A multilingual video by Logan City Council has been acclaimed at the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) annual communication awards.

The ‘Now I Can Swim’ video, which encouraged adult migrants living in the City of Logan to participate in free federally-funded swimming lessons, featured seven different languages – Burmese, Mandarin, Swahili, Arabic, Dari, Somali and English.

The key message was that with the ability to swim, new residents could safely participate in the many water-based activities that are an essential part of the Australian lifestyle – such as going to the beach, a water park or fishing.

The video won ‘Best Use of Video’ category at the LGAQ’s Awards for Excellence in Local Government Communications last night.

Mayor Darren Power said the video sent an important safety message to those who may not have heard it previously.

“Learning to swim is part of growing up in Australia, but many of our new residents haven’t had that opportunity,” Councillor Power said.

“But safety in, and around water is important for everyone and this video ensured that message was delivered to those in our community in the language they might speak at home and understand best.”

The City of Logan is home to more than 230 different ethnic groups.

It was the first time Council had done a multilingual video. The shoot was done over three days and involved 16 on-camera people.

Captions were in English and were checked by bi-lingual participants to ensure they were accurate and colloquial.

The innovative approach to communications potentially has long-term benefits.

“In making this multilingual video, Council was able to extend our network among local community groups and being able to get important messages out in multiple languages will be a huge benefit in emergencies and natural disasters,” Cr Power said.

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