UNSW Swimming Safe Grant

Students in swim class

The UNSW Swimming Safe Grant involves 6 months of free swim classes, joining the Health and Wellbeing Ambassador Program and 20 hours of volunteering.

Whether you're seeking employment as a swim instructor, dreaming of becoming a surf life saver, or you want to keep your community safe by being a water safety ambassador, the Swimming Safe Grant will help you achieve your goal.

The grants are designed to improve your swimming skills and connect you to a community of skilled and caring individuals dedicated to making a positive impact in and around the water.

What does the grant include?

  • Free access to UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre Pool for 6 months
  • Free adult learn-to-swim classes for 6 months. Classes are 30 minutes each week. You will be able to choose from a variety of lesson times that suit your schedule.  
  • Volunteering opportunities with UNSW and one of three partner organisations
  • Swimming Safe Grant Merchandise
  • Welcome and Graduation Ceremonies
  • Mentorship, training and professional development opportunities

About the Grant

The UNSW Swimming Safe Grant program provides FREE Adult Learn to Swim classes for 6 months at UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre.

We want to increase the swimming skills and confidence of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) students who are passionate about making a difference in their local community through water safety.

During the grant, you will volunteer with UNSW and one of three organisations who will assist you on your water safety journey.

The program operates on an annual basis, with grants offered throughout the year.

There are 12 grants available in 2024.

As part of the grant, you will:

  1. Complete 6 months of weekly adult learn to swim classes at UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre (FAC). 
  2. Join the Health and Wellbeing Ambassador (HWA) Program.
  3. Complete a minimum total of 20 hours volunteering over the 6 months.
    • Minimum 5 hours volunteering as a HWA in training opportunities or volunteering in water safety related events. 
    • Minimum 10 hours volunteering in grant stream specific opportunities.
    • The remaining 5 hours can be made up of either HWA or grant stream specific volunteering hours depending on your interest. 
  4. Submit a statement of completion detailing what you have achieved as part of the grant. 
  5. Complete a pre and post program evaluation.

The HWA program is accredited by UNSW Advantage, and volunteer contribution is recorded on your AHEGS statements upon graduation. You can find examples of volunteering hours by clicking on this link.


  • Open to all current UNSW students, both domestic and international.
  • Students must commit to 6 months of Learn to Swim classes and meet program requirements.
  • Priority is given to those who have completed the UNSW Learn to Swim Program or UNSW Beach Ocean Safe ProgramIf you are currently unable to swim or lack confidence in the ocean, we highly encourage you to check out these programs before applying to the Swimming Safe Grant!
  • Ideal candidates should have basic swimming skills, have a desire to improve, demonstrate a passion for water safety, and aim to become a lifesaver, instructor, lifeguard, or ambassador.

Application Process

Applications Open: 8th April

Application Deadline: 6th May

Interviews: 13th-15th May

  1. Online application form
  2. In-person interview at UNSW
  3. Outcome

Selected students will pay a deposit of $100 which will be fully refunded upon successful completion of the program.

The program will begin on Week 1 of Term 2 2024.

Apply now

Our Partners

The Swimming Safe Grant is run in collaboration with UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre, Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and Surf Life Saving NSW. During the grant, you will engage closely with one of the partners and complete a minimum of 10 volunteering hours with them. 

Diagram outlining Swimming Safe Grant partners: UNSW FAC, Coogee Surf Life Saving Club, Surf Life Saving NSW
  1. UNSW Fitness and Aquatic Centre (FAC) 
    Are you interested in becoming a swimming instructor or lifeguard? As part of this stream, you will increase your swimming skills so you have the confidence to work within the pool environment. This stream offers a chance to learn about different water safety jobs and upon completion of the program you may receive employment opportunities with UNSW FAC. 
  2. Coogee Surf Life Saving Club (CSLSC)
    Are you interested in becoming a surf life saver? As part of this stream, you will increase your swimming skills and confidence so you can undertake the Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) or the Bronze Medallion, gaining a certification in surf life saving. During the program, you will attend surf life saving patrols at Coogee beach, receive mentorship from experienced members and get involved with the club. 
  3. Surf Life Saving NSW (SLSNSW)
    Are you passionate about water safety and want to share your knowledge with others? As part of this stream, you will increase your swimming skills and confidence to bring vital coastal safety awareness back to your community, both in Australia and abroad. This stream offers training, education, employment and skill development directly with NSW’s state body for surf life saving.


This program is generously funded by Medibank, UNSW’s preferred OSHC Provider. 

medibank logo

UNSW Health Promotions Unit would also like to acknowledge our partners, Coogee Surf Life Saving Club and Surf Life Saving NSW for their ongoing collaboration in keeping UNSW students safe in the water.

                                                              Coogee Surf Life Saving Club LogoSurf Life Saving NSW Logo

Contact Us

Please email the Health Promotion Unit at [email protected].

  Acknowledgement of Country
UNSW is located on the unceded territory of the Bedegal (Kensington campus), Gadigal (City and Paddington campuses) and Ngunnawal peoples (Canberra) who are the Traditional Owners of the lands where each campus of UNSW is situated. The Uluru Statement
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