It was a warm community welcome when Life Ed Queensland returned to the Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire recently.  

Our educators Sue and Natalie visited Doomadgee State School in the state’s far north-west to deliver the Life Ed program to students from Pre-Prep to Year 6. 

The Doomadgee community is predominantly made up of Ganggalida, Garrawa and Waanyi first peoples of Australia. 

For our educators, the annual trip to Doomadgee Shire represents a rich two-way learning experience.  

“Being welcomed back by the school community and seeing the familiar faces of staff and students was wonderful,” said Senior Educator Sue.  

Positive behaviour change

“Every time we visit this community, we are seeing firsthand, how empowering young people with education and knowledge is positively impacting on their physical health and wellbeing,” Sue said.  

“The students remembered the importance of healthy eating and how the body works.  

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“They also asked if we had the x-ray machine like last year to look inside the body, referring to TAM-e, which gives students a 3D look at the body’s organs and shows them how different substances affect the body’s various functions.”  

Along with vital health and safety education, helping children thrive and reach their full potential, is also inspiring for our educators.  

“For me personally, hearing the older students’ dreams for the future: wanting to play football, be a soldier, work at the shop or become a marine biologist, was just so beautiful, and knowing that we are playing a part in them realising those goals is very rewarding.  

Students and teachers embraced the program  

Doomadgee Year 5 classroom teacher Bec Hannam recalled how her students came away from the lesson curious and excited to share their learnings with their families.  

Here’s what they had to say: 

“I really liked the iPad and looking into my body. It was very neat.”

“I really liked the video that showed the body parts moving and how they slow down.”

“I really liked how I learned to keep my body healthy.”

“I really liked giving Harold a big hug and pat.”

Life Ed Qld Doomadgee 2022 Visit

Ms Hannam said the inclusion of culturally appropriate content in the Life Ed sessions also supported the school’s aim to educate children about traditional language, history and culture along with the core learning curriculum. 

“I really liked the addition of the cartoon story from the First Nations Elder. It was super relevant to the kids, and they could relate to the story and to the people,” she said.  

Life Ed Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt says the program has an increasingly significant role to play in remote communities.  

“Reducing chronic preventable disease starts with educating our kids to make safe and healthy choices, which is why it’s so important that we continue to have the resources to reach children in regional, remote and low socio-economic communities, Mr Fawsitt said.  

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“Taking the program to Indigenous school communities is a highlight in our calendar. It’s inspirational to see how our educators continue to deepen the relationship with the Doomadgee community and work towards achieving positive health outcomes for the region’s young people.” 

Until our next Life Ed visit, as the students of Doomadgee would say – Gurrija balmbiya (See you soon). 

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