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Why Flipper Academy

Flipper Academy offers group water-based therapy with a core focus on learning to swim for children with a disability, to help develop these skills in a supportive environment.

Children with a disability are at a higher risk of drowning in comparison to other children. Learning to swim is a vital skill for every child to learn however the current swim school structure does not suit all children.

Flipper Academy programs are Physiotherapy led and tailored to individuals with a variety of disabilities that have water therapy and learn to swim goals. We assist those with a disability to learn essential skills they need to stay safe in the water as well as for their own development.


Skills Developed

  • Water safety and drowning prevention – how to safely enter and exit bodies of water, floating and breathing control​​
  • Swimming strokes - to help participate in school events such as swimming carnival​
  • Gross motor skills – endurance, strength, balance and coordination
  • Fine Motor skills – grip, hand and finger strength
  • Our group-based approach also helps children in our program, achieve other goals such as social skills and communication.

AHPRA Registered

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency works in partnership with the National Boards to ensure that Australia’s registered health practitioners are suitably trained, qualified and safe to practise. Public safety is our priority.

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Autism Swim Accredited

Autism Swim are international wandering and drowning prevention specialists,  who understand the complexities of different learning styles, goals and approaches, and the support mechanisms necessary to educate all swimmers on water safety, water therapy and learn-to-swim.

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Autism SA Friendly

According to the 2018 Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, only around 4% of the more than 200,000 people in Australia on the spectrum believe that businesses, organisations and venues across the country understand autism, or know how to support individuals on the autism spectrum through the provision of autism-friendly places and services.

By signing up to the Autism Friendly Charter, businesses can play a crucial role in creating a more inclusive community for all, ensuring that people on the autism spectrum are able to enjoy services and participate in activities without the experience negatively impacting on wellbeing

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My name is Chelsea Marchetti

I am a qualified physiotherapist with an avid interest in working with children, having experience working in paediatrics in both the private and public health care settings in South Australia, it has become apparent to me that many children require ongoing aquatic therapy to assist with their physical development as it has strong correlations to improving physical capacity and self-reliance in the water.


Having been seeing children in a 1:1 hydrotherapy setting for several years, I struggled to find a suitable place for children with disabilities to learn how to swim in an environment that suits their needs. It is for this reason that I decided to start Flipper Academy.


I strongly believe that every child should be given an opportunity to be given appropriate water-based therapy in conjunction with being taught swimming strokes at their own pace. Not only does this provide them with the tools and skills to be independent in the pool, but it also gives them the opportunity to partake in everyday swimming activities at school such as swimming carnival. It also provides them with avenues to partake in social activities with friends.


  • Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours) University of South Australia

  • Autism swim accredited aquatics instructor

  • Level 1 Strength and Conditioning coach

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