What’s included in this month’s Pulse:
Child safety is a priority for Life Ed Queensland in every aspect of our work. From 2024, we’ll be delivering a new personal safety module that will help protect more children from sexual and other forms of abuse. We all have a role to play in prevention and empowering our young people to stay safe.
Message from Life Ed Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt
According to a recent survey, 28.5% of adult Australians have been sexually abused before the age of 18: one in three females and one in five males. That’s a terrible statistic.
Both the Australian and State Governments recognise that relationships, sexuality and consent education is a key prevention strategy to reduce domestic violence and sexual violence. This education now forms part of the HPE curriculum, as well as the Queensland Government’s Respect program, and is a growing focus for Life Ed Queensland, particularly via Talk About It, our innovative program focusing on relationships and sexual health education.
Our new personal safety module, Smart Kids, Safe Bodies is tailored to children from Prep to Year 2 and will round out our TAI program. Smart Kids, Safe Bodies focuses on protective behaviours and themes of body privacy and body safety, imparting important education around help-seeking, consent and recognising differences between safe and unsafe behaviours.
Why do we need to teach this education? If we speak to children openly and honestly in an age-appropriate way from a young age, they can recognise when they feel unsafe or uncomfortable, understand personal boundaries, learn the difference between safe and unsafe touch, and practise protective behaviours.
After all, we all want young people to thrive and have the best childhood possible – one that allows them to stay safe, healthy and happy.
As a father of six and grandfather to eight Jim Paris, 62, knows young people are facing more challenges across more aspects of their lives than ever before. That’s why he has been a proud supporter of Life Ed Queensland for the past seven years, crediting the program with helping thousands of young people to gain the skills and knowledge they need to navigate today’s issues.
The Redland City resident works for Queensland Rail and is also an army reservist working in a role that provides support for key defence training and major exercises. He joined the Kids Protect Team when his youngest son was in primary school.
“I felt that donating was going to benefit my son and other children and I thought that Life Education was a very worthy cause,” Jim says.
“My youngest son attended the program all through his primary school years. I know he’s benefited from it because he doesn’t smoke and that was one of the things the program really drove home – the risks of smoking.”
Jim believes that the way the Life Ed program has evolved to build children’s resilience and strengthen their social and emotional literacy, is vitally important in today’s world.
“There are a lot of issues that children are faced with now – pressures of everyday living – that weren’t so noticeable during my generation,” he says.
“I think the single biggest issue for children today is mental illness and peer pressure.
“One of my biggest concerns is that the tools that can work for them can also work against them, such as social media. The bullying aspect online and the number of kids who take their own life because of online bullying is devastating.”
Jim is passionate about Life Education’s work and urges others to consider joining the Kids Protect Team.
“Definitely look at the opportunity to support a program that’s going to benefit your child.
“I know for every dollar that I put in, that it’s going to a program that’s helping these kids and that’s why I’ve kept going with it, because not only has Life Education supported my child, but I also know that it’s supported other children and my grandchildren as well.
“If children can be educated very early in life, there’s a good chance that they’ll follow the right path.”
Last year, a record number of young people participated in Talk About It – our relationships and sexual health education program which has become a game-changer for Queensland schools. Our specialist TAI educators help young people navigate puberty in a way that is supportive, age-appropriate and fun. As demand from schools grows, two vibrant new educators have joined the program.
In the past year, the Talk About It team delivered 2157 sessions of the program to 46,283 students, reflecting the urgent need for support with specialist puberty, personal development and relationships education. New educators Olivia and Sam are excited to be part of the TAI team and shared some of their insights as educators.
N.B. *All Talk About It session content is aligned with the Health and Physical Education Australian Curriculum.
Jedd, Emily and Will are among millions of Australian children whose lives have been enriched by Life Education. When the Gold Coast students joined our annual conference recently, we were truly inspired to hear how the program has helped build their critical knowledge and understanding, leading to positive life choices.
Norfolk Village State School captains Jedd, Emily and Wil took time out of their school holidays to present some incredible speeches at our July state conference. The Year 6 students – who’ve participated in Life Education since Prep – shared how the program has built on their learning year after year, instilling important knowledge, skills and strategies that will equip them now and in the future.
Their inspiring feedback was a conference highlight – a reminder of just how privileged we are to make a difference in the lives of children across Queensland.
Here’s what the student leaders had to say.