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Healthy Harold! With Sue Osmond

December 5, 2022 in In the Classroom, Pedagogy, Podcast - No Comments

Healthy Harold! With Sue Osmond

December 5, 2022 in In the Classroom, Pedagogy, Podcast - No Comments

Take a trip down memory lane with me!

This week I’m chatting with Sue Osmond, who is the Program Manager for Life Ed (QLD).

Find out the answers to your most burning questions:

1. Why a giraffe?

2. What was that body mannequin that had those light up sections?

3. What is the team up to these days, now that the van is a bit outdated and everything is turning digital and we have a push for respectful relationships education.

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Show Notes

Life Ed has different operations in each state, but you can find the overall website here, which has direct links to each individual state!


Emily: Hello everybody. This week there is no real story from the Staffroom. This week is driven purely by my own nostalgia, however you say that word. I saw a post on LinkedIn about Life Education Queensland and Healthy Harold and it just. Took me down this huge memory trip and I just went, you know what? I need to have those guys on the podcast. So I got in contact with Life Education Queensland and this week I am joined by the Education Manager, Sue Osmond. She was a classroom teacher and then she was a life education educator and then a media ambassador, and now she heads up their program delivery. So she is here to talk to us about Healthy Harold and Life Education. hope this brings back some great memories for you too.

Welcome Sue. How are you today?

Sue: I am wonderful. Thank you Emily.

Emily: It’s a bit hot up here in Queensland, isn’t it?

Sue: Yes, it sure is. Although I’ve got, staff who work all the way right up to far North Queensland, so I can’t really complain about the heat being in the southeast.

Emily: Yeah, that’s fair. And I imagine it’d be a far more humid up there, wouldn’t it?

Sue: Yes, I know no matter what time of year, it’s always pretty hot and out west as well. We go fairly out west and it’s pretty hot out that way too.

Emily: Yeah. All right. I was thinking we could just start today with a bit of your story cuz you’ve, you’ve come from the classroom, haven’t you? And then you sort of made your way into where you are now working with Life Ed. Is it, is it Life Ed or is it Life Education?

Sue: Well, we’re sort of known, say Life Ed or Healthy Herald, we tend to go by Life Ed Queensland these days. Yeah. So Life Ed, everyone knows who you mean.

Emily: perfect. All right, and so how, how did you get into Life ed? What’s your story?

Sue: Well, I suppose it goes back quite a while now, into when I first started teaching, which was right at the very start of probably 2000. As a young teacher, my parents were teachers and I did wanna be a teacher, but Try to think, no, no, I’ll go and do something different.

I don’t wanna be a teacher just cuz my parents are, or even though I didn’t, you know, I really wanted to always,

Emily: It tends to run in families, doesn’t it?

Sue: and even if you try and get away from it, yeah, you kind of end up back there. But I sort of always sort of had a natural inkling towards teaching. I did first of all though, do are sort of land in degree space and did like Australian studies and a lot of First Nations history and sociology and yeah.

And kind of thought I’d go more that path, you know, down towards social work or something like that. But I had my first child just after completing that sociology degree and so went, you know what? I’m actually gonna stick with the teaching and did my teaching. So I worked in the public sector and the private sector. Worked in learning support, curriculum coordination, um, teaching and learning, facilitating in middle school. And then, on and off had breaks. Cause I have four children. So after my fourth I was trying to decide what I was gonna do. , you know,

Emily: Keep teaching, not teaching.

Sue: Yeah, exactly, isn’t it? Well, cause I still have that love of, you know, of educating children and being around them and having those really important moments with them and

Emily: And the interactions And,

Sue: Yeah.

And it’s still so rewarding. And it was trying to find, well, how can I, how can I have that, but how can I also balance of family. And the other big thing too for me was that I feel like. More and more teaching was changing from what I started off doing.

Emily: We’ve Talked about that a few times on the podcast this year. It’s, yeah, things have been shifting and they don’t seem to stop shifting.

Sue: no, it’s a really common theme, isn’t it? That people feel like it’s, um, you know, almost that you’re not in control of, of your destiny in the classroom

Emily: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. Yeah.

