IMB Is Helping Kids Live Healthy

Illawarra Mercury – 19th October 2015

IMB Bank Community Foundation is helping Life Education get its drug and health education message to school children in the Illawarra.

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It is providing funding for a truck to transport the mobile education classroom to pre-schools and primary schools.

Foundation chair Kieran Biddle said Life Education was empowering many young people to make safer and healthier choices.

Since it was established 16 years ago the foundation has donated more than $90,000 to the program.

IMB Bank chief executive Robert Ryan said through the healthy living approach, school children were learning how to say no to things like drugs.

The mobile theatre delivers the important message in a creative, interesting and entertaining way.



IMB Bank Community Foundation Helps Life Education & Healthy Harold Deliver Vital Lessons In The Illawarra


It’s a partnership spanning a number of years and in 2015, Australia’s largest non-government provider of drug and health education to children and young people, Life Education, again received funding from the IMB Bank Community Foundation to help them with their important work in local schools.

Life Education has been empowering children and young people to make safer and healthier choices through education for more than 35 years and IMB Bank has been supporting the communities in which it operates for 135 years.

Since it was established 16 years ago, IMB Bank through the Community Foundation has donated more than $90,000 to Life Education in the Illawarra and South Coast.

IMB Bank CEO Robert Ryan said Life Education provided an invaluable educational service for Australia’s young people.

“Drugs are a major issue in our society but through Life Education’s programs and its approach to healthy living, school children of all ages are learning about how to say no.

“As an organisation, we fully support Life Education and anything we can do to allow them to achieve more engagement with young people we will do,” he said.

“Life Education is one of those amazing not-for-profit programs that makes a major difference in the lives of our school children,” Community Foundation Chairman Kieran Biddle said.

“We are delighted to be able to help them deliver their programs in the Illawarra and the Foundation funds has allowed them to purchase a truck for their mobile classroom. They are now able to easily travel from school to school to spread their messages about healthy living.”

The Life Education Mobile Classrooms are built like theatres, enabling the programs to be delivered in a creative, interesting and entertaining way.

One of Life Education Illawarra’s Mobile Classrooms has travelled on the new truck to Towradgi Public School and more than 150 children will participate in specialised educational modules, including a visit Healthy Harold on Friday, October 16.

“Our mobile classroom allows children to explore creative and collaborative learning in a space that is entirely different from a traditional classroom,” Life Education Illawarra’s Brenda Lewis explained.

“There are no desks, pens or paper. Children are encouraged to participate and learn through engaging education experiences, which we believe bring out the best in all children.

“The funding from IMB Community Foundation has made it easier for us to transport our mobile classrooms from site to site to help us deliver these services.”

More than 640,000 children nationally participate in Life Education programs as well as throughout the Illawarra at pre-school and primary schools.

Rotary support helps Harold keep Illawarra kids healthy

Rotary support helps Harold keep Illawarra kids healthy


Local school children will reap the rewards of more than $3 000 in funding pledged for Life Education Illawarra from Rotary Clubs of the Illawarra.

2014 was the 4th Emergency Services Awards which has been established to publicly recognise officers – both full-time/paid and volunteers – who serve in the three (3) Local Government Areas of Kiama, Shellharbour and Wollongong. The project recognises the NSW Government seven (7) Emergency Service Organisations (ESO’s)

The Rotary Clubs in the Illawarra, stretching from Bulli in the north to Kiama in the South, with over 300 active members are successfully steering the Illawarra Pilot Project, now known as The Pride of the Illawarra. As a result of their endeavours, supported by local business such as Remondis and local Councils, Rotary has pledged financial support to Life Education Illawarra of $3 825.

Dorothy (Dot) Hennessy, Rotary Club of Wollongong, District Chair for Vocational Service said that “the awards night in August was an opportunity to generate funds to support a local charity”. Grant McClory, from the SES and the recipient of the paid officer award, along with Dot Hennessy, will be presenting a cheque to Michael Aubin, Chairman of the Life Education Illawarra Board at SCE Group today.

Life Education Illawarra Acting Chairman Michael Aubin said that the funding would allow the Life Education Illawarra Board to deliver the program to primary school children at half price or, in some instances, at no cost to parents or the school, especially in targeted low-socio economic area.

“Life Education has endured for more than 25 years because of its relevance, its value and the critical role it plays in educating young children about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” Mr Aubin said.

“Through the generosity of the Rotary Clubs of the Illawarra, we will be able to continue to subsidise the cost of delivering the program in the Illawarra to ensure as many children as possible can benefit. “This additional funding from Rotary takes this one step further, allowing us to increase the subsidy and broaden our reach.”

“We are looking to increase our partnerships with major employers and business – to match our subsidy dollar-for-dollar to allow children to experience the Happy Harold message for free,” Mr Aubin said. “This additional donations gets us closer to achieving this important goal.”

The Life Education program was created by the late Rev Ted Noffs from Sydney’s Wayside Chapel. The program delivers age-specific modules led by trained educators who travel to schools to engage children in learning the benefits of staying healthy and the harm caused to their bodies through illicit drugs, alcohol and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Life Education was established in the Illawarra in the 1980s after a concerted fundraising effort by local businesses and community organisations. “Since we began, almost 200,000 Illawarra children have experienced the Life Education program at their primary school or pre-school,” Mr Aubin said.

Rotarians are ordinary people doing extraordinary work and through their support of Life Education Illawarra, they are able to help Harold reinforce the Life Education message that every child is unique.

Happy Harold will be at SCE Group, Masters Rd this afternoon to personally acknowledge Rotary’ support. All media are invited to attend:

South Coast Equipment:  Monday 1st December 2014 at 3pm

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