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Young Rylann to lace up the running shoes to help stamp out bullying

15 April 2021

The Courier Mail, Cairns Post, Townsville Bulletin, The Chronicle and News Mail

Young Rylann to lace up the running shoes to help stamp out bullying

Bundaberg youngster Rylann Hoopert, 8, is set for the Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Hundred.

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Hundred Rylann

Bundaberg’s Rylann Hoopert is a youngster on a mission to spread the message that kindness is cool, and bullying is not on.

The eight-year-old is lacing up his runners to take part in Life Education Queensland’s new fundraising challenge – the Healthy Harold Hundred to help stamp out bullying.

The event, open to Queenslanders of all ages, challenges participants to walk, run or ride 100 kilometres in 20 days, from between May 5 and 24 to raise important funds for Life Education Queensland’s work in schools including the charity’s respectful relationships programs.

Rylann is one of almost 1000 Queenslanders who have already signed up for the challenge and he’s excited to be making a difference.

“One thing I do not like is people bullying,” he said.

“I want people to always be thinking about kindness and being kind towards others.

“I’m hoping that by participating in this event, it will just show people how much I really care about putting an end to all types of bullying.”

Rylann, a grade three student at Kalkie State School, plans to clock his 100 kilometres by running every afternoon after school, taking walks and scooter rides with his family, and even running during his school lunch breaks.

He has already topped his fundraising goal, and mum Sky said he’s aiming to go even higher during the Healthy Harold Hundred challenge.

“Everyone is just so proud of him, and very supportive,” Sky said.

“I’ve spoken to Rylann a lot about how things were when I was a child going to school, and how so many of my friends and family members experienced some type of bullying.

“I’m really proud of him and support that he wants to help make a change for his generation and for everyone that he’s going to school with.”

Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt praised Rylann’s efforts, saying the response to the Healthy Harold Hundred campaign had been amazing.

“It’s terrific to see Rylann’s commitment and passion to the cause and his desire to promote kindness,” Mr Fawsitt said.

“We’re urging Queenslanders to get behind the Healthy Harold Hundred campaign to help stamp out bullying and violence in our community.

“At Life Education, we’re working with schools to help educate and empower our next generation of young people to build and maintain positive healthy and respectful relationships. The challenge is a great way for parents and their children to get physically active and make a difference in the lives of Queensland children.”

For motivated young Rylann, the start of the Healthy Harold Hundred cannot come soon enough.

“I really want to be a good role model. It’s great to know that Healthy Harold and Life Education can visit more schools thanks to the fundraising, and I think it would be great if other people sign up to take part in the Healthy Harold Hundred too,” he said.

Registration for Life Education Queensland’s Healthy Harold Hundred event is free.

To find out more about the cause click here.

Kate and Lily lace up for the Healthy Harold Hundred

26 March 2021

The Bribie Islander

Kate and Lily lace up for the Healthy Harold Hundred

Bribie Island mother and daughter Kate Maroulis and Lily Guy are lacing up their runners to take part in Life Education Queensland’s new fundraising challenge – the Healthy Harold Hundred to help stamp out bullying.

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Hundred

The state-wide event running this May urges Queenslanders to walk, run or ride their way to 100 kilometres in 20 days – that’s 5ks a day.

All funds raised will support the vital work of Life Education Queensland in travelling to schools in all corners of the state to teach respect, empathy, resilience and healthy relationships. These skills help to prevent bullying as kids are growing up, and help to break the cycle of future violence.

With five-year-old daughter Lily starting Prep at St Michael’s College, Caboolture this year, Kate says she strongly supports the anti-bullying message in schools.

“I really hope she doesn’t have to experience bullying. From what I see on social media, there are so many parents talking about bullying at various schools, but thankfully Lily’s school takes a strong stance against bullying,” Kate said.

“I was alarmed to read on the Healthy Harold Hundred website that children who bully others are more likely to abuse their partners later in life. We have to do all we can in schools to break that cycle.”

