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Visiting schools in Queensland for 34 years, Healthy Harold is an Australian icon. But COVID-19 brought a stop to face-to-face delivery of the health and safety program in the iconic Healthy Harold vans for the first time in the charity’s history. With thousands of Queensland children now back at school, the program’s educators are heading back to schools state-wide, teaching in the classroom for the time-being instead of the familiar mobile learning centres. But for children who can’t access a visit from Healthy Harold just yet, there’s a new online learning platform – Life Education @ Home. The comprehensive online hub provides many of the much-loved lessons via a program of engaging videos starring educators and Harold. This means children, even in remote parts of the state, can access Life Education from home for free.Read full article
Healthy food has been delivered to 34 schools across North Queensland in a bid to support families doing it tough and encourage kids to make healthy choices.
Life Education teamed up with Eat up Australia and Sanitarium to deliver 300 boxes of food including Weet-Bix to primary schools in Townsville, Charters Towers and Burdekin.
Life Education’s Donna Walker travels thousands of kilometres each year, taking the charity’s iconic Healthy Harold van to primary schools in north west Queensland so children can learn about making safe and healthy choices.
With her regular teaching schedule disrupted by COVID-19, she last week got behind the wheel of the local Eat Up van to deliver the food.Read full article
On the eve of Safer Internet Day, latest research from leading children’s health promotion charity Life Education has found keeping kids cybersafe is the top concern for Queensland parents.
The survey of 2526 parents of school-aged children, conducted by Life Education Queensland throughout 2019, revealed that cybersafety was the number one concern for parents followed by obesity, cyberbullying, smoking and mental health.
Parents were asked to rate their top concerns from a list of eight key issues which also included alcohol, illegal drugs and sexual health.
Life Education Queensland chief executive Michael Fawsitt said the fact that parents ranked cybersafety as a number one concern reflected the challenges many were experiencing when it came to helping children navigate an online world.
“The consistent feedback we receive from parents is that keeping kids safe online is a significant concern, and an area where parents sometimes feel their skills are lacking,” Mr Fawsitt said.
“At Life Education, through our bCyberwise program, we’re able to reach thousands of children each year with important messages on cybersafety, cyber ethics, keeping personal information safe online and strategies on how to handle bullying including cyberbullying.
“This is important, because parents frequently tell us that sometimes children are reluctant to hear health and safety messages at home, so having them reinforced by our experienced program educators, with the help of Healthy Harold, is a fun and informative way to empower kids with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe.”
The parent survey will continue into 2020 in partnership with Techwell, giving parents the chance to win $4000 in technology prizes when they share feedback on the program via a five-minute survey.
3 December 2019 – Gold Coast Bulletin
A new program being launched in Gold Coast preschools is set to tackle climbing childhood obesity rates.
LAURA NELSON, Gold Coast Bulletin
THE Gold Coast will be one of three cities in Queensland to launch a preschool program to tackle the obesity epidemic.
Life Education Queensland has announced a nutrition education plan for four and five year olds to target rising childhood obesity, overweight trends and junk-food eating.
It will be implemented early next year on the Gold Coast, at Logan and Ipswich before it is rolled out statewide.
The new program encourages healthy eating.
Life Education chief executive Michael Fawsitt said more than 25 per cent of children were obese or overweight and only one per cent met the recommended daily serves of fruit and vegetables.
“According to the most recent Queensland Chief Health Officer’s Report, vegetable consumption in children has dropped by 32 per cent since 2013,” he said.
“We also know that over-consumption of unhealthy food and drinks is contributing to more than a third of total energy intake and contributing to weight gain in some children.
“Habits begin to establish themselves at a young age, so we shouldn’t wait until children are six or seven-years-old to provide education on making healthy food choices.”
Gold Coast Health trauma surgeon Dr Martin Wullschleger, joined Mr Fawsitt and the charity’s mascot, Healthy Harold, to announce the new program at Mermaid Waters Community Kindergarten.
Healthy Harold is also helping kids learn to eat healthy and stay active.
Dr Wullschleger said it was vital to start educating children early about making healthy food choices and leading active lifestyles.
“Just like we educate teenagers around the risks, choices and consequences of risky behaviours such as unsafe driving, drugs and drinking, this program will educate young children how to make smart choices when it comes to food and being physically active,” said the Life Education Queensland board director.
Life Education Queensland is the state’s largest provider of preventive health education to schoolchildren. The new nutrition program will be funded by some of the $1.28 million provided to Life Education by Queensland Health.View Article (Subscriber)
More than 12 thousand primary and high school children will be visited by the new Life Education mobile learning centre van every year to educate students about health and safety.
ELISABETH SILVESTER, Townsville Bulletin
AFTER more than five years of fundraising, a new hi-tech mobile classroom will hit the road to visit more than 12,000 North Queensland students.
The new Life Education mobile van was officially launched at St Joseph’s Catholic School on The Strand last week with well-known mascot Healthy Harold in attendance to mark the occasion.
