Yuendumu pool officially opened
The Central Australian community of Yuendumu is today celebrating the opening of the new community pool built in partnership with the Australian and Northern Territory Governments.
The community pool is testimony to the determination of the people of Yuendumu and their commitment to work together to build and improve their community.
The community led the steering committee and oversaw the design and construction of the pool. Local artists donated proceeds from the sale of their paintings and have pledged to continue to help with ongoing costs.
The pool is a top priority for the community with health benefits expected to include a reduction in ear, nose, throat, eye and skin infections in children.
Research undertaken by the Telethon Institute of Child Health Research shows a decline in these infections in the 18 months following the opening of community swimming pools. Decreases in the incidence of school sores, ear and chest infections have been recorded when children swim regularly in properly maintained swimming pools.
The community has also signed a Shared Responsibility Agreement with the Australian Government with a “yes school, yes pool” policy aimed at boosting school attendance rates.
As well, 10 local people have been trained by The Royal Lifesaving Society of the Northern Territory to work at the pool. Over the past two years they have had training in Alice Springs and Sydney and have all achieved Bronze Medallion status.
The Australian Government has contributed $1 million towards the cost of the pool and the Northern Territory Government has provided $800,000.
The Yuendumu community has also provided $800,000 towards the cost and ongoing maintenance of the pool from a range of philanthropic groups and businesses, including Newmont Asia-Pacific which operates the Granites mine in the Tanami Desert.