Kate already does a six-kilometre run every morning and has set an ambitious target of 200 kilometres for her Healthy Harold Hundred challenge with daughter Lily planning to clock up her own K’s by walking the family’s Labrador Sooty after school.

“I remember Healthy Harold and the Life Education experience from when I was at school and it was a wonderful experience,” Kate said.

“I’m excited to be involved in the challenge and Lily is looking forward to taking part as well. She told her teacher, ‘I’m going to be doing a lot of walking to get rid of all the bullies in all the schools!’”

Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt said the initial response to the new Healthy Harold Hundred campaign had been phenomenal.

“It’s wonderful to see Kate and Lily showing their support by registering for the Healthy Harold Hundred challenge,” Mr Fawsitt said.

“Whether you are a family, individual, school or workplace group, there are so many good reasons to take part. Aside from participants getting fitter, funds raised throughout the campaign will directly support Life Education Queensland’s programs that focus on bullying and relationships.”

“These programs are vital because one in four Aussie kids is affected by bullying, one in five children experiences cyberbullying, and more than a million children are affected by domestic violence, so it’s imperative that we reinforce the concept of healthy respectful relationships throughout a child’s entire schooling.”

It’s a message that Kate and Lily are already role-modelling in their local community.

“I’ve always spoken to Lily about being respectful and kind. The most important thing in life is to be kind every day,” Kate says.

“When I pick Lily up from school, I ask her, ‘What’s the kindest thing you did for someone today?’”

To register for Life Education Queensland’s Healthy Harold Hundred and to find out more about the cause go to

ABC Radio Brisbane interview

25 February 2021

ABC Radio Brisbane

ABC Radio Brisbane host, Rebecca Levingston, interviewed Life Education Queensland CEO, Michael Fawsitt, discussing topics including the importance of teaching children about healthy respectful relationships from a young age.

The discuss in further detail how Life Education Queensland plays a significant role in embedding and reinforcing these concepts through a child’s entire schooling. Listen to the full interview below.

Healthy Harold Returns to Schools

12 February 2021

Cairns Post

Life Education Queensland Cairns Post Feb 2021

'Healthy Harold' Back in Schools

11 February 2021

9 News Gold Coast

Healthy Harold makes return to class after year-long hiatus

10 February 2021

7 News Cairns

Healthy Harold's Back to School

10 February 2021

9 News Far North Queensland

Back on board the mobile learning centres

10 February 2021

WIN News Cairns

School grant to feed Coast bush tucker habitat

25 December 2020

Sunshine Coast Daily

Life Education Sunshine Coast Daily

More than 80 students from Prep to Year 8 will grow a new bush tucker habitat at Peregian Beach College after the school won a coveted grant.

The school was one of only three in Queensland awarded the $1000 Life Education and Yates Growing Good Gardens Grant – their successful application chosen from almost 1000 entries across Australia.

The grants program encourages young people to get out into the garden to grow healthy food and other plants and learn healthy habits.

Life Education Sunshine Coast Daily 1

Peregian Beach College students Noah Murray, Year 7, Olivia Tebbutt, Year 2 and Finn Beutel, Year 4 get ready for their bush tucker garden. Picture: Iain Curry

Peregian Beach College impressed the judges with their entry, which included plans for a large garden featuring a range of bird-attracting Australian natives and bush tucker plants such as Midyim Berry, Lemon Scented Myrtle, Currant Bush, Finger Lime and Beach Cherry.

A registered Land for Wildlife property, the school offers students a wildlife gardening elective which provides valuable experience in all aspects of gardening including – planting, fertilising, mulching, watering and weeding.

Passionate environmental educator and college teacher Jenny du Toit said she was excited about the many benefits of the new planting project, to begin next year.

Life Education Sunshine Coast Daily 2

Peregian Beach College students Noah Murray, Year 7, Olivia Tebbutt, Year 2 and Finn Beutel, Year 4. Picture: Iain Curry

“Receiving this grant is what makes it possible for us to continue our wildlife gardening elective next year and beyond,” Ms du Toit said.