Sue: Yeah, so I, I really loved when I had the freedom. You know, with my class, and I felt like going back to teaching, I wouldn’t be able to have that.

So I used to often have, year seven, so when it was still primary school or actually had year seven in a middle school. And I just loved that. And I had, I had the space, and the freedom, I guess to, to, to take them places when they were interested in an area, we’d go with it and we’d learn in that area.

And, and when they’d had enough and I could tell they needed movement, we’d go out and play bin cricket and, you know,

all these sorts of. And that’s what I loved about it. And I just felt like going back, I really felt like I wouldn’t be able to, you know, be that same teacher.

Emily: Yeah. Get that creativity and yeah.

Sue: And instead I’d be bogged down again with marking and reporting and standardized testing and, and that that would really, you know, interfere with home life too.

Cuz it’s quite, you know, it’s quite draining to have all of that as well.

Emily: Especially with young kids.

Sue: It is. So this amidst me trying to decide what I was going to do. There was an ad for Life Education and I went to Life Ed as a student, as a primary school student. And so had that memory as well and thought, oh my goodness, that would be fantastic.

So, uh, yeah, went for the job. Started off just, it was meant to be just like a two day role. Just helping out. That was five years ago. And fast forward five years and definitely full time and I’m program delivery manager, so not even out teaching so much anymore, but more, you know, with my team of 30 educators.

Um, so yeah.

Emily: You find you now you really have that that sort of freedom and creativity that you were worried about losing? Like have you gained that back in, in what you’re doing now?

Sue: I definitely think we are, we’re pretty lucky, being Life Ed educators, we get to come in and really just focus on that one area with the kids and really focus on health and wellbeing, and, you know, and have some fun and have some learning and get to be that person that reminds them how amazing they are and how special they are and inspires that, that love of learning about yourself and about your body and, and how you can take care of yourself and, and just have some really fun but empowering moments with young people. So, yeah. Loving, yeah. Loving.

Emily: Nice. So speaking of Healthy Harald, I’m sure there are a lot of people listening who are going, oh my God, Healthy Harold . I remember myself when I was in primary school and you know, the van would come along and he’d go and he’d sit in the van and little Healthy Harald would poke his head out and have all these chats about, you know, healthy eating and that sort of thing. Obviously, it probably doesn’t look quite like that now. I have a couple of questions. Number one, why is a giraffe?

Sue: Yes, that, that’s always the question.

Emily: do you, do you know the answer to that?

Sue: Okay. Well, you know what? There’s a lot of mystery. There’s a lot of legend around Healthy Harold. Some of the legend I particularly enjoy, there’s some stories around a giraffe because all giraffe spots are unique and all children are.

There’s some stories around, it’s a why a giraffe because, um, inspires children to look up.

Emily: Wow.

Sue: We’ve got, yeah, some stories that he’s somebody to look up to being a giraffe. And we’ve also got probably more, maybe not quite as fascinating, but more towards the truth is our founder, Ted Kns, actually traveled to America, to Chicago and they had this amazing health center. This was only in the sixties of seventies, and they had this absolutely amazing health center that showed what the body did and showed what happened when drugs entered the nervous system. And, and at this center as well, they had a giraffe.

That was amazing.

Emily: Right, so he is, he’s kind of put the two and two together.

Sue: So it kinda could, that we got that sort of idea from the Americans. But yeah, we, we kind of prefer the stories around, um, him being someone to look up to and

Emily: Yeah. Oh, that’s lovely. We’ll, we’ll run with that one. We’ll say that’s the reason why. So my second question. So I’ve come from high school, and obviously things like, you know, cute little characters don’t work very well on high school students. But remembering my own time with Healthy Harold, it was just mind boggling.

This cool giraffe and all of this. I know obviously your programs are aimed at primary schools and sort of heading towards that middle school sector. Do you find that the character of Healthy Harold is as effective for the older students or is it more effective on the younger students?

Sue: yeah, great question. So he definitely, he’s exciting no matter what the age as you, you know, adults cheering well, I remember Healthy Harold. So exciting. No matter the age. I think he really, really resonates with the junior students and the early learning, and also still the middle students and the senior students still absolutely want to see him and just have that moment.

