UQ's Confucius Institute, Cairns police join forces to save lives in Australia's Far North

14 March 2018
Chief Superintendent Schafferius discussing the new Safety Brochure with Mr Ben Kelly

In 2016 local police in Cairns together with The University of Queensland’s Confucius Institute, produced a safety brochure designed to highlight some important safety messages for visitors. On Monday, 19th of February, a new safety brochure was launched to coincide with Chinese New Year (Spring Festival).

Far North District Officer, Chief Superintendent Brett Schafferius explained that police and The University of Queensland’s Confucius Institute have partnered to provide valuable safety messages for our international visitors to keep themselves safe on our waterways.

“There’s an increased focus on community safety and particularly around the water safety aspect”, Chief Superintendent Schafferius said.

“What we have to realise is that so many of our visitors that come here to the far north are not used to the reef experience and for some of them, it’s the first time they’ve actually been snorkelling out on the reef.

“If we can give them a little bit of information from this brochure to help them keep safe then that will go a long way to reducing the number of deaths due to drowning.”

CADCAI President, Mr Nathan Lee Long
with Sergeant Billy Li preparing to roll out the new brochures 

Mr Ben Kelly from The University of Queensland’s Confucius Institute was initially approached by local police in 2016 for help to assist those people coming out to Australia from China to understand the risks and avoid those risks that are unique to our area.

“This is the second time we’ve been involved with the production of these brochures and I understand there’s been a decline in accidents as a direct result of this campaign”, Mr Kelly said.

“We wanted to ensure that people from Mandarin speaking countries and regions were aware of the risks associated with some of the activities that they wouldn’t necessarily have done before.

“This campaign and brochure is designed to put the safety messages in their own language to remind them of the risks.

“The brochures will be rolled out on sea going vessels throughout the region and I think this is a fantastic initiative that they are doing.”

“We are extremely proud at The University of Queensland to support anything that helps reduce accidents and this initiative is excellent.

“On that note, we are speaking with Queensland Police in the hope this initiative can be rolled out in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and other tourist destinations as well.”

Queensland has many beautiful beaches and waterways. It is important for all visitors to make themselves aware of water safety issues including swimming between the red and yellow flags, being aware of rips and currents, maritime safety laws and the dangers of marine life.