At Life Education Queensland, we strongly believe every child should have access to vital education about health, safety and wellbeing, regardless of their background or where they live.
According to the Chief Health Officer’s The health of Queenslanders 2018 Report, “chronic diseases caused 64% of total burden for Indigenous Australians, and accounted for 70% of the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. More than one-third of the burden of disease in Indigenous Australians could have been prevented through modifiable risk factors.”
That’s why taking Life Education Queensland’s health education program to some of the most remote regions in the state is vital – so that we can reach those who need our program the most.
It’s why we keep returning to remote Indigenous communities like Doomadgee in north-west Queensland year after year.
Recently, two of our most experienced educators Sue and Brad took Life Education to Doomadgee State School.
Over three days, Brad and Sue, with the help of Healthy Harold, delivered the program to students from kindy to Year 6, and the response from local teachers and students was enthusiastic. Children from Prep to Year 2 learned about healthy foods, taking care of the body and keeping safe, while Year 3 and 4 students eagerly explored how the human body works and how to care for their lungs, heart, digestive system and brain.
In some remote communities, there are complex issues due to social and health inequities, so teachers and health providers are addressing these issues on a regular basis.
Senior educator Sue said visiting the remote community of Doomadgee – with a population of only 1400 people – was an experience like no other.
“By taking the Life Education program to a remote area like Doomadgee, we are able to provide support to the services that are on the ground all year round and reinforce positive messages about healthy food and looking after the body.
“Students did an awesome job designing healthy meals like goanna and carrots, and healthy snacks like sandwiches and apples.
“Year 5 and 6 students looked at the impact of drugs on the body and identified safe people in the community. Healthy Harold was a big hit, gaining plenty of attention from students!”
The educators also had the chance to meet the school’s resident horses and see young students enjoying the freshwater Nicholson River after recent heavy rain.
Educator Brad has now visited the Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire three times to deliver the program.
“The community is remote: there’s only one small food store, mail arrives only twice a week, and getting there is quite a challenge, so being able to reach children and reinforce important messages about tobacco, alcohol, drugs and nutrition is important,” Brad said.
Teachers at Doomadgee State School said the visit will be remembered for a long time.
Teacher Liz said:
"Our kids thoroughly enjoyed their time with the Life Education Queensland team. It really was an engaging hour and a fabulous opportunity for students to learn about health and wellbeing in a multi-sensory way. Hopefully, you are able to visit again soon."
Teacher Bec agreed:
"The kids could not stop talking about their experience throughout the day and even during the week. They were so amazed at what the organs looked like! We also really liked the interactive group activity to consolidate their knowledge. We could see the kids enjoyed looking at the types of food needed for a healthy meal and to create their own meals. We believe you run a wonderful workshop that is vital to the students’ education about their body and how to live a healthy life. We know the kids would absolutely love to have Harold visit Doomadgee again next year, and for many years after. From all of us in Year 4, thank you very much and we hope to see you all when you return!"