Life Education CEO Michael Fawsitt said the new Healthy Harold van was a unique educational experience for students that was “fun, memorable and empowering”.
“The engaging audiovisual component of our modules, 3D technology, Healthy Harold and the popular sparkling stars on the ceiling, are all facets of our program that leave a big impression on children,” he said. “It really is a great long-term investment which will enable the Life Education program to continue to serve the Townsville region for decades to come.”
Life Education Townsville committee president Mark Purvis said the new mobile classroom would reach more than 50 primary schools in the Townsville region to teach students about health and safety.
“The old van had maintenance issues and it was getting difficult to arrange towing on a regular basis,” he said.
“With this new RV-style vehicle, our educator Tim can simply get behind the wheel and drive the mobile learning centre to the school. It also means we can take the program to schools in more remote areas such as Charters Towers.”View Article (subscriber)
20 September 2019 – ABC Radio
Two hundred additional learning sessions for children and pre-schoolers will be added in the North West thanks to a funding boost for Life Education Queensland.
Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt said Centacare North Queensland have allocated a $93,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Communities for Children program to help out 4000 local school kids.
“Thanks to Centacare identifying Life Education as a key community partner, it provides us with exciting scope to grow our program in the north west of the state,” Mr Fawsitt said.Read full article
With so much focus on the harms associated with alcohol and illicit drugs, it’s easy to forget that there’s a drug that continues to kill far more Australians each year than any other. Yes, for all the success we’ve achieved in reducing smoking rates in Australia, its estimated that roughly 18,800 Australians are dying prematurely from tobacco-related diseases each year. According to the World Health Organisation, smoking kills more than seven million people on the planet.
On World No Smoking Day, we can say that Australia has, in many ways, led the way in our approach to reducing smoking rates. But there are warning signs that after decades of success, the decline in smoking has stalled, with an estimated 2.4 million Australians still smoking.Read full article
A HEALTH education service that regularly visits local schools has supported a junk food advertising ban, urging parents to make healthy choices for their child’s lunchbox as term two begins.
Life Education Queensland – the organisation behind well-known health mascot Healthy Harold – has applauded the state government’s move to ban junk food advertising on publicly-owned sites.
The ban, announced on Sunday, will see advertisements for foods deemed unhealthy phased out at government-owned outdoor advertising spaces including billboards and public transport.
Foods will be ruled in or out based on their salt, sugar and fat content, Health Minister Steven Miles said.
Head of Life Education Queensland Michael Fawsitt said one quarter of Queensland children were overweight or obese and the growth of junk food advertising should be a concern to the whole community.Read Full Article
IT’S been 40 years since the late Ted Noffs founded Life Education in a bid to break the cycle of youth drug abuse.
Last year, almost a quarter of a million Queensland students in 850 schools received important health information, with the help of the organisation’s mascot, Healthy Harold.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has paid tribute to Life Education Queensland’s remarkable work in promoting children’s health and wellbeing at a celebration event marking 40 years of the charity at Queensland Parliament.
“The recent deaths of several young Australians who took drugs at music festivals are tragic reminders of the dangers that are out there, but it’s reassuring for parents that Life Education is out there too, going from school to school, mobile classrooms, talking to kids about staying safe around drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, bullying, as well as eating well and keeping active,” Ms Palaszczuk said.Read Full Artcile
It’s time to put opinions and prejudices aside and actually have a proper, well-structured trial to gauge whether pill testing at festivals actually does provide any benefit to reducing the harms of illegal drugs.
There is a rush to judgment in some quarters which is understandable because this is an emotional issue, no doubt about it. The effects of illegal drugs can be devastating, and the recent deaths of two young Australians has put the issue of pill testing back into the spotlight. As the CEO of a charity dedicated to educating young people about the harms of both legal and illegal drugs, and as the parent of two young Australians; one at University and the other having just completed High School, I share the same concerns as millions of Aussie parents. The safety of our young people is paramount.
Which is why, rather than trying to shut down debate on contentious issues like pill testing, we need to better understand the approach and evaluate whether it could, in fact, save lives.
Noosa News – 7 November 2018
OK, let’s talk about the giraffe in the room…
Healthy Harold, the giraffe synonymous with the Life Education van and program recently made his annual visit to Tewantin State School.
Life Education began 39 years ago and provides school children with health and drug education, helping more than 700,000 young Australians make healthy and safe choices each year. It teaches children ways to keep their bodies healthy and to equip them with the skills to make appropriate choices and a way of learning to stay secure in potentially unsafe situations.
The program is now seen as an essential component of every child’s education.Read More
North West Star – 18 April 2018
With a recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare survey showing a higher number of Indigenous Australians using illicit drugs and exhibiting higher levels of alcohol intake than their non-Indigenous counterparts, Sergeant Melissa Gilbert from Doomadgee in Queensland’s Gulf region, has decided to enlist the help of local leading health education provider Life Education Queensland, to combat the threat of drugs and alcohol amongst the youth in her local community.Read More