“Learning about ‘bush tucker’ generates an understanding of Aboriginal culture. Students also learn about habitat creation and gain an appreciation for our local environment and diversity of bird life.

“With children from Prep to Year 8 involved, our garden program builds positive relationships by fostering friendships and connections between year levels, giving the older students the opportunity to support and mentor younger ones. It’s also a great form of exercise, encouraging children to engage in physical activities outdoors.”

Life Education Sunshine Coast Daily 3

Peregian Beach College teacher Jenny du Toit, Finn Beutel, Year 4, Olivia Tebbutt, Year 2, Noah Murray, Year 7 and Life Education Queensland educator Niki Andrinopoulos. Picture: Iain Curry

Life Education Queensland chief executive Michael Fawsitt congratulated the school on securing the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens grant.

“The Yates gardens grants enable us to extend the Life Education experience from the classroom to the garden, reinforcing important messages from our program about the value of physical activity, positive relationships and nutrition,” Mr Fawsitt said.

“Schools often tell us they could not provide opportunities like this without additional funds, so it’s fantastic to be able to help Peregian Beach College extend their wildlife gardening elective to benefit students for many years to come and further enhance the school’s natural environment.”

Dunwich State School and Highlands Christian College were the two other Queensland schools to receive a $1000 Life Education and Yates Growing Good Gardens Grant.

Tracey Challenor is the PR and media manager at Life Education Queensland.

Dunwich State School students to pitch in to grow new veggie gardens after school gets $1000 grant

9 December 2020

Redland City Bulletin

PRIMARY students on North Stradbroke Island will learn all about propagating plants and harvesting veggies when they pitch in to build and grow new vegetable gardens at Dunwich State School.

The school won a grant of $1000 through the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens Grants Program, and was one of only three schools in Queensland to be selected.

Their application chosen from almost 1000 entries across Australia.Dunwich State School Budding Green Thumb Hannah Rattray Web

The grants program encourages young people to get out into the garden to grow healthy food and other plants and learn healthy habits.

Dunwich State School impressed the judges with their entry, which outlined plans for several new vegetable gardens designed to teach children about propagating, harvesting and seed gathering, while also providing healthy produce for the local community.

Acting school principal Tammy Burnett said the gardens grant would be invaluable for students from Prep to Year 6, with the project beginning in 2021.

“As well as building the garden beds, the students will learn which vegetables grow best in the four seasons and the best time to harvest and will take turns doing different garden jobs such as watering, weeding, fertilising and mulching,” Ms Burnett said.

“We are a culturally significant school, and this program helps teach the community how to grow their own food and eat healthy.”

The students already produce an impressive garden crop as part of their school greenhouse and EcoMarine Program, led by school grounds officer Steven Saunders, who teaches children about sustainable planting, bush tucker gardens and propagation.

“As well as potting native and exotic plants for the school gardens, we sell vegetables to the island community, and students also pick veggies and take them home to their families,” Mr Saunders said.

“We also use vegetables from the gardens to make stir-fries, teaching students how to cook healthy, tasty foods.”

Life Education Queensland chief executive Michael Fawsitt congratulated the school on securing the Yates and Life Education Growing Good Gardens grant.

“The Yates gardens grants enable us to extend the Life Education experience from the classroom to the garden, reinforcing important messages from our program about the value of physical activity, positive relationships and nutrition,” Mr Fawsitt said.

“Schools often tell us they could not provide opportunities like this without additional funds, so it’s fantastic to be able to help Dunwich State School extend their vegetable garden program and give students vital experience in managing a sustainable planting project.”

Peregian Beach College and Highlands Christian College were the two other Queensland schools to receive a $1000 Life Education and Yates Growing Good Gardens Grant.

Full story

School Students Get Health Boost Thanks To Grant

23 October 2020

Life Education Queensland Podcast Series Resilience Justin CoulsonBy Shane Jones – Bundaberg Today

Life Education Queensland says if it wasn’t for community grants, it would struggle to get out to regional areas.

