With a recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare survey showing a higher number of Indigenous Australians using illicit drugs and exhibiting higher levels of alcohol intake than their non-Indigenous counterparts, Sergeant Melissa Gilbert from Doomadgee in Queensland’s Gulf region, has decided to enlist the help of local leading health education provider Life Education Queensland, to combat the threat of drugs and alcohol amongst the youth in her local community.
“The children and young people in the Doomadgee area are at a high risk of engaging in drug and alcohol use,” says Sergeant Gilbert, Branch Manager of the PCYC Doomadgee.
The children and young people in the Doomadgee area are at a high risk of engaging in drug and alcohol use.Sergeant Gilbert, Branch Manager of the PCYC Doomadgee.
“Fortunately we were able to secure financial support from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and PCYC Queensland’s Indigenous Program, and I was eager to give these kids the opportunity to gain knowledge about the negative impacts of drugs and alcohol, as well as the skills to make informed choices about their actions.”
PCYC Queensland is a trusted charitable not-for- profit supporting more than 75,000 members across 54 branches from Cape York to the Gold Coast.
With fond memories of Life Education and Healthy Harold herself, Sergeant Gilbert was keen for her students to attend a session at the Life Education Centre located in Broadbeach, to empower them to make safer and healthier choices about drugs and alcohol.
“Growing up on the Gold Coast I have very clear memories of attending Life Education and meeting Healthy Harold,” says Sergeant Gilbert.
“I am excited for these kids to have the opportunity to experience the Life Education program for themselves and benefit from the knowledge they receive.”
The students, aged between 12 and 17 years are attending a customised session exploring the decision-making process, where they will examine choices, consequences, responsibility, facts and influences in relation to drugs and alcohol.
Based on the ‘Decisions’ module - one of Life Education’s suite of interactive health and safety programs, which are delivered to more than 200,000 young Queenslanders each year – the students from PCYC Doomadgee will also learn what a drug is and how drugs are classified; as well as the effects of drugs on the body and strategies and skills to keep themselves safe.
Opened in 1987, The Life Education Centre, is a specially designed facility to provide vital health, drug and wellbeing education to young Australians.
Despite having 20 mobile learning centres on the road across Queensland, Michael Fawsitt, CEO of Life Education Queensland, says the centre at Broadbeach remains an important education and community facility.
“Having students learning in our purpose built education centre is always a wonderful experience,” says Mr Fawsitt.
“The visit from the students at PCYC Doomadgee demonstrates how our programs and this facility in particular remains an important community resource, not only for the Gold Coast but for young people across Queensland.”
In addition to their Life Education session, the students are looking forward to soaking up some of the Commonwealth Games atmosphere and experiencing Queensland’s famous beaches.
PCYC Queensland branches are a vital and key point of engagement for young people who are at risk, disadvantaged or disengaged. Together with Life Education Queensland we are building safer, healthier communities through youth development.