But I think the, the learning more comes in the interactions, the, the role play, the strategies that we teach and use. So it’s more, I guess he’s still exciting with the older kids, but, but the learning’s really coming out in the session. Whereas with the younger ones, you know, they’re learning really is tied to learning from Harold and, and what he’s doing and how he’s modeling being a healthy character.

They take from it in that way.

Emily: Cool. So the younger kids learn more from him, but for the older kids, it’s more about that sort of that novelty and that draw card to lead into the learning.

Sue: Yes. Yeah, definitely. I think so. And, and, and it just, I think, you know, that moment of, you know, they go, oh, I remember when I was little and he did this. And it’s really cute when, you know, you’ve got kids who are like 11. I remember when I was a kid and how

Emily: You’re like, you’re still a kid, but okay. We’ll go with it.

Sue: It’s that connection as well, I guess, and that recognition. But we also have a whole generation I guess, coming up as well that still know our life ed program but not necessarily know Harold now. Cause in Queensland we have our, we have our Talk About IT program and that program’s all about healthy relationships and sexual health education.

And obviously we do not involve puppet giraffe.

Emily: Yeah, that be quite interesting.

Sue: So we have a lot of schools who do both. They do the healthy program and now Talk About IT program. And it’s quite funny cuz the kids all sort of say, is Harold coming while we’re talking about puberty and no, no.


Emily: No, no, no. Don’t ruin Harold’s innocence.

Sue: no, I know that they’re perfectly fine with Harold not coming along to our chats about relationships and identity and, and puberty and what’s happened.


Emily: so.

healthy. Harold’s definitely staying in his lane. In the, in the, the more like nutrition, health and body health and,

Sue: Yeah. So yes, definitely. it’s still that multi, multi sphere health he’s still in. So it’s physical and emotional and social as well with him. Cause there’s a lot, a lot of work that we do in the junior and the middle space around friendship. As well and about cyber safety. So he’s very tech savvy as well these days.

Harold, you know, he knows how to, who knows how to keep safe on the internet and how to report if anything’s, you know, looking a bit dodgy. So, so he’s still very with it.

Emily: Yeah. Cool. I guess on, on that note, how have the programs evolved over the years? Cause I think when I first. Interacted, I guess with Healthy Harold I was probably in year, oh, I don’t even remember cause I did some of my primary school in, in New South Wales and in Victoria and I, I dunno if it would’ve been operating down there.

Sue: Yeah, he started off in New South Wales there. That’s where we, yeah. Life Ed began just in a little, um, the wayside Chapel in Kings Cross right down there is how we, how we began. So New South Wales definitely, did have, have Life Victoria A. Little bit

smaller. Um,

Emily: Oh, so it could have been from my memories, could be from back then

Sue: You might be all the way back in

Emily: But yeah,

back then it was mostly like, I remember there was the van, there was the puppet, there was this cool like light up body model that

Sue: TAM.

Emily: Yes,

Sue: yes.

Emily: Wow.


Sue: Transparent anatomical mannequin.

Emily: Yeah. Yeah. And like different parts of the body would light up for different, yeah. Oh, wow.

Sue: That’s my biggest memory. When I went, when I went for the, when I went for this position with life Ed, I actually remembered Tam more than I remembered ,you know?


Emily: So, so how have the program sort of evolved and grown over the years? Because back then it was, it seemed, from my memory at least, was very much It wasn’t even so much the emotional health, it was more just the

Sue: No.

Emily: health. But now it seems like, you know, you offer such a suite of resources.

How, how has that grown and evolved?

Sue: Yeah, and that’s, I love the way you just phrased that we do offer a suite of resources, .That’s exactly right. So yeah, absolutely. We’ve, we have evolved back. So it started sort of 1979 is how we started down in the wayside. In the cross and we, uh, we began out of, Ted Kns was our founder and he was actually working in, in the cross and seeing an increasing number of drug addictions of young people with all these problems.

