One-third of the Australian population live in regional and remote communities, outside the major cities. Regional and remote communities are diverse and pose unique challenges for drowning prevention. These areas are known to have low levels of population density, which means that lifesaving services are limited, emergency response times are longer, and program availability is lower. This coupled with extensive river systems that flow out into coastal waters provide for a complex range of risks.
Communities in regional and remote areas are often considered to be somewhat disadvantaged due to limited access to services and lower socioeconomic status. Regional and remote children spend more time outdoors but also experience lower developmental outcomes which has been linked to supporting risk reduction. They also have higher levels of alcohol consumption and undertake more activities around water close to home. Water safety strategies, including drowning prevention, designed for major cities are not necessarily relevant for regional and remote communities. Appropriate strategies require community-specific approaches to engage stakeholders.