Swim and Survive is a comprehensive comprehensive swimming and water safety initiative of Royal Life Saving that seeks to increase the swimming and water safety skills of all Australian children in order to prevent drowning and increase participation in safe aquatic activity.

The initiative ensures that the essential components of personal survival and water safety are provided, in addition to a process of developing strong and effective swimming technique. Swim and Survive is delivered in pools schools and other aquatic locations across the country by qualified swimming and water safety instructors.

Since its inception over 30 years ago, over 15 million Australian children have participated in the Swim and Survive program.

Wonder, Courage and Active are the Swim and Survive initiative programs. They reflect the hopes and aspirations of children and families as they embark on a lifetime of fun and safety in the water.

Each program is structured into skill strands that ensure a balanced, comprehensive instructional approach to a child’s aquatic education. Each of the 3 programs has a set of Award levels to guide the Instructor and participant through the stages of aquatic education. The 3 programs with their Award Levels provide a comprehensive structured resource of Swimming and Water Safety.

All of our instructors are industry qualified and hold a current blue card.


Benefits of Swim and Survive

The Swim and Survive Program is:

  • Backed by 125 years of Royal Life Saving
  • Well-researched and reviewed regularly to keep it up to date
  • Aligned to the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework
  • The best avenue to achieve the National Benchmarks for swimming and water safety
  • GST-free as it meets the criteria of personal aquatic survival skills
  • Above all, fun, challenging and a channel for personal achievement

Swim and Survive Levels:

The Swim and Survive program is divided across three different awards, with levels within each.


Wonder Awards

The Wonder levels focus on water familiarisation, enjoyment and development of elementary skills required prior to independent participation., designed for children aged 6 to 36 months. This level features in-water parent or carer participation and learning through games, play and movement skills.

These include:

Wonder Award 1 (Tadpole Level): For children aged 6 months – 12 months

Wonder Award 2 (Salamander Level): For children aged 12 months – 24 months

Wonder Award 3 (Frog Level): For children aged 24 months – 36 months


What will your child learn?

  • Getting into and out of the water safely
  • Floating on their front and back
  • Orientating their body using rotation skills
  • Moving through the water using kicking and arm actions
  • Gliding in a forward direction
  • Breathing preparation skills
  • Submerging under water
  • Safety rules for participating in lessons
  • Social skills for interacting with peers and the teacher

Courage Awards

Courage is primarily focused on building water confidence, and has 5 levels (Courage 1 – Courage 5).

The courage awards are incorporated into our Frog Level and our Turtle Transitioning Level.


What will your child learn?

  • Entering and exiting the water safely
  • Floating, recovering and orientating the body independently
  • Gliding, kicking and propulsion skills
  • Breathing skills
  • Foundation swimming strokes
  • Submerging under water
  • Elementary survival skills
  • Safety rules for participating in lessons
  • Identifying dangers, people who can help and ways to get help

Active Awards

The Active levels are focused on teaching and developing swimming and water safety skills. The Active levels focus on ages 5-13, incorporating personal survival, water safety and lifesaving to complement strong swimming skills. Lessons are taught using active practice, activity and scenario-based learning.


These include:

Active Award 1 – Water Discovery (Beginner Starfish Level)

Active Award D2 – Developing Water Awareness (Starfish Level)

Active Award 2 – Water Awareness (Seahorse Level)

Active Award D3 – Developing Water Sense (Sea Dragon Level)

Active Award 3 – Water Sense (Marlin Level)

Active Award 4 – Water Wise (Dolphin Development)

Active Award 5 – Junior Swim and Survive (Dolphin Level)


What will your child learn?

  • Entries and exits for a range of aquatic environments
  • Floating, rotation and orientation skills in various positions
  • Survival skills, techniques and strategies for emergency situations
  • Underwater and search skills
  • Swimming and survival strokes
  • Rescue methods for different situations
  • Hazards and personal safety around water
  • An understanding of personal aquatic abilities and limitations
  • Actions to get help and respond to an emergency including basic resuscitation

Classes, instructors and lesson contents are subject to change without notice.