Um, and was trying to say, look, what can we, what can we do before we getting to this point, you know, rather than just that whole thing of fishing people out of the river, let’s. Stream and find out. And decided we needed to be in that prevention space and that education space. So we really started off in that drug education was the big thing.

Educating young people about what drugs and alcohol did. So Harold, when we first started, used to be, well probably, if I could say it, almost a little bit scary. Like it came, came out. And he had like, had a big night and had bloodshot eyes and, and it was sort of saying, we don’t wanna be like this.

So that’s the way, um, the way it sort of began. And it was in that way of showing what, what can happen to the body if, you know, a person uses drugs and alcohol then sort of evolved into, you know, adding that, well, what we need to do is have good nutrition and do physical exercise and sleep, which is probably those things that then you remember.

Cause those things, you know, obviously help the body to stay healthy.

Emily: Kind of the foundation.

Sue: Yes, absolutely. So that is, but I guess, you know what? Knowing what we know now about young people and about protective factors and risk factors and those things, we actually know that, you know, having good mental health, having great relationships, being resilient, having coping strategies, that’s actually effective drug education.

Emily: That’s the real precursor.

Sue: Yes. It’s not just going, you know, do not do this, do not do that, but, you know, we know that that doesn’t really work. It’s actually, you know, having skills to take care of yourself and take care of others is going to, you know, put you in, in the best place that you can be.

And with our mission of empowering young people, that’s, that’s what we’ve sort of moved into. So that, that’s opened us up to all sorts of modules and, and, uh, and learning that we do.

Emily: So can you gimme just a very quick rundown of the different programs that you offer now?

Sue: Yes, so I can, we’ve got, we’ve got quite a bit. So we, we break us, I guess up into the two programs. So I’ve got a Healthy Herald program and that’s typically from early learning through to year six. You know, we’ll come and help out a little in high schools for some of our, you know, bespoke kind of program, but typically we’re early learning to year six, and we are looking at everything from relationships and being a good friend and staying healthy and safe, to protective behaviors, help seeking, into the middle years and looking at cyber safety, looking at, you know, recognizing reporting, sign.

Emotional regulation and then into the senior years. Again, big focus on relationships. We’re looking at recognizing body clues, making great decisions, having peer pressure strategies, coping strategies, all sorts of things there. So we really work with the school to sort of tailor what their, you know, what their needs are. So that, that’s how we kind of work out which modules that we’re gonna do. And then our second program we have is our Talk About It Program we call it, and, perfect name because it is, you know, getting everybody to, to talk about it, to talk about our, our bodies, to talk about personal safety, identity, relationships.

And the big one that, that so many of our schools choose is to have us come in and talk about puberty. You know, and looking, looking at male and female reproductive systems and all of those weird and wonderful changes that happen during puberty. And that’s always lots of fun as well.

And, um, you know, gives our schools a lot of support.

Emily: Yeah. And then I guess that that Talk About IT Program is, would you say it’s kind of about removing the taboo? Talking about a lot of things like the for the older generations we don’t talk about these things. You know, mental health is not a thing that you talk about and sex and puberty is something you don’t talk about.

And we’re trying to normalize it more.

Sue: Exactly. And we actually, even though it’s called Talk About It, we have lots of schools call it, let’s talk about it. Cause they know we’re getting it there. And so yeah, absolutely. Both the Healthy Herald and Talk About It programs really compliment each other. Cause it all, you know, it all, it all goes hand in hand.

But we definitely get into some of those things that the teachers might not necessarily have specialists ideas about, and that’s with our Healthy Harold program. You know, even we having schools more and more ask for help in looking at how the kids can have good friends and good relationship.

Asking us for more support in what they can do in terms of things like vaping.

And the strategies that they can use and have the kids assist them with developing their peer pressure strategies. And then with our Talk About IT program, we’ve got, you know, plenty of schools really needing some help there, with how they can open up those conversations and do it in a really safe age appropriate way. Talking about safe and unsafe contact and giving them scenarios and things like that too. So we, so we do that in a really safe space.

