Thursday, 10 Dec 2020

Message from our NSW CEO

2020 challenged us in ways we could never have imagined.

Our children and young people have been especially vulnerable to the strain of this year’s events. They are exposed to a 24-hour news cycle overflowing with negative headlines. They intuitively pick up on our worries, as parents struggle financially and emotionally through the pandemic.

Alarmingly, statistics recently released in a report into mental health by the Productivity Commission found that one in seven school-aged children has been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Early intervention is key to addressing these issues. The report into mental health recommends that schools and universities are a focus of early intervention mental health care.

This is backed by the fact that half of all the mental health conditions we experience as at some point in our lives will have started by age 14.

While it has been a tough year, 2020 has given us the opportunity to really highlight what is important in life.

When the initial restrictions were put in place, the value of family and community connections became clear. Our frontline health and emergency workers were tireless in their support to communities during these unprecedented times.

Teachers and child care specialists went above and beyond to help families and children throughout school closures.

It is vital that we reflect upon the positive learnings and impacts that we have seen over the course of the year.

When COVID began, our organisation was contacted by many businesses, clubs, councils and individuals who were keen to lend a hand to make sure kids did not miss out on vital health education at a time when they needed it the most. Read the support we received from clubs and councils here.

It was with this assistance that we were able to launch our online and virtual program, to support schools and families when we couldn’t be there face-to-face.

As we close out the year, now more than ever it is critical that we support our children to look after their physical, social and emotional wellbeing, especially over the festive period as they spend more time at home. Here are some tips to help your children through stressful times.

Thank you for being a part of a fantastic, yet challenging year at Life Education. Along with our new online and virtual capabilities, we have launched an outdoor COVID-safe pop-up classroom, so we can continue to teach kids no matter how far or remote.

We have reached more children through the inclusion of Auslan proficiency in our online program and the installation of more wheelchair lifts into our vans. We have supported drought and bushfire-affected communities to help kids bounce back after tough times.

Importantly, we have supported our educators and staff with mental health and wellbeing initiatives, so they can continue to do their important work, helping to raise the next generation of healthy young Australians.

If you know someone doing it tough this festive season, I encourage you to reach out to them and offer some support.  Just knowing people care makes a huge difference.

Kind Regards,

Jonathon Peatfield

Life Education NSW/ACT CEO

  • Jonathon Peatfield

    CEO Life Education NSW