Life Saving Victoria & The Department of Justice – Water Safety Awareness

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Project Brief:

Following alarming results in the annual Victorian drowning report, Life Saving Victoria and The Department of Justice engaged The LOTE Agency to undertake a qualitative research campaign, uncovering general understanding of water safety amongst CALD communities.


The communications objective was to understand whether key water safety messages were reaching, and being understood by, the Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Sinhalese and Vietnamese communities. The second aim was to check their general water safety knowledge and experience.


LOTE has a longstanding working relationship with Life Saving Victoria. This experience allowed us to develop a detailed questionnaire to test the existing creative concepts. These had been developed to target:

  • Parents and carers of toddlers
  • Older Victorians aged 55 and over
  • Adult males ages 25-39
LOTE sourced participants across all the target demographics. We then organised and facilitated qualitative research amongst the CALD groups.
The materials tested included radio ads, animation storyboards, press ads and high-level awareness concepts of water safety. The messages tested included:


  • ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’
  • ’10-1’
  • ‘Over and Under’


There was a great deal of specific feedback received across the five CALD groups and the three target audiences. Overall, focus group participants demonstrated good engagement with the creative concepts. But there were also several consistent suggestions made on how to improve their effectiveness.

In summary:

  • Most participants could articulate and recall key messages from each concept
  • Many participants stated that they would think or act differently having viewed the material in its entirety
  • The production of these materials in-language was viewed favorably across all focus groups, with excellent goodwill expressed that the important issue of safety around water was being addressed by the Department of Justice and Regulation in their respective languages.

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