Emily: Yeah. And I think part of the need for that has really come because of something I’m sure you’ve seen too, like the education sphere just keeps expanding, what schools are expected to offer and, and what we’re expected to give the students just keeps getting more and more and more. But then us teachers, we don’t, like you said, we might not have that specialist knowledge or we might not have the ability or the language or, even the, the comfort level to have these sort of conversations.

Sue: Yeah, and, and I guess, you know, you shouldn’t be expected to be, you know, the jack of all trades either as a teacher, that there is a time for having those specialist educators come in. And I think, a lot of us really enjoy that too. Those relationships that our educators develop with the teachers in schools too, especially those schools, they keep coming back to, you know, they’re kind of part of the school really when they’re coming back and visiting , a couple of times a year or, or each year.

The teachers end up learning from our educators as well, you know. We have some of our female teachers as well go. I’ve had children I didn’t even know, I didn’t even know that the body. In all of our program will .Have teachers go, oh, I really like how, you know, even a behavior management strategy that we might use. Cuz sometimes we’re a bit, we’re a bit more energetic or a bit fresher at. It’s been a bit worn down in that, in the classroom every day.

Emily: Yeah. Yeah. I imagine the teachers would take a lot away and like if they’re sitting in on the sessions and they know how to continue those conversations afterwards and how to support the

Sue: it.

Emily: afterwards.

Sue: Absolutely. And we do hear that, that it’s been a real springboard for the teacher then to feel more confident and more competent to, with some of those things in the classroom or, um, you know, they use healthy Herald as a reference point. Remember what Harold told you or. Remember, remember what, what, our

Emily: So given, given the recent commitment that the federal government’s made a real big push into respectful relationship education, how is life ed fitting into that gap?

Sue: Yeah, so in this is, yeah, we heard this and we’re like, perfect. We we, we are perfectly. Absolutely. Cause that’s what we’ve been doing for years, you know, understanding that importance of consent, understanding the importance of respectful relationships, and that’s across both our programs. In our Healthy Herald program, we’ve had a program in the upper years called Relate Respect, connect for a number of years, which focuses on those concepts that we want children to develop, empathy, respect, consent, and then with our Talk About IT program as well, we we’re doing that in that space too. So yeah, we felt perfectly positioned to be able to do this and I guess, even more justified in what we do, you know, for those teachers who’ve said, look, I’m trying to get you guys to come and visit, but you know, I’ve talked to the admin team and they say we can’t fit you in.

Or they say, well, we’ve already got too much on, they’ve really. More of an argument to why they need us. And, and looking at that new, I dunno if you’ve had a chance to, probably busy teaching, but look, looking across the new 9.0

Emily: I’ve been across that. There’s a lot of changes.

Sue: Yeah, absolutely. So looking at those, we’re quite excited too.

There’s a lot of things that are really clearly spelled out that we’ve been doing already. So, you know, even in the upper primary , we’ve been addressing like coercive control and looking. Young people’s early relationships and looking at warning signs and red flags, and that’s clearly now in the curriculum saying that every student needs to look at those, trickier concepts, I guess, are clearly spelled out that schools need to do that.

So we’re quite excited by that too, and, and feel like we fit right in. And in fact can be assisting schools to make sure you know, that they’re meeting the needs that, and, and meeting the requirements, I guess, that they have to do.

Emily: Yeah. Yeah. Well, it’s in the curriculum, so it has to be taught

Sue: I know, well, it was important even before consent’s always been an important thing. So it’s respectful relationships, but, now that it’s in the curriculum a bit more, um, you

Emily: just a bit more of a push.

Sue: There. Yeah, well, I mean, that’s part of, you know, empowering children with us has always been looking at protective behaviors as well and help seek.

Having even from, from the little grades, we have kids identify who those safe adults are and, and get them to look at recognizing body clues and all of those things. So, yeah, so we feel, you know, really strongly positioned to be part of this.

Emily: Yeah, for sure. And I think too, like with the way that society is sort of heading, you know, there’s not necessarily a parent at home to teach these sorts of, of knowledge and skills to their children. Most families have two working parents that are work.

Sue: Yeah.

Emily: there’s just not that time at home. So I guess having this in the school system is the logical way to go. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the teachers are equipped to do it.

