A new short film by Surf Life Saving NSW has been released to showcase how creating an inclusive beach experience for people with disability is benefiting our Australian community.
The acclaimed short film, ‘Taking Back the Waves,’ was funded by the NSW Government and developed as part of the Surf Life Saving NSW Community Inclusion Program.
The film focuses on three trial sites in NSW and explores some of the inspirational work being done by community groups and Surf Lifesavers in Pambula in the state’s south, Bondi and Collaroy in Sydney and Nobbys and Newcastle beaches.
Surf Life Saving NSW identified that people of all abilities have a role to play in the life of any local community.
Creating an inclusive beach experience for people with disability, their families and friends was seen as essential in promoting equity and breaking down barriers.
Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce said: “Surf Life Saving is looking at new ways we can be more inclusive.
“Within our own membership, we would love to increase participation in sport and recreational activities by people with disability.
“In addition, we want to work with the community to assist with better access to beach precincts for everybody.”
The film was produced by Sydney-based creative agency, Taste Creative.
Taste Creative managing director Henry Smith said: “We are very proud to partner with Surf Life Saving NSW to bring this important message to our screens.
“It is so easy to take our beaches for granted, but if you’re a person living with a disability, this can be a completely different story.
“Our beautiful Australian coastline should be inclusive to all people – we are an inclusive country, and so we need to ensure our beaches are inclusive to everyone.”
Taking Back the Waves is a truly inspirational insight into how creating an inclusive coastal environment can be life-affirming for people with disability.
Coinciding with International Day of People with Disability, the film is set to officially launch on Monday 3 December at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach by the NSW Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams.
The film has been touring the national and international film festival circuit for the last 12 months, including official selection at Cannes Entr’2 Marches, the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, Nevada Dam Film Festival and the Gympie Heart of Gold Film Festival.
“We hope the impact of the film will be significant and will shine a spotlight on the importance of inclusive access to our beaches and coastline,” said Steven Pearce.