The Survival of local Illawarra SLSCs

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Surf Life Saving Australia recently launched a new campaign, urging the public to raise their hand over the summer volunteer season. The Hands Up commercial is airing until late March 2016, with a strong emphasis on recruiting new volunteers for the summer.

But in late September, Surf Life Saving NSW de-registered two historic SLSCs: Corrimal and Port Kembla.

The initial de-registration followed both clubs opposition to mandatory volunteer patrols on Saturdays, a day when Wollongong City Council Lifeguards are already paid to patrol beaches in the region.

Following the production of the video, both clubs were registered once more after an agreement was made between the clubs and Surf Life Saving NSW.

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The article above was the second to be submitted for review on WikiNews: a site that encourages everyday citizens to contribute.

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The trigger for this news story can be found here.  The assumption that UOW is affiliated to the clubs was made after I used my UOWTV video as a source. It was also disputed because the media release had no date, and thus it couldn’t be proven to be ‘fresh’. Further research indicated the media statement was from late 2014.

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I deleted the source and my name, then I re-submitted. Newsworthiness was not ready, however, there were no disputes on copyright, NPOV and style – contrast to the first article I wrote which can be read here.

Written early in the semester, this article was published to the front page of WikiNews. Irrelevant to my campaign, this was an experiment on how to use and write for WikiNews. You can read under Collaboration what had to be fixed, as it was originally disputed. This criticism taught me how to write better quality articles.

My Campaign

I incorporated my articles and the video with Campus East at UOW and the UOW Surf Life Saving Society. We’re in the process of running a Bronze Medallion course for students who wish to become volunteer lifeguards in 2016. We have 10-14 students who have signed up. I believe with the help of UOW students, we will have the numbers to support small surf life saving clubs in the Illawarra. Most students will register with Fairy Meadow Surf Life Saving Club. Students are set to become qualified lifeguards on the 23rd on November.

You can find the UOW SLS Facebook page here.

Final WikiNews Article

My final article drew on interesting findings from recent international shark attack data. Statistically speaking, men are fare more likely to be involved in an attack than women.

This is due to over-representation of men in risky marine activity, however the chances of encountering a shark is remarkably slim.

I compared these statistics to drowning fatalities over one year. Between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015, there were 271 drownings deaths compared to only two shark fatalities this year.

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t locate the publication date of the data and the article wasn’t deemed as newsworthy.


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