Sue: No, it doesn’t. Doesn’t, and it’s, I think more and more as well, we are just feeling like parents need more help too. You

Emily: Cause You know, as a parent myself, I’m so busy all the time, you know?

Sue: Yes, it is. And, and I guess as well, like we, we run parent sessions with all of our programs as well, so we’ll have parents come along as well just saying, look, I don’t even know how to broach these topics, or what can we say? Yeah. So to help parents to feel more empowered as well, when, of course they’re, you know, children’s first teachers, that’s, that’s really important for us too.

And that’s a space that we’re increasing our presence in, I guess is trying to be part of families and communities, as well to be able to assist that. So hopefully that can help too. It’s interesting cuz I think about my parents and they never questioned if they were doing a good job or not.

Emily: Yeah.

Sue: You know, I just, oh, well, you know. Yeah, we just did it. But increasingly I think even though parents have got more, you know, there’s more things to Google and more advice they, than even more insecure of the job that they’re doing. And I think the world’s so busy that they worry if they’re able to cover it or not, and then school’s trying to cover it.

So I think any help we can give and we can get is, is a positive.

Emily: Yeah, definitely. And I think too with things like mental health becoming less taboo and, relationship education becoming sort of expected in the norm. A lot of parents may not have ever had that sort of education themselves, so they don’t necessarily know where to even begin because they weren’t, you know, then generations above us may not have talked about these things as openly, so then, I wasn’t exposed to it, so then how can I possibly teach my kid about

Sue: Yeah, Yeah, I think so. We’ve partnered with Triple P as well now, so we deliver some seminars and one of the ones that we do is around resilience. And it is interesting because we have some parents and they think, they still think like being resilient means you just keep going. You know, you fall over and you get up and you don’t talk about it, and you have a stiff upper lip and you know, we kind of have to go. That’s actually not resilience. Resilience does encompass acknowledging difficult feelings and allowing yourself to have moments where things are tricky and talking about them to people, and then yes, carrying on. But having that ability to talk about things and express your emotions is important. We are seeing that that’s becoming more normalized to talk about mental health and talk about your feelings. But children, even though we’re doing that, they’re still needing a lot of help with expressing them appropriately.

So a lot of our junior modules are around that too. Just trying to help with little kids, knowing what’s appropriate to express yourself or not, and what behaviors that make a good friend and what ones don’t. So we, we do that right from the beginning and then right through to with parents.

Emily: Showing them sort of what, a healthy relationship looks like for their kid.

Sue: Yeah, absolutely. And what they can do to work with them, to help them to express their feelings, to listen, to not have to fix problems, not have to jump in. That being a good parent means you jump straight in and fix everything.

Emily: Yep. Yeah, sometimes the best thing to do is, is nothing

Sue: I know, even though it’s so hard, isn’t it? Yes. Wanna jump in and fix it all, but, no, they need to develop some strategies.

Emily: Yeah. Cool. So what’s, what’s in the future for Healthy Harold? What can we, what can we see in his future?

Sue: Uh, what can we see in his future? Well, Harold is always trying to stay up to date with developments. So I think, we’re gonna continue to see Harold working with kids in all the areas that need, we are looking even more. Harold has been learning even more about his brain, and helping children to understand as well how their brain works.

So we’re really, moving into that kind of neuroscience space. And using kids, we call them kid scientists, to kind of explain all of those links between, reward systems, and helping them to learn how they can emotionally regulate, but understanding why, you know, why their body behaves like it does, why they have the reactions that they do, understanding that freeze, flight, fight and flight and all of those sorts of things. So, gonna continue to work in that mental health and wellbeing space as well, to support kids to develop more and more strategies, staying up to date with all the latest technology. As well. He’ll be, he’ll be making sure he does that.

And, uh, yeah, just looking to see how else that we can best support our schools and our students and our families to do the best work that we can do is what, is what we’ll be up to.

