THE BIG STAGE: Dalby State High Students with former Australian swim coach Laurie Lawrence and his grandkids. Picture: Sam Turner
THE BIG STAGE: Dalby State High Students with former Australian swim coach Laurie Lawrence and his grandkids. Picture: Sam Turner

Students dive into musical to prevent regional drownings

FORMER Australian Olympic swim coach Laurie Lawrence witnessed how the power of theatre can help save lives in the pool in regional areas.

Drama students from Dalby State High produced an innovative theatre show to promote water safety for young children, performing at Dalby South State School yesterday.

Dalby State High School drama co-ordinator Tara Routley said principal Dean Russell suggested the idea after being in contact with the former national swim coach

"As we have a community theatre unit in our Drama in Practice program, I thought it would be the perfect project for us," she said.

"Using music, books and scripts provided by Kids Alive founder Laurie Lawrence and his daughter Emma, the students developed a show aimed at educating young children about water safety around the home, farm, beach and pool."

Dalby State High Students performing an educational musical about water safety at the Dalby South State School. Picture: Sam Turner
Dalby State High Students performing an educational musical about water safety at the Dalby South State School. Picture: Sam Turner

Mr Lawrence created the Kids Alive initiative in 1988 as a community service program to reduce the risk of preschool drowning.

All 18 students in the class performed to a packed audience of primary school students at Dalby South State School, providing a fun filled afternoon for the kids.

Ms Routley said while the show entertained, it also taught an important message.

"The songs will stay in the kids' heads and remind them about water safety," she said.

"It's great for our drama students to understand the power of live theatre and how taking a fun, but meaningful show to small kids can have a really positive impact."

Year 11 Drama in Practice teacher Ella Henderson said the students started on the production in term three, and they've been able to build it from there.

"We worked together as a class to shape the script into what it is with their songs and everything, and it's kind come together from there," she said.

Dalby State High Students performing an educational musical about water safety at the Dalby South State School. Picture: Sam Turner
Dalby State High Students performing an educational musical about water safety at the Dalby South State School. Picture: Sam Turner

"I'm really excited about this opportunity for the kids, it's instilling confidence in them to get up and express themselves."

 

 

Emma Lawrence from Kids Alive said she and Mr Lawrence were thrilled to see their water safety messages brought to life again in this way.

 

"Teaching kids about water safety, not just in the pool, but in the bath, at the beach, on the farm is such an important message.

" The show will help children understand the water dangers around the home and in their backyard and neighbouring properties.

 

"The more children learn the safer they will be. It's all part of prevention."

The Royal Lifesaving Drowning Report revealed 62 people in Queensland drowned last year with rivers (21 per cent) the number one location.