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On the Same Wave: The Story Behind Australia’s First Squad of Muslim Surf Lifesavers

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In December 2005, an assault on three volunteer surf lifesavers led to violence and what are now known as 'the Cronulla riots.'  In the aftermath of these events, a number of parties (including the Australian Government, Sutherland Shire Council, Surf Life Saving Australia, Surf Life Saving NSW, and various other groups) representing Muslims proposed a program which would attempt to bring harmony back to the Cronulla beaches. Ultimately, this program has seen almost 20 young people of mainly Lebanese Muslim background undergo the arduous training to become volunteer surf lifesavers. But is this mere tokenism or a genuine attempt by those involved to make a difference?