimming as a form of exercise and relaxation has many benefits to offer people from all walks of life and backgrounds. For Outback indigenous communities, however, the impact of a local, accessible pool can bring about huge health and social improvement.
Around 19% of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Australia reside in areas classified as remote or very remote. (Source: ABS https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3238.0.55.001). Some of the issues that face people living in these communities include a lack of access to services & medical care and declining educational services which result in both high unemployment and high rates of crime. While building a swimming pool in these communities cannot solve all these issues, there is evidence available that demonstrates the positive impact a swimming pool can provide.
Having been involved in a large number of Indigenous Community Pool construction projects, the Hydrilla team have seen first hand the excitement and positive energy that flows into these communities when a safe place to swim is created. Returning to these pools for service and maintenance we have witnessed the ability of a public swimming pool to improve the health and wellbeing of an entire community, this has left a profound impact on our team. Each aquatic facility we build makes us feel proud, but those that create a wave of positive change gives us a sense of fulfilment that we are building more than aquatic structure and systems, we are helping build communities.
We have pieced together research and evidence that demonstrates the way swimming pools contribute to progress in remote Aboriginal communities. Included are details of the pools we have been involved in, to demonstrate the variety of pools that can be developed in these areas.