Solider, aeroplane, chicken – swimming at the City Baths.  RMIT and Medibanks remarkable partnership encouraging water safety and water familiarisation for international students

Paula Soon1, Joy Mustapha1, Tushar Kondvilkar1

1RMIT University

RMIT University and their Health Partner Medibank, have developed a calendar of activities which aim to engage with and encourage International students to connect with their health, wellness and safety while they are in Australia.  Following two near drownings involving RMIT International students, it was decided that water safety awareness and swimming lessons would be a great addition to this calendar. Through the partnership with Medibank and collaboration with the city baths, RMIT was able to provide free swimming lessons for students. These were very popular and provided a much-appreciated opportunity for international students to build confidence and understanding of the water and swimming pool environment. It was also a chance for them to focus on their overall well-being and health at the same time.  This session will provide some insights into the health and wellness activities provided to international students as well as highlight the lessons learned from this initiative, direct from student participants.


Paula Soon is the Assistant Director of the Pathways and Operations at RMIT University and the manager for the Medibank OSHC partnership.  She has worked with together with Medibank over the past two years to develop a more holistic approach to the partnership and move away from OSHC simply being a policy on an offer letter.

Joy Mustapha is the Coordinator of International Student Services at RMIT University and works very closely with the Medibank team to operationalise activities and events.  Joy is a former international student and brings a unique perspective to the RMIT + Medibank partnership.

Tushar Kondvilkar (Age 25) studied a Masters of Analytics at RMIT University. He joined RMIT this year in July. Being a sportsperson, he proactively started going through RMIT’s sports website & came through Medibank Swimming Lessons. He was good at sports however swimming was always his flaw. He had fear of drowning down & hence never went in deep swimming pools. However Medibank gave him an opportunity to overcome this fear. He learnt freestyle, backstroke & breaststroke. After Medibank’s lessons, he can confidently say that I can swim in deep waters.

Susan Cullen from Medibank will be joining us but will not be presenting.

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