(Pictured above from left: Tom Ray, Anne McMaster, Healthy Harold, Savannah Ray and Rhonda Cadzow).
Life Education Queensland turned 30 last week, and it was an emotional occasion!
Among more than 100 guests to the Life Education Centre at Broadbeach, were the sons and daughters of our Queensland founders, Ron McMaster and Brian Ray.
It was a very special moment for me to meet them, and for them to return to the Centre that their fathers created all those years ago. To hear their stories of how Ron and Brian mobilised the local community to build the Life Education Centre in 1987 was truly inspiring. It is a remarkable example of perseverance and persistence. So passionate were Ron and Brain about the need for drug and health education for our kids, that they raised $1.8 million from corporations, small businesses and individuals to bring the great work started by Ted Noffs in Sydney, to the children of Queensland.
But they created much more than a building - they left a legacy. Today that legacy has grown to a team of health educators working daily in cities, towns and small communities across the state, to support more than 200,000 Queensland children to live a safe and healthy life.
Sadly, Ron and Brian passed away many years ago. And Life Education Australia’s founder, Ted Noffs, has also long since left us. In fact, Ted suffered a major stroke the year that the Life Education Centre in Broadbeach was built and was too ill to attend the launch in 1987.
Yet, their passion is sustained today, more than ever before, and I just wanted to write to you and thank you for your support - which enables us to continue their important work. In particular, Tom, Jack and Savannah (Brian Ray’s sons and daughter), and Rhonda and Anne (Ron McMaster’s daughters) have asked me to pass on their thanks and appreciation for you being part of our Hands Up Now community.
More than 80% of the deaths of young Australians under the age of 25 are preventable. Building the resilience of our children and young people to overcome the challenges of the world around them is not only the responsibility of parents, it’s the duty of the entire community. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
We have so much more work to do. With your help, we can save lives.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Chief Executive Officer, Life Education Queensland