On 17 August at St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School, Life Education Queensland celebrated 25 years since we, and our iconic mascot Healthy Harold, began delivering vital health and drug education to children in the Ferny Grove area.
Throughout much of that time, the Life Education van and Educator have been a regular feature at St Andrew’s, supporting the school to empower its students with the knowledge and the skills to live a safer, healthier life.
More recently, the State Government has become a financial supporter of the program, and Ferny Grove MP Mark Furner was on hand at the school to join in the celebration.
Life Education Queensland CEO, Michael Fawsitt, acknowledged the ongoing support of both St Andrew’s School and the Queensland Government, by presenting plaques of appreciation to Principal John Leyden and Mr Furner.
“Life Education began in Queensland in 1987 and started working with local schools in 1990.” said Mr Fawsitt. ‘Since then, generations of students have benefited from this positive preventative program, and this year alone our program will reach more than 160,000 Queensland children. We couldn’t do this without the support of the State Government, the community, and local schools like St Andrew’s.”
Mr Fawsitt commented that only a few years before, the health education charity had been struggling and unable to meet the demand for its services.
“The injection of funds through Queensland Health, along with some new fundraising initiatives, is helping to make sure that our service is around for many more years to come. The State Government’s support is an important investment in the future health and wellbeing of our kids.”
Ferny Grove MP Mark Furner said that there was nothing more important than children’s health and safety, and the support for the Life Education program was one example of the government’s commitment to preventative health.
“All schools should have access to programs like this,” said Mr Furner. “Teaching kids the importance of good nutrition and physical activity, as well as building their resilience to peer and social pressures around smoking, alcohol and drugs, is a vital strategy to help build safer, healthier communities in the future.”
School Principal John Leyden said that the Life Education program has been an integral part of the school’s focus on health and wellbeing for the eight years that he has been there, and believes it continues to be very relevant to the needs of teachers and students.
“We really value the program and hope that our partnership with Life Education remains long into the future,” he said.
In the picture (from left to right): Ferny Grove MP Mark Furner, Life Education's mascot Healthy Harold the giraffe and Life Education Queensland CEO Michael Fawsitt, with students from St Andrew’s.