Emily: Awesome. And if, if anyone listening does wanna get in contact with the team, is it just through the website or are there other avenues that people can check it

Sue: Yeah. Yes, Emily. Best thing to do is jump onto our Life Ed Queensland website. We’ve actually got, for teachers and for parents. We’ve got a separate hub as well of resources that go along with our modules. We’ve got some podcasts on there as well, some interviews. We’ve got some, nutrition recipes and strategies and things that you can use with students and with your own children if you’re a parent.

So yeah, best to jump on our website and sign up for our hub as well.

And, uh, Yeah. stay up to date with everything we’re doing.

Emily: Yeah. Perfect. I guess two more random questions that weren’t part of the list. If there were teachers listening, who did wanna jump ship? Do you advertise jobs through the website as well? If they’re listening to this and going, oh my God, I wanna work with Harold, do they

Sue: Yes.

Emily: yeah.

Sue: Yeah, we do. We, we advertise when we need educators and, we’re often expanding. So absolutely. Keep an eye out there. We do like to hire teachers. We do have quite a lot of teachers actually, when our educators are there, say, Hey, how do you get your job That does happen. That does happen a lot. We do have a few that find it’s quite fun to, to go in and, and see all the different age groups. Go and see all the different schools. It’s really rewarding. A few of us travel a little bit all around the state, so you get to see regional kids, city kids, and that’s pretty fun and pretty fascinating too actually.

Some of the differences between the knowledge that they have, the health literacy, those sorts of things across, across the way often out in the regional areas. Happy to be a bit more patient, the children, whereas you’ll find in the metro areas, they expect you to be a bit quicker and a bit more exciting at fast pace.

So those things are, they’re pretty fun.

Emily: Yeah. Cool. And are you, do, do you operate just in Queensland or are you still like up and down the east coast or,

Sue: So I work for Life at Queensland. We are at our Life Education Australia. We’re a national organization, but then we operate based in our states obviously. You know, has its own needs and goes in some different directions to meet the best needs of, of their stakeholders.

So for us, we go all the way from Coolongatta and right up to the tip. Right up to the cape. And we go right out west, right out west to Mount eza and out to do in

Emily: So pretty much any school, if they wanted wanted help, they could get it.

Sue: If you want help, we can get to you. Occasionally if we haven’t quite got someone within about 400 kilometers of you we zoom in and Harold zooms in for a bit of a virtual visit, which is really fun. We’ve done that before too. But yeah we get all over this vast state to see about 200 thousand students a year, about 800 schools, so, yeah.


It’s a, it’s a, a, big old place, Queensland

Emily: Yeah, sure is .Right. Last question. If there was one thing that you wish teachers knew, what would that be?

Sue: Oh, that’s so interesting. This, it’s not just one thing. First of all, I’d probably reassure them that they’re working very hard. We know that, and that they are valued, whether they feel that they are or not. That would be one of the things. Um, What else would I tell them?

Something about us sometimes they’re not sure that our educators are professionals, I think, or they think they might just be like a puppeteer.

So . I think I’d reassure them that they are specialist educators, that we have, specialist educators in each team as well, and that they don’t have as many holidays as teachers because we do professional development every single term.

So during the of every term, our educators are keeping up to date with the latest that’s happening in anything to do with health and health education. So they’ve come from a very backgrounds of, of teaching, of nutrition, of counseling, but all, all specialists in their fields as well, not just puppeteers,

Emily: Excellent, . Perfect. All right. Well thank you so much for your time today and all your wisdom and knowledge and the memories of Healthy Harold and Tam, which I’d forgotten. Even existed

Sue: Oh, having Tam is now like electronic. We now actually have an app. So we use, we use a tablet and we’ve got these little AR markers and we can bring up the, the ar markers in real time on the body. So we get the kids to come up and it looks like it’s their heart that’s pumping or their lungs.

So, uh, so yeah, Harold keeps up with technology. That bit’s pretty cool. tam cool in the mannequin, but the TA e is pretty cool. It’s a pretty cool app too.

Emily: Ugh. Sold All right. Thank you so much for your time today.

Sue: That’s all right.


Emily is a secondary science and math teacher in Australia. She enjoys sharing the real and human teacher life, facilitating the ‘light bulb’ moment in her students, and drinking tea and wine.

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