The primary school program, which has been delivered to classrooms through its van and the famous Harold the Giraffe for the past 30 years, will visit 14 schools in the Bundaberg area over the next few weeks.

It follows a $6000 grant from the Gin Gin Community Bank.

This has allowed state schools including Gin Gin, Wallaville, Booyal Central, Maroondan, McIlwraith, Bullyard, Mount Perry, Biggenden, Coalstoun Lakes, Childers, Cordalba, Dallarnil, Givelda, and St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Childers, to be involved.

“This ensures that every student gets a vital health education from Gin Gin to Wallaville to Childers,” Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt said.

“Support from organisations is so important.

“If we are not reaching those in the regional areas, they are often the ones most in need.”

Mr Fawsitt explained that Life Education Queensland received funding from Queensland Health, with parents also providing some funds to get the program out to schools.

Now it travels to more than 800 preschools and primary schools with additional support from organisations.

“That is delivering a holistic health education program,” Mr Fawsitt said.

“It is something that generations of Queensland children have done.”

He said that over the past few years the program had changed to focus more on mental health and the challenges that social media and online provided.

It’s balanced with a focus on physical health as well.

“We are finding the two are closely linked,” he said.

“Physical health and getting that right remains positive to a mental health balance.”

Image: Educator Ellen Patane with Gin Gin Prep student Jake, Year 6 students and captains Sean and Abbey, and Prep Jasmine, Life Education CEO Michael Fawsitt, Susan Bengtson from Gin Gin Community Bank and Gin Gin State School principal Adam Fritz.

Life Education CEO Michael Fawsitt Interview with ABC Wide Bay

Hugh Van Cuylenburg Talks Resilience, Mental Health and More With Life Education Queensland

7 August 2020 – PakMag

Life Education Queensland Podcast Series Resilience Justin CoulsonLooking for a new podcast to keep yourself entertained? Wanting to learn more or gain support on mental health? Well now you can listen, learn and grow all at the same time. The popular charity Life Education Queensland is featuring Hugh van Cuylenburg, the creator of The Resilience Project and host of the popular podcast The Imperfects, on their own Life Education podcast.

The former teacher shares his wisdom on resilience, positive mental health, tools for greater happiness and more.

Listen to the podcast now!

Full Story

Healthy Harold in 3-D!


6 August 2020 – Blank Gold Coast

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Tafe Queensland Students Computer ScreenJust say ‘Healthy Harold’ and most Australians who went to primary school during the last four decades will know you are talking about the country’s most loveable giraffe.

Over its 40-year history, Life Education along with their iconic mascot Healthy Harold has been Australia’s largest provider of specialised health and safety education to schoolaged children.

And now, Life Education has joined forces with TAFE Queensland to bring Harold to the screen via 3D animation thanks to screen and media students from the Coomera creative campus.

As part of their final assessment, eight screen and media students majoring in interactive digital media spent countless hours modelling Harold into a delightful 3D animation.

Full Story

Healthy Harold transformed into 3D animation

5 August 2020 – 9 Gold Coast News

TAFE students give Healthy Harold a makeover

5 August 2020 – 7 News Gold Coast

Life Education Queensland Launches New Online Platform

4 June 2020 – Pakmag

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.

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Life Education and Eat Up deliver food to North Queensland kids

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Eat Up Volunteering (2) (1) (1) (1)

Donna Walker volunteering with Eat Up.

3 June 2020 – Queensland Country Life

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.

