Life Education Queensland has marked 40 years of its health promotion work with children at a stellar celebration event at Queensland Parliament attended by the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, government ministers, members of parliament from all sides of politics, supporters, Life Education board members and staff.
The premier paid tribute to Life Education’s four decades of work empowering young people to make safe and healthy choices, saying generations of Queenslanders had been inspired to live their lives to their full potential thanks to the inspiring lessons learned in mobile classrooms in schools across the state.
Life Education CEO Michael Fawsitt said the charity’s impact in Queensland was the strongest it had ever been, with more than 200,000 children and young people now accessing the program even in the most remote parts of Queensland.
Dozens of MPs were eager to have their photo taken with Life Education mascot Healthy Harold and help celebrate Life Education’s work in educating kids about drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, bullying, cybersafety, eating well and keeping active.
Mr Fawsitt and co-patrons, the Honourable Rob Borbidge AO and the Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham MP, said the bipartisan support of previous and current governments had enabled Life Education to achieve its vision, with more than 1.5 million Queensland students and six million Australian children accessing the health and wellbeing program and its vital messages.
Mr Borbidge said: “We will never know how many lives have been saved. We will never know how many lives have been changed as a direct consequence of the work carried out by Life Education, not just in the cities, but in regional and remote communities right across Australia and particularly here in Queensland.”
Dr Lynham said primary health prevention played a vital role in minimising risk-related harm. “Children remember these lessons for the whole of their lives. You remember when Healthy Harold visited your school. You remember those lessons and how important this is. It’s effective, it works and that is why I have supported Life Education over many years.”
With childhood obesity on the rise – and growing concerns about the harms of drugs and alcohol, along with bullying, cybersafety and mental health issues – Life Education’s work is more relevant than ever.
“The area of resilience and respectful relationships is a growing focus for Life Education, in addition to our focus on tackling obesity, smoking and the harms of alcohol and illicit drugs,” Mr Fawsitt said.
“Forty years is an incredible milestone. There is so much to celebrate in terms of Life Education’s impact, but there is still so much work to be done and we are so grateful for the support of government, our donors and supporters.”