Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire is a staggering 2,200 kilometres from the Life Ed Queensland head office in Broadbeach. Yet, delivering health education to remote communities such as this is fundamental to our mission and vision.
Not even the biggest floods in the region in a decade could prevent our head of program delivery, Sue Osmond, and our senior educator, Lisa Barber, from making the trek north.
The Doomadgee State School community has warmly embraced our program for several years, and it’s become an important annual event in our school program delivery calendar.
Remote visits such as this wouldn’t be possible without the funding support we receive from Queensland Health. Our partnership with the Queensland government has enabled us to take our program to some of Queensland’s most remote communities, where our work is truly life changing.
At Doomadgee, 187 students from kindergarten to Year 10 participated in the program, the largest group of students in five years of visits. Primary school students discovered our new module, The Inside Story, and learned what the body needs to be healthy, while high school students took part in drug and alcohol education.
The extended wet season has left the town inundated by flood waters, making it difficult to get food and fuel into the town. Program Delivery Manager Sue Osmond says given the challenges being faced, the school community was thrilled the Life Ed program was able to reach them.
“There’s always a lot of excitement when we take the program to Doomadgee, but we sensed that this visit provided a welcome diversion from the monotony of the flood isolation,” Sue said.
“It was so encouraging to see that the children had retained important health and safety messages from previous visits and were keen to engage in new learning.
“Our focus was on empowering the students with knowledge about what the body needs to be healthy – water, nutrients, oxygen – but also looking at how alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs can affect the lungs, heart and other organs.”
Doomadgee State School teachers say students gain vital new knowledge and strategies for health and physical wellbeing, every time the Life Ed program visits their community.
“Life Ed is a great opportunity to reinforce lessons learned in their health class and extend upon that learning so that students gain new knowledge and new strategies.” – Doomadgee State School teacher
Meanwhile in January, educators Jordan and Anne travelled to Palm Island Aboriginal Shire, and Bwgcolman Community School, to deliver the program to children from kindergarten to Year 12.
The educators delivered the core Life Ed drug and health education program to primary students, while 110 students in Years 4 to 12, took part in our innovative puberty and respectful relationships program, Talk About It.
As well as being an amazing experience for our program educators, the Life Ed visit was also hugely beneficial to Bwgcolman Community School teaching staff.
“As a HPE teacher who delivers the health curriculum at school, Life Education has shown me some additional strategies and ways to engage with and teach students.”
Being able to take our program to Indigenous school communities is a highlight in our school program calendar, and is so important, if we are to continue to work towards achieving equitable, positive outcomes for all young people.