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Marshall backs Life Education with $1.2 million pledge

A Marshall Liberal Government will back non-government organisation Life Education with a $1.2 million funding injection to deliver healthy lifestyle and drug prevention education programs to more than a hundred thousand children across South Australia over the next three years.

This partnership is an important part of Steven Marshall's broad anti-drugs policy measures announced recently.

Life Education, known especially for its iconic mascot Healthy Harold the giraffe, has been delivering evidence-based healthy living and anti-substance abuse programs in South Australian schools for thirty years – last year reaching 16,132 students in SA. These programs are currently funded by a combination of donations and fee-for-service.

“Life Education is a deeply respected and well-loved institution right across Australia. Many people remember the positive lifestyle messages delivered by Healthy Harold and the Life Education caravan. More recently Life Education has played a critical role in working with the Federal Government's Ice taskforce in developing new drug prevention programs for schools,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“These programs are a critical part of our broader strategy to fight drugs across the board.

“I previously announced that we will work with police, non-government organisations and local community groups to ensure that effective, evidence-based healthy living and substance abuse prevention programs would be made available to schools across South Australia.

“Today I confirm that a Marshall Liberal Government will provide $1.2 million to Life Education to deliver free drug education programs to thousands of students in Years 6 to 10, as well as enabling them to widely expand the age-appropriate work they are already doing educating younger children about substance abuse, cyberbullying and healthy living.

“In particular Life Education has agreed to substantially increase the number of regional visits undertaken in the course of their operations. Drugs like Ice are ripping the hearts out of too many regional families and our policy priorities recognise that regions matter.”

Unlike NSW, Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, South Australia's government currently provides no funding to Life Education.

“This funding will enable Life Education to massively expand their offering to South Australian schools - growing their reach to more than a hundred thousand South Australian students,” said Mr Marshall.

“Their work will fit in with the work of other non-government organisations, local community groups, police and schools to ensure that we do everything we can to fight the scourge of drugs in our schools and in our communities.”