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Teaching character to many generations

16 May 2020 – Gold Coast Bulletin

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Online Learning Gold Coast Bulletin 16 May 2020

Giving back to communities in crisis

15 May 2020 – Interview with Marnie and Campo on River 94.9 on 15 May 2020.

Read transcript

Educators offer helping hand during tough times

14 May 2020 – Queensland Times

Lifeeducation Queensland Coronavirus Covid 19 Community Spirit Ipswich Qt Educators Offer Helping Hand During Tough Times

Healthy Harold comes to Mackay homes

6 May 2020 – Daily Mercury

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Daily Mercury Life Education At Home

Healthy Harold's home visits

29 April 2020 – 7 News Gold Coast

Stopping bullying requires everyone to play a part

18 March 2020 – Courier Mail

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Michael Fawsitt Bullying Courier Mail March 2020

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Students get an A for attitude at Life Education

17 March 2020 – The Observer

Relate, Respect, Connect Gladstone Observer 17 March 2020

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Biggest worry about kids is cybersafety, survey of 2526 parents finds

8 February 2020 – Redland City Bulletin

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.

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Cybersafety Concerns

Source: Redland City Bulletin.

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.


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Healthy Harold helps students be winners

29 January 2020 – Gold Coast Sun

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Helps Students Be Winners Gold Coast Bulletin


Gold Coast one of three cities to launch preschool program tackling childhood obesity

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.

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Early Learning Centre Nutrition Educator And Child In Garden

Bodhi Brale and educator Sue Orsmond.

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.

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Early Learning Nutrition Children In Playground

Healthy Harold with Rhook Damiels, Kasper Darrington and Elsa Sung.

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.

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Life Education Queensland launches new early learning nutrition program

28 November 2019 – 7 News Gold Coast

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Van Early Learning Nutrition Program 7 News Gold Coast


9 Gold Coast News

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Early Learning Nutrition Program 9 Gold Coast News


School garden simply 'zootastic'

7 November 2019 – Westside News

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Garden Grants Children

Healthy Harold launches new educational van

30 October 2019 – Townsville Bulletin

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

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold New Van Launch Townsville With Children And Healthy Harold

St Joseph’s the Strand students Kiera Wallace, 11, Estella Smith, 10, and Joseph Smith, 9, pictured with Healthy Harold in front of the new Life Education van. Picture: Shae Beplate.

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)

New Healthy Harold van for Townsville

28 October 2019 – WIN News Townsville

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Van New In Townsville

Helping Harold

20 September 2019 – WIN News Central Queensland

Life Education Queensland Helping Healthy Harold Rainey Story Win News Central Queensland









Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Van Wheelchair Accessible Central Queensland

Rainey's Story

20 September 2019 – ABC Radio

A big green thumbs up

30 September 2019 – The Tableander

The Tablelander Yates And Healthy Eats Sept 2019 Web

Life Education Funding Boost - ABC Interview with Michael Fawsitt

25 July 2019 – ABC Mt Isa North West

Funding partnership extends Life Education Queensland program

23 July 2019 – The North West Star

Life Education Queensland Healthy Harold Van In Mt Isa With Kids

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.

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Healthy Harold helped kids cope

19 July 2019 – Townsville Bulletin

Townsville Bulletin Healthy Harold Helped Kids Cope Mental Health Guide 19 July 2019

Kids learn how to eat healthily

28 June Kids Learn How To Eat Healthily Daily Mercury

Opinion: Smoking still harming millions as older Australians struggle to kick the habit

Opinion – by Michael Fawsitt, CEO Life Education Queensland

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.

This article appeared in the Courier Mail, 30 May 2019.

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Life Education Queensland throws support behind state government junk food advertising bans

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.

Article published by the Redland City Bulletin on 23 April 2019.

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Healthy Harold turns 40!

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.

This article appeared in the Morning Bulletin on 3 April 2019.

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Opinion: The evidence of pill testing should speak for itself

Opinion – by Michael Fawsitt, CEO Life Education Queensland

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.

This article was published in the Brisbane Times on 10 January 2019.

Healthy Harold makes a visit

Noosa News – 7 November 2018

OK, let’s talk about the giraffe in the room…

Cooloola Noosa

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.

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Remote communities combat drug and alcohol threat

North West Star – 18 April 2018

Melissa North

R0 265 5184 3191 W1200 H678 FmaxWith 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.

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